One of the biggest obstacles that prevent many graduates from investing either independently or through an adviser is the student loan. Student loans can weigh down individuals from seizing rewarding financial opportunities until they’re cleared of debt. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or still in school and have started repaying your student loan, these tips will help you keep your college debt under control.
Consolidate and refinance
Refinancing your student loan is a faster option for clearing your loan. The main aim of refinancing is to decrease interest rates. This implies that more of the payments will go down your student loan. With refinancing, you can also get loans with interest rates of 2% on a monthly repayment schedule.
Apply your raises
If you have a job that offers raises each year as part of work compensation, you can apply a part of it towards the settlement of your student loans. While you deserve a nice condo for sale or for rent or the latest electronics, you can channel some amount to settling your student loans. This will help ease the burden. Within a few months, you’ll realize you have little left to settle.
Pay more than the minimum amount
This is among the easiest ways you can apply to reduce your debt. Just take the amount you are supposed to pay each month and add extra money to it. To make it easier, you can set up an automatic schedule for that extra amount. This will make it hard for you to change your mind often. Even if it means adding only $20 each month, you should consider the amount and work on increasing gradually over time.
Know your grace period
The grace period is the duration you’re given before you begin repaying your student loan after leaving school. The grace period varies for private students so you should consult with the lender. Before this period elapses, you can work on a plan that will help you make a substantial initial payment that will possibly reduce the debt by at least 10%.
Choose the right payment option
Most people use the standard 10-year repayment plan, but you can extend your payment period. This will lower the monthly payments, but you will be subjected to paying more interest over the period chosen above the standard plan. You can opt for income-driven plans, which will minimize your monthly payments while maintaining a reasonable percentage of interest. In that way, you can still consider other investments, like buying real estate in the Philippines — or any other place, for that matter.
If you’re facing challenges and cannot repay the loan because of unemployment, health issues or other financial problems, you can always seek a postponement of the repayment plan, otherwise known as deferment and forbearance. An unemployment deferment is an ideal choice if you cannot find work immediately after college. Just keep in mind that, during forbearance, interest accrues — and that increases your debt.
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