Let’s face it. There aren’t many of us who get super pumped about making our student loan payment (unless we’re paying the loan off!). For many of us, we have to pay multiple student loan payments to multiple loan servicers.
Student loans aren’t necessarily bad; in fact, if it weren’t for my student loans, there’s no way I would have been able to attend college and then continue on to get my Master’s. In the current higher education environment, in order to commit to another semester, many students and graduates take on a new loan without considering the future financial implications, so when it comes time to make payments, things can get overwhelming.
If you’ve finished school (or are close to finishing) and are currently focusing on paying down your loan balances, there are some things you can do to keep yourself sane.
- Pay on time. It seems simple, but if you miss a payment, late fees and interest add up quickly.
- Pay more than the minimum required. Additional payments toward your principal balance – even just $10 or $20 each month - make a huge difference. In the example below, a student with a $20,000 student loan balance at six percent interest can save over $700 in interest over the life of the loan. How? Each month, she’s paying just $18 more than the minimum required. This shaves off 12 payments! If the student pays just over $50 extra each month, she’ll pay $1,723 less in interest and make 29 fewer payments!* Want to learn more about how quickly you can pay off your own student loan balance? Check out our calculators here.
||Total Number of Payments
||Total Interest Paid
|| 120 (10 years)
|| 108 (9 years)
|| 90 (7.5 years)
- Consider consolidating and simplifying. If you have different federal or private loan servicers, our Student Loan Refinance through Student Choice is a great way to simplify your repayment. You can combine federal, private and institutional student loans into one new loan with one new payment, with five, ten or 15-year term repayment options. Check it out here.
Feeling trapped? Consider an income-based repayment plan. If you have federal student loans, you may be able to adjust your monthly payment. Learn more here. If you have private student loans, contact your servicer directly to discuss your options.
Education is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and I don’t regret the choices I made to invest in myself. In reality though, many of us feel frazzled or need relief from the financial burden of our education, and it’s good to know solutions are available.
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Posted rate reflects all available discounts. Actual rate based on applicant's credit history. Loan repayment calculations shown above or for example purposes only and do not represent an actual loan with Affinity Plus. Your situation may vary based on your loan service provider’s terms and conditions.