Tips for paying off your student debt

Whether you are a recent graduate or have been out of school for some time, you’ve probably been notified that it’s time for those pesky monthly payments to begin. No need to panic! TruStone Financial has five simple tips to make repaying those loans stress-free.

Make a plan | The dollar amount on the bottom on your loan statement may be a bit overwhelming at first glance. Luckily, there are two popular strategies you can adopt during your repayment schedule. One method is to start out by paying the minimum amount each month while putting any extra money away for later. Once you have enough money, pay off one of your loans to create one less payment each month. Another method is to find the interest rate for each of your loans. Prioritize to pay off the highest interest rate loan while paying minimums for the others until you are debt-free!

Ask for help | Did you know that the federal government offers various repayment plans to help make payments more affordable?

  • Graduate payment plan |If you expect your income to increase in the future, you can start your payments low than have them gradually increase every two years.
  • Extended repayment plan | This plan lowers your monthly payments while stretching the length of the loan. While the payments are lower, understand that the amount you’ll pay over time will likely be higher when you factor in the amount of interest paid.
  • Income-drive repayment plan | This plan bases your monthly payments off your income and will adjust over time, as your income level changes.

Make it easier | Consider refinancing or consolidating your loans to make your student debt more manageable. When you refinance, you are taking out a new loan to pay off all your current student loans. This option can potentially bring fewer payments at a lower interest rate. On the other hand, consolidating your loan may put you into a fixed interest rate for the life of your loan which will make your monthly payment amounts the same or static..

 Turn on auto-pay | Just like your internet and utility bills, you can set up automatic payments for your student loans. This gives you peace of mind knowing that it’s taken care of month after month. Additional benefits include the prevention of late payment fees and increases to your credit score with a strong history of on-time payments.

 Don’t get blue | It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the numbers and regulations that accompany student debt. If you stay on track and have a positive attitude about your situation, you’ll be that much closer to being debt-free!

Banking accounts aren’t “one size fits all.” If you’re looking for a checking or savings account that complements your payment plan, TruStone Financial has options to best suit your lifestyle. Stop by your nearest branch or give us a call at 800.862.1998 today!

Editor’s note: Segments of this article were taken from popsugar.com.