So you studied really hard to get that degree, and you landed a pretty decent job. Nice! But you're also thinking about that burden on your shoulders as a result: student loan debt.
You've got a multitude of consolidation and repayment methods to choose from. Needless to say, it's important to figure out how to pay down your loans quickly -- and with as little stress as possible. Here's what you need to do:
1. Be familiar with the loans
There are scores of school loan types, and every one of them has different payment requirements. Learning about the variety of interest rates is important in determining which plan is right for you.
2. Talk to a real person at a bank
Even if you only go to your bank every once in a while, it's still important to talk with a real-life banker or financial advisor in person about your loans. Working with a local bank's loan representative or a school loan specialist helps you figure out the best solution for you.
3. Consolidate your loans
It's a good idea to consolidate the entire sum of your school loans into a single amount before you think about the repayment of school loan debt. More often than not, it lowers the monthly installment and, in turn, reduces the interest rate of your payments. It also facilitates the repayment of school loans simply by allowing a single payment instead of different payments for each installment of loan repayment.
4. Pay as much as possible
That minimum monthly requirement? Quite often this is merely an accrued interest payment and doesn't help reduce the primary balance that you owe -- not by a prominent margin, anyway. You should pay as much as you can every month. The more you pay, the faster your loan is repaid, which would both ease your burden in a shorter span of time and decrease the accrued interest.
5. Be regular with your payments
You should make student loan payments with punctuality, even if you only pay the minimum. Otherwise, late fees will be added to the balance, and it could eventually lead to default. If you can't make payments, contact loan holders, and they will help you out with the payment arrangement.
6. Steer clear of big purchases
Anything that allows for a higher payment toward the loans will help you get rid of them a lot faster. If that means driving the car you have for a bit longer before you eventually buy a new one, sticking to simplistic and basic phone and cable services and minimizing leisure spending, then just do it.
7. Regularly review your payment options
Did you know there are options that allow you to pay a share of the balance that you owe and school loan repayment extensions that span a particular number of years? You need to pick out the option that suits you the best, which is in accordance with the status of your job and the financial fluctuations of your wallet.
Look into repayment options regularly to make sure the option you're using is the one that suits you the best. Stick to these tips, and you'll soon be on the way to enjoying the benefits of your degree -- debt-free.
Natalia David, a tech writer, blogs for mobistealth.com. She can also be followed on Twitter @NataliaDavid4. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work -- this isn't your parents' career-advice blog. Be Brazen.