Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loans

Last Updated on November 1, 2021 by Ellen Christian

Getting your degree at long last is a major accomplishment, but the prospect of paying back your student loans can be daunting. It’s common to graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, and if you don’t take care of those financial obligations in a timely, responsible manner, you’ll not only add to your debt load, you’ll also damage your credit history and make your future a lot harder that it would be otherwise.

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Financially savvy students know techniques for getting their student loans paid off as quickly as possible. Learn these tips and tricks and you’ll be well on the way to a debt-free future.

While You are Still in College: Minimize What You Owe

This is the single most important tip for paying off your student loans: organize your life so you owe less in the first place. The three most significant ways you can do this are:
•    borrow less whenever possible, and
•    choose to pay interest while in college.

Borrow Less

Borrowing less will make it easier to pay off the total loan obligation in the future. Now, borrowing less may not seem like much of a trick, but think about the things students sometimes purchase with student loan money. It’s supposed to go toward textbooks, tuition, and living expenses. It’s in the living expenses category that cutbacks can be made.

College can be challenging, and students frequently feel they deserve a break, but this kind of attitude can easily lead to spring vacations in Palm Beach, paid for out of student loan money. Find some free recreation in your local area instead, such as an afternoon with friends in a public park. Another good trick is to be more careful about the rent you pay while you’re in school. Minimize that so that your existing loan money goes further and you won’t need another loan.

Don’t Let Interest Build Up

Another way to graduate owing less is to make interest payments while you are still in college. This saves you in two ways. Obviously, this interest won’t be added onto the total loan amount. In addition, you won’t be accruing additional interest on the larger unpaid balance.

After You Graduate: Maximize Payment Advantage

Once you graduate and are earning a living, you should be able to start paying off the principal as well as the interest on your student loans. The best tips and tricks now become making sure that every dollar you pay goes as far as possible toward getting your loans paid off in full. You don’t want to waste a single penny. The main things you need to do are:
•    pay on time, and
•    consolidate.

Never Pay a Late Fee

Making all your payments on time is absolutely critical. Every time you miss a payment or send it in just a few days pass the deadline, the loan company will assess a late fee. It will be tacked onto your total loan obligation and for the rest of the loan period, you will be paying interest on that late fee.


As soon as you know you won’t need further loans, consolidate the ones you have to lower your total interest rate so that more of your payment can pay off loan principal.

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