January 9, 2023 | Maria Cruz

How to Realistically Pay Off Your Student Debt

Student loans seem to be part of the average millennial’s life. Unfortunately, they can significantly hinder one’s ability to put a down payment on a house, purchase a car, or even just live comfortably. Try as we may, saving up little scraps here and there for our student loans oftentimes isn't enough. So, how do you realistically save enough money to get rid of those pesky loans? These small tips can make a big difference in your life.

Understand Your Debt

Before you make those payments, you need to understand what you owe. Look into the interest rates, how much time you actually have before repayment, and what you can afford. Play around with different repayment scenarios with calculators or budgeting. Based on how much you make and the interest rates, you can plan out which plan is best.

Woman Writing on a Notebook Beside Teacup and Tablet ComputerPexels

Make Necessary Cutbacks

Speaking of budgeting, it’s likely necessary to help you pay off those loans. You don’t need to go out of your way to never enjoy anything, but you need to be smart about repayment. Go through your monthly purchases and see where you can make appropriate cuts. It may suck to give up a few of those luxuries, but it’ll be worth it when you’re debt-free years ahead of schedule.

A good way to figure out your financial situation is to start writing down your purchases. You can also keep your receipts. Having physical copies of your spending opens your eyes to where your money goes. In an age of plastic, it’s easy to tap into our savings without thinking. But when you’re planning to dig out of debt, you need to be more conscious.

Lady in stripped dress with piggy bankPexels

Don’t Wait to Make Payments

A common mistake students make is waiting to make payments. Recent graduates tend to wait until the last minute to make any payments, but you shouldn’t. If you can afford to make payments immediately, do so. There’s no real penalty to you contributing early. Plus, interest rates accumulate during the grace period, so it’s best to get ahead. Paying right away gets you out of debt earlier and gives you peace of mind.

Woman in Brown Coat Holding a Bank CardPexels

Add a Little Extra

It may sound like a good idea to make minimum payments but consider otherwise. You may be paying less in the short term, but in the long run, you may be paying more. Interest rates can skyrocket when you make minimum payments, actually making you pay more. Not to mention, when you pay an extra amount every month, you’ll get out of debt much faster. Depending on how much you contribute, you could shorten your repayment period by several years.

This is why it’s a good idea to look into how much you owe and the interest rates. It’s also important to track your spending. If you cut corners, you may discover that you have more to add to your loans than you thought. Monitor your finances and contribute a little more each month if you can. You’ll undoubtedly be surprised at how quickly your debt decreases.

Crop woman counting money at modern office tablePexels

The Bottom Line

Getting yourself out of debt is hard, but it’s not impossible. It also doesn’t need to be a huge stress on your life or bank account. Sit down and go through what you owe. From there, work out which repayment plan is best for you based on your finances and spending. It may be hard, but monitor your spending so you can contribute more than the minimum amount due. The more you contribute, the faster your debt will deplete and the sooner you can get back to normal.

Person Writing on White PaperPexels


Gut Feeling Was Right Experience

My Gut Feeling Was 100% Right

Everyone has that little voice inside that guides us—or tries to warn us of impending doom. The question is whether or not you listen.
June 18, 2024 Violet Newbury
People Expose Their Stupidest Neighbors

Exposing My Stupid Neighbor

From the neighbors who are WAY too nosy to the ones who own terrible pets, follow along as these people expose their stupidest neighbors.
June 18, 2024 Taylor Medeiros
Told You So Experiences

These "I Hate To Say It...But I Told You So" Moments Are So Satisfying

Sometimes, people just won't listen. When it happens, and they pay the price, is there a better feeling on Earth than saying, "I told you so"?
June 18, 2024 Elisabeth Ritter
Delayed Karma Experiences

Wait For It: People Share Their Greatest Moments Of Delayed Karma

Is there anything better than watching a jerk get slapped in the face by karma? Sometimes, we have to wait for it, but that just makes it even sweeter.
June 18, 2024 Carl Wyndham
Marriages Gone Wrong Experience

Marriages Gone SO Wrong

You’ll be shocked and appalled at how fast these couples go from “to love and cherish” to “Welcome to Dumpsville, population: You.”
June 11, 2024 A.V. Land

Hospital Horrors From Real People

Sometimes, a hospital stay goes smoothly, but other times, it can turn out to be a complete nightmare that leaves you scarred for life.
June 11, 2024 Violet Newbury

Want to learn something new every day?

Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.