If student loan debt feels like a huge mountain that you don’t know how to climb, I want to share with you these 5 tips that I see time and time again for dealing with student loan debt. And, I don’t mean eating ramen noodles for a year while you put as much money as possible towards them because then you are just a miserable person. And your friends don’t want to hang out with someone miserable. You don’t have to sacrifice everything to start tackling your debt. You can have a life. I give you permission! You just need to do a little bit of work to get yourself on the right track to paying them off. Here’s how to get started:
- Take Control
You must know what you owe before you can deal with it! Start by creating a spreadsheet with all of your loans. It should include who the loan provider is, how much you owe, the interest rate and monthly payment. This is the starting block because you can’t deal with your loans unless you know what they are.
- Look at Repayment Options
There are all kinds of options out there for repayment plans for both federal and private loans. Those options include things like extended repayment plans, income based payment plans and private refinancing and consolidation. You might be able to work with a company to figure out a better way to pay your loans or even refinance them. The options are there you just have to look for them.
- Master Cash Flow
In order to be able to pay back those loans, you need to become a master of your cash flow. Know where each dollar leaving your bank account goes. Spend some time looking at your budget and figure out what you can devote to paying off student loans along with any other financial goals you may have. You can’t let spending get out of control. You must be disciplined around your budget.
- Have a Financial Plan
This is one of my favorite pieces in case you didn’t already know! It’s pretty obvious, right? You need to have a plan to be able to conquer your debt. You can’t just wave a magic wand and it will disappear. Work on a plan for yourself to figure out how you are going to pay off the loans and when. You will feel much better even just after having come up with a plan. It will give you guidance to start tackling your loans.
- Give Yourself a Break
You won’t be able to pay off your loans overnight nor will you even be able to come up with a plan to pay it off overnight. It took time to get into the debt and it will take time to get out of it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You made the best decision you could at the time and you will do the same now. You will just keep working on tackling your debt so that you can achieve all your financial goals. And know that many other people out there are dealing with the same thing, but you are more than capable of handling your debt!