If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that paying off student loans isn’t fun. The process may evoke a mix of unfavorable emotions—but that’s where we come in. Let this blog take on the form of meditation, a hot bath, heck, even online shopping if that’s how you blow off steam. There is a faster and more convenient way to pay off student loans, and here are some tips for doing it.
1. Make more than the minimum payment
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the more you pay toward student loans each month, the faster the grand total will shrink. If that means working overtime or adding an extra shift here and there, it will pay off in the end. The process becomes even easier if automatic payments are set up with any extra amount included—even if it’s just an additional $20 each month.
2. Consolidate and refinance
The goal of refinancing is to lower interest rates, so more of your payments go toward paying off student debt. If you have multiple student loans, refinancing will narrow them down into one consolidated loan with one monthly payment, which is much easier to remember and keep track of.
3. Take a job that offers forgiveness
It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not—certain jobs like public service work and teaching may offer forgiveness for part (or all) of your student loans. So what’s the catch? There are certain requirements workers must meet to qualify for forgiveness, and you must complete the full term of work.
4. Benefit from work raises
Working toward a promotion? Are annual raises part of your office’s perks? What about bonuses? If so, use that extra money toward student loans instead of investing in a new car, bigger flat-screen TV, or family vacation to the Bahamas. Of course, this all depends on the culture of the workplace and may not apply to everybody. The general rule of thumb is to take one-half of your raise.
5. Calculate tax deductions and credit
It may be too late to do this now, as tax season has just wrapped up, but it’s something to think about for next year. If you’re paying off student loans, you’re likely eligible for student loan interest deductions as part of your federal taxes. Up to $2,500 may be deductible each year for the interest that’s been paid on student loans.
Well, there you have it—paying off student loans in a fast and timely manner has never been so simple. Hopefully, these tips are the exact motivation (and uplifting news) you needed to tackle those student loans. Don’t worry, you’ve got this.
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