Coming out of college with student loans can be extremely overwhelming. Some feel as though their loans are so large that they will never be able to pay them off. Although paying off these loans seems impossible, in actuality, there are many ways for you to manage your student loan debt. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Do not wait until after the 6-month grace-period!
Many college graduates feel the heavy weight placed on their shoulders from student loans right after they earn their degree. Although this large debt is intimidating at first, do not wait until after the 6-month grace period to start paying off your loan. Ignoring the debt for any period of time is only delaying the inevitable. It is best to bite the bullet and take on your loans head on. By starting to pay off your loans immediately you will be more disciplined throughout the entirety of the process.
Make more than the minimum payment
Although paying the bare minimum on these payments might seem nice because you are able to have more spending money, setting aside more than the minimum due can help you get out of this debt faster. Although not everyone is financially able to set hundreds of dollars more than the minimum requirement, even adding $20 to your loan payment can go a long way towards paying it off quicker.
Come up with a set budget
Not everyone is able to magically increase their income to set aside more money for their monthly loan payments and that is ok. Setting a budget for yourself every week helps you stay on track and cut your spending where you see fit. For an example, you could include in your weekly plan that you will not go out to dinner, and stay home instead. Also, set specific, maximum amounts that you can spend on things like clothing, food, entertainment etc. each week. By cutting down on non-necessities, you are able to have more money that goes towards your student loan payments. Do not just have the budget for the week planned out in your head. Physically write it out. Having a written out budget that you can reference every day will keep you accountable and help you stick to your budget.
Put part or all of any extra income towards your loan
Many employees are lucky to receive bonuses from their bosses during the holidays or after completing a big job. Instead of putting this money towards a new computer or vacation, it may be in your best interest to have a staycation and put the money towards your student loan payments. Putting this extra money towards your loan may not be the most desirable thing to do in that moment, but you will be glad that you did later down the line.
Imagine your life without this loan
Lastly, try imagining yourself without this huge burden hanging on your shoulders. Picture yourself being able to spend your money freely and guilt free because you do not have to worry about your monthly payment. This can be a great source of motivation to stay diligent and work to repay your loans. Although it may seem that you are never going to see the day of your life without this debt, if you take the right precautions it may come faster than you think.