In July of this year, I finished paying off around $40,000 in student loan debt. This still does not seem real to me. I honestly thought that I would be paying this forever. The minimum payments scared me as well.
We were saving for quite some time, and then towards the end I just started plopping down as much money as we possibly could towards my student loan debt.
I worked like crazy as well. We both increased our day job income significantly over the year before.
We also never really increased our budget. Yes, we did buy new cars, but weirdly enough our budget did not increase.
This is because we switched to more frugal entertainment (such as hiking, riding our bikes, etc. – and not focusing on spending every last penny on clothing), and we also focused on cooking better meals at home for ourselves. So our income kept increasing, but our budget did not.
See if your employer will reimburse your education expenses.
Some companies will pay your student loans if you work for them. I even know of someone who receives a $2 bonus for each hour that she works for student loans. $2 may not seem like a lot, but if you work full-time then that’s over $300 a month. $300 a month for student loans is a good amount!
Reduce your interest rate.
If you automatically pay your student loans each month, or consolidate them, then sometimes you can get an interest rate reduction. With Sallie Mae, I believe the reduction is 0.25%. Not a ton, but that is something!
Pay extra towards your loans each month.
Even if you don’t have a ton of spare money in your budget, even an extra $25 is important. Most people can find a spare $25 in their budget, so go and look!
Increase your income.
It’s no secret that I love making side income. It makes life so much easier. Without it, I definitely do not think that I would have been able to pay off my student loans as quickly.
You can completely pretend that this extra income is not in your budget, and just shuffle ALL of this extra income towards student loan debt so that you do not miss it. If you have any extra time, then I’m sure that there is something out there that you can do to make extra money.
Think about your goal.
Yes, student loan repayment can seem very stressful when you think about it. Many people owe thousands and thousands in student loans. And, no matter how old you are, it can seem impossible. However, think about your goal and how good life will be once all of your student loan debt is gone.
Try to not let it get you down. Think positively and attack that debt!
What are you doing to attack your student loans?