Posted: Contributor | March 24, 2014

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Strategies to Help You Pay Your Student Debt Off Quickly

While moving out into the workforce can be an exciting thing, any remaining student loan debt can definitely hasten the joy of finally finishing school. If you're interested in getting the weight of a student loan off your shoulders sooner rather than later, here are some ways to speed up debt repayment.

Take Advantage of the Non-Repayment Period

With many student loans, there is a six-month non-repayment period following your graduation where interest will accrue on your loan but you won't be expected to pay a minimum. However, instead of foregoing payments during this time, take advantage of it and make payments consistently so you can get in the habit of paying down your debt. While twenty or thirty dollars here and there might not seem like a lot, it can actually take months off of your debt repayment. Interest compounds quickly and it really adds up.

Bump Up Your Monthly Payments

Like many other types of loans or debt payments, it can be tempting to pay just the minimum every month. However, this means that you'll have to pay more on your loan because of interest payments that are accruing on the total amount. Instead, make a promise to yourself to pay more than the minimum up to an amount that is manageable for you. As this means less interest accrued, putting a few more dollars down each month can have a significant impact on the total amount you end up paying and can mean you'll be clear of your debt much sooner.

Be Strict With Your Budget

While the idea of making a budget is never popular, since it generally requires hemming in personal expenses and the money you use for fun, it's very important to have one when paying off a loan. By having a budget, you'll be able to discern what costs are necessary and which costs can be avoided, and this means more money goes towards paying down your debt. While you might think that you can stick to a plan without formalizing it, writing it down can actually make you aware of just how much you overspend. You might even be surprised by how much extra money it gives you each month.

Consider a Second Job

If you've studied your way through school and you've successfully moved into the workforce, getting another job can seem like a step back, but it can actually put you in a better financial position more quickly. As an extra job will give you some extra funds to play around with, it means you'll be able to make higher monthly debt repayments and still have some extra funds to have fun with since you'll be working so hard.

While the debt that goes along with being a student can be one of the most stressful parts of an education, there are ways to get rid of it more quickly. Whether you commit to more than the minimum payment or decide a second job is the way to go, there's no reason you can't put your debt behind you and move into your future much sooner than expected.

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