Loans can throw a wrench in your finances and vacation plans. For recent graduates, student loans are constantly in the back of their minds. Thinking about how to budget and how to make your student loan monthly payments can put gradates into super saver mode. Many graduates with student loans wonder if larger, discretionary purchases are acceptable while paying off a student loan. For example, is it a good idea to go on a vacation when you have student loans, or should you take a staycation? There are several factors to take into consideration before you set sail in the Greek islands. Here's what you have to consider.
Are you budgeting correctly?
If you want to make a large purchase, such as a vacation, make sure you have the proper funds to pay for it. It is always a good idea to start planning ahead for a vacation so the expenses do not all come at once. Student loans can occupy a large portion of your monthly income so it could take a few months to plan and save for a vacation. The best way to view your student loans is as any other monthly expense - you shouldn't feel guilty going on a vacation.
What's the interest rate on your loan?
Some gradates consider making large lump sum payments to reduce their student loans more quickly, but is this actually a smart idea? Again, take the time to understand your commitments. Before taking a vacation or making another large purchase, the very first thing you should consider is your repayment goal. If vacations and other discretionary purchases are important to you, you may want to minimize your monthly payment for the short term and can always readjust your loan terms when you have more monthly income to allocate to your student loans.
Refinancing is a great way to lower your interest rate and select new terms of your loan so you can maximize your repayment goal while saving money with a potentially lower interest rate. If your interest rates are already low and you are happy with your repayment terms, the best thing to do is make sure you make all your monthly payments on time and view your loans as a way to establish good credit, which will enable larger financial transactions later on down the road.
How much mental stress does the loan take on you?
Keeping a clear state of mind is important for everyone, with or without student loans. Debt of any kind can weigh you down. Most gradates with student loan debt are rightfully worried about their financial futures. It can affect some more than others. Depending on where you lie on the stress spectrum, a relaxing vacation might be just what you need. Getting away can be one of the best stress relievers. It doesn't have to be an expensive or faraway to reset yourself for the coming months. Vacations can come in all shapes and forms, so even if repaying on your student loans is a repayment struggle, there are creative solutions and easy getaways that are soft on your wallet and great stress reducers.
To learn more about your student loan options and how you can lower your interest rate, visit Credible.