Student loans seriously suck.
At Money Life Wax, my number one goal is to help the millennial generation with personal finance, specifically student loan debt.
Chances are if you don’t have student loan debt, you most likely know at least 10 people who do. It is not often a question of if you have student debt, but more like how much do you have.
The average college graduate in 2016 walked away with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt. 72% of college graduates had at least some student loans.
Beat the Label
As much as we all might hate the label “millennial,” the truth is the gen-y’s, entitled kids of the 80’s/90’s, or whatever other name you want to call us got dealt a crappy hand with regards to higher education and college tuition.
I can speak for most people born in between 1982-2002 when I say that our parents thought the key to the good life was college. So when I say we were dealt a crappy hand, we just so happened to enroll in college right about the time when tuition, federal aid, and higher education exploded.
However, just because it has been engraved in us since we were in middle school to get good grades in high school, so you can get into a good college and get a good job that pays the bills, we don’t have to be victim to what I call bad advice.
Solutions for your Student Loans (or debt)
I decided to create a cumulative article with some of the Money Life Wax Posts that predominantly focused on student loans. I have come to realize that each person has a unique situation and each case is different.
For example – consolidating can be really hurtful in the long run in one situation, but maybe beneficial in another. Catch my trend?
I don’t fancy myself as a student loan expert, but paying off over $100,000 in student loan debt, (Nevermind the $17,000 interest charges that were tacked on to start 2017) does take some effort. My wife and I have been able to learn first hand how to go about attacking debt, and we have gotten pretty good at it.
The main ingredient – self discipline and temporary lifestyle changes. So within all of that, in order to pay off student loans, I think it boils down to a few things:
# 1 Inspiration to start paying off loans
# 2 Mindset shift for society in regards to student loans and higher education
#3 Actual strategies that work
#4 Refinance only if it works out in the long run.
Here is a list of my top 8 Posts for paying off Student Loans:
Everyone needs some inspiration to get started on their journey. Read about how our student loan debt almost ruined our lives (like seriously $300,000 is a lot of student loan debt) and check out how we have actually paid off $109,000 in the last 21 months.
Being inspired is great, but sometimes it will take a little more to get the ball rolling. From living on a budget to understanding how student loans work, sometimes the thought of living below your means seems is almost socially taboo. If you have not paid off your student loans or saved a huge emergency fund in the past, then you will need a shift in mindset.
Here my best picks for the potential mindset needed to start crushing your debt. As a bonus, if you haven’t already subscribed, do so now and you will get the GOOD Budget Sheet that teaches you step by step how to eradicate debt!
Stop Comparing Yourself Financially to Your Friends (or you might never get out of debt)
Strategies That Work
You are inspired and now you have the mindset that will help you pay off all of your debt in less than 2-3 years. Just imagine, two years from now you took all your monthly payments and put them in a vacation fund, how many vacations could you take then?
Typically the simplest strategy is to just line up all your student loans (or consumer debt, auto debt) from least to greatest. Still paying minimums on all debt, take extra income you freed up using the “Kill Your Extra Spending” post from below and apply it to the smallest debt.
As you pay it off, roll the balance to the next one. The reason being, you need to pay the principal off faster so the interset doesn’t accumulate.
As a bonus, if you own a home and want to use an acceleration trick that is not conventional, look below at the acceleration post that has helped us knock out a crap ton of student loan debt!
In some instances, refinancing could be your best option. BUT it is not what is best for everyone. For starters, if you have federal loans, don’t just go refinancing them without reading up first. When you refinance privately, you lose some of the federal perks. It also might be easier to pay them off when they are a bunch of small loans using the debt snowball approach as compare to one big loan. Read in full below:
I hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to share with friends and family that have student loans, or maybe someone in college right now.