It has finally arrived. Not the latest gadget that you bought from Amazon, but your student loan bill. When that loan statement arrives it is usually the first time that a recent graduate sees exactly how much was borrowed in their name for that college degree. Depending on what university they attended that overall number could be overwhelming. Even though the number may be overwhelming a lot of these adults just shrug their shoulders and say “I will pay it over the term” which could be a decade or two and then they go out and buy a new car. I want to change that way of thinking and say why not pay that student loan off as fast as you can. When my husband and I found out he had a $25,000 loan it was indeed overwhelming because it was as if someone had hit me in the face with a brick! I thought he went to college on a four year basketball scholarship, but come to find out one year was not paid for and it cost him $25,000! Did I mention that was only for ONE year! We had to come together with a plan to pay the loan off as soon as possible, because it was no way that we were waiting until 2030 for this weight to be from around our neck! So what are some of the steps that we took that you can take to pay off student loan debt for good!
First you have to find the extra money to pay off the loan faster, but this is usually where people get stuck and eventually get frustrated because they feel they are living paycheck to paycheck already. If you have a new career you now have much more money coming in than you did while in college, but where most people fail is that they start spending that new money on an expensive apartment, a new car, dinners out, etc and all of a sudden there is a struggle to pay their student loans. Here’s an idea, how about living on the same amount of money you did in college? You don’t have to get the best apartment in town, you can drive a paid for used car with no car payments, and the ramen noodles you ate in your dorm room still taste the same so cut back on eating out. Want to find even more extra money? Cut off the cable and watch your favorite shows on Hulu. Reduce the minutes on your cell phone plan and cut off your home phone because neither is needed if you are tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt! Next look around your home and see what you can sell. We sold everything we could from clothes to electronics. We had multiple yard sales and visited the local pawn shop frequently. We stopped buying new clothes in fact we didn’t see the inside of a shopping mall for the two years we were getting out of debt. We saved on clothes by wearing the ones we had longer and shopping consignment and thrift stores. Last, but not least the fastest way to pay off student loans is to get a part time job because let’s face it you just graduated which means you are still in your twenties and have the energy of a bull! The extra income will lighten the burden and bring you closer to being DEBT FREE!
There are so many other ways to find extra money for paying off student loan debt, but this post would go on forever. Just remember that all of these sacrifices are temporary and if you are committed to paying the student loan debt off it will take no time to become student loan DEBT FREE! These ideas will free up hundreds of dollars a month and that extra money should be thrown at the student loan and nothing else. Trust me it works my husband and I paid off that $25,000 student loan and a $20,000 car loan in 2 ½ years! You can do it too!
What are some of the things you did to pay down student loan debt?
Till next Wednesday!