How do I pay off my student loans?

Find ways to manage student debt.

Paying off your student loans may be easier than you think. With some organization and planning, you can prepare to pay off your loans successfully. Here are some tips to consider when paying off your student loans.

Know how much you owe

Gather all your student loan documents (federal and private) and make sure you know the terms of each loan, including payment amounts, payment due dates, which you pay, and when you should start paying them (by usually six months after leaving college). Check the due dates of the payments to see if they are distributed or grouped in a part of the month. To facilitate cash flow, you could spread your payment dates throughout the month. Talk to your lender to find out if this is possible. Make sure to count the payments in your monthly budget.

Make it automatic

Setting up automatic payments from your checking account could help you manage your monthly student loan payments. You won’t have to worry about making individual payments. You might also have the ability to manage your monthly payments, as some lenders offer a lower interest rate if you sign up for automatic payments.

Pay off higher interest rate debts first

The interest rates you have on your loans are probably all different. If you put any additional money toward your loan with the higher interest rate first, you could pay off your loan faster and pay less interest.1

Consolidate

By refinancing all of your existing federal and private student loans into a new personal consolidation loan, you could lower your monthly payment and help simplify your monthly expenses. The price reduction could come from a lower interest rate, a longer loan term, or a combination of both. By extending the time of the loan, you may pay more in interest throughout the loan.

Know when to ask for help

If you are struggling financially and finding it difficult to make payments on a private student loan, you may be able to request a deferment. Deferral of fees is not a discharge; you will eventually have to pay off the loan in full. But perhaps this will allow you to postpone your payments and ease your current cash shortage. Federal loans offer deferral options for certain circumstances, such as military service, in addition to various payment options; therefore, check with your loan servicer or the U.S. Department of Education. for more information.

Setting up a plan and paying off your student loans as soon as possible helps free up valuable cash for other necessities in life.

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