Do you have student loan debt? Many people do. Student loan debt accounts for a little over $1 trillion. The statistics are staggering. Student Loan Hero outlines some of them below
- $1.44 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
- 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt
- Student loan delinquency rate of 11.2% (90+ days delinquent or in default)
- Average monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $351
- Median monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $203
If you are struggling to pay the debt off after graduating, here are five great ways to eliminate student loans forever that has personally worked for me.
If you have multiple loans you might be able to save money by consolidating the loans into one. It depends on your situation but you could save a significant amount doing so. Also, combining all into one loan will make them easier to manage. You would have only to pay one payment per month instead of making payments to various different lenders.
There are some advantages of consolidating.
First, after consolidating, there is one lender to pay. There is no need to manage paying to 3 or 5 different lenders. While this might not save you any money, if definitely makes life easier.
Second, in some cases you may switch from a variable to a fixed interest rate.
And third, it is possible you may have lower monthly payments after consolidation.
#2 Accelerate your payments by getting a side hustle
Pick up a side gig and earn some extra money. Then take the extra money you earn and apply it to the debt. Your loan balance will go down in no time through this strategy. There are tons of ways to earn extra money.
Here are some ideas:
- Drive with Uber
- Dog Sit with Rover
- Freelance on sites like Upwork
- Deliver Food with UberEats
- Become A Mystery Shopper
- Sell stuff you don’t want anymore on sites like EBay and Craigslist
- Rent your extra space with Airbnb
An extra $500 or so a month can go a long way when you apply it to the principle of the debt. This is money that is not part of your budget but extra money. It can shave off years in repayment.
This could be the most important strategy in paying off student loans fast.
#3 Trim your budget
Review your budget and see what you can cut or trim down. Recognize those savings and put it towards the loan balance.
Do you eat out a lot? Cut that habit or reduce it. That could be an instant $200 savings every month.
You like Starbuck’s? Go there a lot? Reduce that habit and recognize even more savings.
You will see your loan balance fall in no time. Say goodbye to student loan debt!!
Here are some ideas that really work:
- Cancel your gym membership
- Reduce or eliminate your cable bill
- Cook and pack your own meals
- Shop around to see if you can get a better deals on things like your cell phone bill
- Buy generic when you can
#4 Apply extra money to the student loan debt
The more money you can apply to the student loan balance, the quicker of course you will eliminate the debt. Do you get extra money throughout the year? Apply the extra money to the balance and watch your student loans balance fall quickly.
This extra money might be a tax refund you receive every year or a year end bonus you receive from work.
Instead of spending it on a luxurious vacation, think about getting rid of that student loan debt faster.
#5 Take a job that offers forgiveness
There are various professions you can get into it, which will allow the lender to forgive your debt, meaning the debt just goes away.
Some professions can qualify for certain programs for loan forgiveness. These include:
- Those who work in public service
- Federal Agency Employees
Do your research of the different programs available and you might have your loans forgiven. Student Loan Hero wrote a great article about this outlining the different professions and the different programs that student loan holders can look to.
For example, The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program pays up to 85% of Nurses’ unpaid nursing education debt if you show financial need and meet the below requirements.
Must be a:
- licensed registered nurse;
- advanced practice registered nurse, such as a nurse practitioner; or
- nurse faculty member with qualifying nursing debt.
Must have received your education from:
- an accredited school of nursing located in a U.S. state or territory.
Must work full time in:
- an eligible Critical Shortage Facility in a high need area (for RNs, APNs),
- an accredited school of nursing (for nurse faculty).