If you’re a current college student or a recent graduate, you probably have one financial topic constantly looming over you: debt. The majority of students who go to college end up taking out some sort of loan to pay for their education and other expenses that come along with getting that education. And while you likely didn’t have to think too much about these funds while getting your education, once you’re out in the workforce, you’ll soon realize the exact impact that those debts can have on your life. So to help you survive this financial hardship, here are three tips for managing debt incurred as a college student.
Be Realistic About The Amount of Debt You Have
When you’re in the middle of getting your education, there’s a lot on your mind that takes priority over how much debt you have. It’s easy to take out your student loan, use that money, and then forget exactly how much you were dispersed and what the plan is for paying it back. But as soon as the repayment period starts, you have to get your head out of the sand and get a clear picture of your financial situation. Lita Epstein, a contributor to Investopedia.com, shares that the first thing you should do is add up all your debt: every student loan, everything on credit cards, and any personal loans you have to pay back. Only once you know the total amount you owe can you create a plan for repayment.
Try To Negotiate Your Debts
After you’ve totaled up the amounts you owe, you might find that the amount just doesn’t seem possible for you to pay back. If you find yourself in this situation, Allison Martin, a contributor to MoneyTalksNews.com, suggests talking to your lenders about possible negotiations. You may qualify for debt consolidation or be able to reduce your interest rates or extend your grace periods until you are more financially secure. You don’t have to wait until you can’t make your payment to try your hand at negotiations. Once you begin to feel worried about your debt, ask about negotiation options.
Pay As Much As You Can When You Can
In your life, you may find that there are some months where you can afford to pay a little more on your loans that just the minimum payment. If this is possible for you, TICAS.org recommends paying as much as you can on your debts when you can. By doing this, you’ll end up paying less in the long run because you’ll pay down the principal of the loan faster, which means you’ll end up paying less interest each time you pay more than the minimum payment. This is one simple way to get out of debt quicker than the terms of the loan may call for.
You can overcome the debt you incurred during college. Use the tips mentioned above to help show you how.