Tips for Minimising Student Loans
The cost of an education should be free, but unfortunately it’s not. In order to broaden our minds and our horizons, we have to pay something, and in a lot of cases that means getting a student loan and lumbering yourself with the rather dubious privilege of paying it back once you have graduated.
Whilst the cost of paying a student loan back per month is lower than a personal loan for other means, e.g. a car etc, it is still an expense that many find too high, or struggle to meet. There are a few ways you can reduce it, and some are best looked at before you even take the loan out, to make sure that you consider the future payback terms before the whole thing starts.
Apply for a federal student loan
If these are available, look at whether you can apply for a federal loan, which basically will have better terms than a private loan, and will more often than not mean you pay back less per month. This isn’t a given, because they may be not available for the course you’re doing, the place you live in etc, but it is something to seriously look into.
If you have several loans or outgoings, consider applying for another loan and refinancing the loans or consolidating. This will make your money budgeting easier, because you will only have one outgoing per month, and will probably be lower than the cost of several debts at any one time. This lowers your monthly payments and gives you more to play with, and your student loan is one of these outgoings that can be included in your consolidation.
Talk to your lender
If you’re struggling to meet payments, or you’re simply curious whether there is anything you can do, call your lender and arrange to speak about the possibility of rearranging your terms. The worse they can say is no, so give it a try.
Get in front of yourself
If you find yourself a bit of extra cash one month, pay a bit more off your loan if you can, and that will obviously decrease the amount of time left you have to pay on it. Once it’s paid off you can forget about it, so think about piling a little extra in that direction.
Always pay on time
This sounds like a no-brainer but never be tempted to miss payments or make late payments, because this will not only reflect badly on your credit history, but it can also incur charges, which is just another unnecessary thing you need to pay.
If you truly are struggling with your student loan, don’t bury your head in the sand, and do make sure you speak to someone about rearranging payment options, or another arrangement. There are options out there aside from a few tips on how to lower payments, so if there is a serious problem, seek help immediately; you don’t have to struggle.