3 Ways You Can Deal with Student Loan Debt Anxiety
The one debt we hate to talk about but need to.
According to NPR, Americans are about $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. College grads all over America are facing student loan debt and are trying to find different ways to pay them off. Here are some different methods that can ease the stress of paying back the loans.
#1- First, let’s understand the payments.
Department of Education as well as other student loan organizations have made efforts to assist Americans with student loan programs, including certain loan forgiveness programs and monthly payments that are income driven. If you do your research on the loans and interest rates you have, it will be easier to deal with the monthly payments. Look at the monthly payment for each loan, the interest rates, check if it’s a subsidized or unsubsidized loan and the expected pay off date. For those who have multiple loans, you can also decide if loan consolidation would be a better option. And when you are confused, please do not hesitate to reach out to a loan servicing representative to get a more knowledgeable perspective on your options. When researching how to reduce the interest rate on my loans, I found a way to reduce a quarter of the interest rates on all of my student loans by signing up with direct debit (monthly automatic payments), which introduces the next point.
#2 Try signing up for those monthly payments
If paying your student loans really is a stressful thing to think about, then have the payments deducted out of your account automatically. Make it a bill that you don’t have to think about paying late. I know the day of the month my loan payment is due and feel a sense of relief having it being deducted out of my account without me manually paying it. This option is also a great idea for those who are carrying the burden of finding a realistic budget to work with. If you have an automatic payment of $193 on the 12th of every month, you can evaluate all of the other things you may find yourself spending money on. And making those student loan payments on time could also help those who are concerned with maintaining a great credit score! Feel the flexibility of paying the minimum amount required each month as well as having the option to make higher payments every once in a while — $50 here or $75 there- in addition to your automatic payment.
#3 Take charge & make it fit YOUR lifestyle
I made it a point to avoid having student loans take over the bulk of my income. I am on a graduated payment plan, whereas my monthly payment increases every two years based on the assumption my income will be increasing. It feels good to finally receive a job after graduating, but it’s a dreadful feeling to feel like your hard-earned paycheck will go all to your loans. After the typical six-month grace period, some wish to continue without paying loans and decide to delay loans. Please take caution in doing so. Unless your reason for delaying student loans is because of job security or graduate school, the sooner the better is the best option due to interest rates and additional financial ties. But make it fit into what’s best for you. Make a decision early going into repayment status if you want to lower or raise the monthly payments. And make sure you know the options to change your payment plan if it’s not working out for you.
When it is time to pay back student loans, continue to live within in your means but most importantly –don’t ever feel bad for treating yourself! This is honestly one of the best ways to beat anxiety. Don’t feel guilty for having debt; it is in fact a part of many people’s financial burdens. Instead, feel great that you have a plan in conquering it and just know that if you keep up with the required payments the loans WILL eventually go away!
*If you got this far into this article, tap the heart! Thank you for reading.