Many students take the same classes up until high school, where they might be allowed to take a foreign language course or something creative like game design classes for high school students. These grades will get students into respectable colleges where they can study several different subjects and eventually get a career in something they are passionate about. The only catch is the crippling mountain of student loan debt that many carry with them for decades after. Many schools set loans to take ten, twenty, even thirty years to pay off! But it doesn’t have to take decades to pay off student loans if done correctly. Here are some ways to pay off your student loans as fast as possible.
Pay More Now, Save More Later
Probably the best way to pay your loans off faster is to contribute more than the bare minimum each month. If you’re able to pay more than what is required of you, the loan will be reduced to nothing in a matter of years, depending on how much you’ve been charged. Most loans have set interest rates depending on the duration of the loan, and the longer you are paying them, the more interest you will end up paying. Instead of paying much more than is necessary, you’ll actually save money in the long run by paying more than you need to each month. This shouldn’t come at the cost of gas for your car or failing to buy groceries, but if you’re able to pay an extra fifty or one hundred dollars a month, it adds up.
Create a Loan Payment Account Early
If possible, opening an account early on that is specifically created for paying your student loans can prove greatly beneficial. Many students work part-time jobs during the school year or summer jobs in between semesters, and putting a large portion of these funds (or even all of it, if you can afford it) into an account for later use will give you a head start. Even just a little bit away each month can build up several thousands of dollars. Once you have finished college and your monthly loans start, you’ll have the option to work without having to contribute much of your current paycheck to the loans, opting instead to pull it out of your account. Alternatively, you might instead drop all of your account into the loans at once and chop a large chunk of your loans off in one fell swoop.
Make a Budget and Stick to it
It’s important to create a budget in order to pay your loans quickly without breaking the bank. It would definitely help if you could drop a thousand dollars a month into your payment plan, but not at the expense of being able to pay your rent or keep your refrigerator stocked. Figure out how much you can feasibly contribute to your payment plan each month to get it finished up within your desired time frame.
By implementing these steps, you’ll have your student loans paid off in no time. It might also be beneficial to apply for loan forgiveness programs like the PSLF or Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, which can forgive several thousands of dollars worth of your loan. The only downside is they may not always be the fastest way to deal with your loans, but they are still a viable option for saving money if you qualify. Overall, the faster you can pay off your student loans, the less you will typically pay, and the more money you’ll be left with in the long run, which can then be used for other loans or saving for retirement–or maybe a tropical getaway.