In today’s highly competitive job world, a college degree is more important than ever. With a degree, you’ll have an easier time landing a high-paying job with great benefits. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research, however, 37 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 to 29 have debt from an outstanding college loan. If you fall under this category, you should consider the following tips to pay off your loan and regain your financial freedom. If you need a few more tips on how to save money, you can find some here
1. Pay Towards the Principle :
When making payments on your student debt, make sure they are going towards the principle of the loan and not just the interest. Paying on the interest is akin to treading water in the middle of a lake. Sure, you aren’t going to sink, but you’re aren’t going to make it to land either. Paying towards the principle shortens the term of the loan, allowing you to pay it off in less time.
2. Deduct Interest From Taxes :
You can’t deduct principle payments of student loans from your taxes, but you can deduct the interest. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows borrowers to deduct 100 percent of the interest paid towards student loans, up to $2,500, from their federal taxes. So, when preparing to file your taxes for the year, go through your records to determine exactly how much you paid in interest. Even if it’s only a couple hundred dollars, that’s still money you can use to pay off your debt.
3. Ask Family :
If you haven’t done so already, consider asking your family for money. If you have a parent or grandparent who’s sitting on a financial nest egg, they may actually enjoy helping you. There’s only so many things you buy with money, and the ability to help a child or grandchild is far more fulfilling than a new TV for the guest bedroom.
4. Cancel Unnecessary Monthly Subscriptions :
Do you really need a $99 Amazon Prime membership if you only order one or two products from the site per year? Whether it’s Amazon Prime, Hulu, Spotify Premium, etc., consider canceling any unnecessary monthly services to which you are subscribed. By eliminating these subscriptions, you’ll have more money to use on your loan.
5. Move in With Your Parents :
You’ll have an easier time-saving money by living with your parents. Renting a house or apartment can quickly drain your bank account. In addition to rent, which was an average of $959 in the United States as of 2015, you’ll have to pay for utilities, food and other expenses. Moving in with your parents will allow you to save this money so that you can pay off your student loan more quickly.
6. Get a Second Job :
The more money you make, the quicker you can pay off your student loan. If you’ve already finished college and have a job, look for a second, part-time job. Even if it’s only a weekend or seasonal job, that extra money can prove invaluable in helping you pay off your loan.
7. Pay on Time :
Always make your student loan payments on time. Most lenders have a grace period during which they won’t charge you a fee for late payments. Once the grace period has passed, however, lenders may charge you a fee of 15 percent of 5 percent of your monthly payment, whichever is greater.
8. Eat at Home :
Eating on several times a week is downright expensive. One study found that the average U.S. adult spends $232 per month eating at restaurants. Buying food from the grocery store and preparing it at home will help you save money and pay off your student debt.
9. Refinance :
Finally, consider refinancing your student loan. If your current loan has a high-interest rate, refinancing it may yield a lower interest rate. Keep in mind that most lenders determine a borrower’s interest rate on his or her debt-to-income ratio, so you want to keep your debt low and income high when seeking to refinance your loan.
You don’t have to skip college just to protect your finances. As long as you follow the tips listed here, you can pay off your loan while keeping your credit intact.