In Debt

Just recently, billionaire Robert Smith, Morehouse’s commencement speaker pledged to pay off the student loans of 396 graduates from the graduating class of 2019.  According to Nitro Research, Americans have more than 1.5 trillion in student loan debt.

If you are seeking ways to pay off debt here are a few ways that may help:

There is an app for that

Qoins is an app that uses spare change from everyday purchases and makes a monthly payment to your student loan provider.  It rounds up transactions to the nearest dollar or you determine how much to pay toward debt monthly.  The app withdraws money out or your account throughout the month in increments of $5.00 and applies it toward your student loan debt.

Reduce your interest rate

Know that when it comes to loans, the amount you pay interest determines the amount you will be responsible for paying overall. As such, reducing your interest rate allows you to put more toward the principle.  Many loan providers will allow an interest rate reduction when you sign up for auto draft payments.  Check with your loan provider to see what qualifies.

Seek out loan forgiveness programs

The Department of Education offers forgiveness programs to help borrowers with student loan debt. These programs include the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program. Both programs are designed to alleviate the student loan burden.  The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is available to those who work full time in public service, whereas the Teacher loan forgiveness programs are available to teachers who teach full time in qualifying schools with low-income individuals.

Know your payment options

Generally, borrowers are not responsible for payments until six months after graduation.  If at that time, you find that you are having difficulties making payments, contact your loan provider as soon as possible.  Borrowers may be able to request a deferment or forbearance, which allows users to postpone payments until a later date.  Also, keep in mind, you may be able to request payment options that fit your income and budget needs.

Finding more ways to pay

If you are seeking ways to find funds to pay off your student loans, consider paying close attention to your budget. Take time out to list out your income and expenses and determine if you can apply extra money toward principle. If you need to find ways to cut expenses, check out my post – 21 ways to save.

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