Less than one-quarter of students and only 20% of parents say students are very well-prepared to deal with teh financial challenges that await them after graduation according to Keybank.
Dealing with student loan debt does not have to be tough. In the beginning, the student loans felt like free money or something to deal with at a later date. It may not feel like it now, but that debt was for a necessary and worthwhile cause: your education. Whether you completed your degree or not, the education received was a terrific investment.
Take advantage of your grace period- each student typically has six months from graduation or 6 months from the last semester you attended class before student loan payments are due. If you can afford to, begin paying as soon as possible. IF not, save as much money as you can prior to your official start repayment date.
Understand your loans- review your loans to ensure you are aware of the amount you owe. Keeping track of all of your student loans may be a chore but it is worthwhile. If you no longer have access to the original paperwork, pull your credit report. This will provide additional details such as lender information. This will help inform decisions such as payment options that work best for you and your budget today.
Stick to a budget-consistency is key. Development of a smart repayment plan will help you deal with your debt.
Figure out how to earn more money- Yes, but where there is a will there’s a way. Do whatever you need to do to pay the debt. There are several articles on the web that discuss earning more income. Do the research to determine the best fit for you and your lifestyle.
Tax Season-deduct eligible student loan interest. Work with a financial adviser to ensure the maximum benefits are realized.
Sign up for auto payments-this will elliminate the need to remember to to pay a bill on a monthly basis. No more late fees. There is also the option of interest rate deduction (if offered by your lender).