5 Steps to Help Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt
According to a recent statistic we chanced across on SHRM's platform, "Student Loan debt has increased 96% since 2010. Which means more and more individuals entering the workforce have significant debt."
In the U.S., "As many as 45 million Americans have student loan debt -- amounting to about $1.49 trillion total." - CNN
In 2017, the Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, revealed that 10% of graduates find jobs after their first year of completing university. Due to the high unemployment situation, many graduates and student loan beneficiaries are left with high unpaid student loan debt.
If you are a graduate fortunate enough to land a job then it is time to create a budget plan and an expenditure spreadsheet.
Last year, by the Grace of God and with some strategic planning, I managed to pay off my college student loans. It took 12 years, which really isn't as long as it sounds.
I must admit, it was really a great feeling to hit send on the online payment platform to make my final payment.
As someone who has always been cautious about debt, especially during my teenage years and in my twenties, I knew I wanted to pay off the debt I amassed as quickly as I could.
Luckily, I didn't have much debt to begin with, since I was an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student. However, I strongly believe anyone can pay off their loan regardless of the amount so long as they set goals and are committed to seeing it through.
The first step to liberating yourself from student loan debt is to treat your student loan as a priority and factor the payments into your monthly expenditure. Don't think of your student loan as you would a credit card bill but rather your electricity bill, car loan, or water bill... You get my point.
Here are 5 tips to help you pay off your student loan:
1. Check with your employer to see if they provide loan assistance.
2. NEVER ever defer if you can help it. Deferment puts you more in debt in the long run which is a huge disadvantage.
3. Apply for loan forgiveness if you qualify.
4. If and when possible, pay a little more than the minimum due. Paying more than the minimum reduces your monthly payments.
5. Try to pay on time or in advance to avoid late fees.
Keep in mind that managing your student loans begin before you enter university. Speak to the financial aid or student loan center at your school for the best options for loan repayment. Ask about programs you may qualify for such as the EOP program.
Now the question to incur or not to incur more student loan debt still remains for many of us who have completed undergraduate education.
Wishing you the best of luck!