How to Pay Off Student Loans Faster - Most Important Things You Should Know

Michael Lefler
by Michael Lefler
Published: June 2, 2020

One major concern that a lot of Americans between 20-30 struggle with is how to pay off student loans. According to Experian, a credit reporting agency, student loans are becoming a more serious issue.

Consequently, it reached a record-breaking high, particularly in 2019, documenting $1.41 trillion. This showed a 6% increase in the figure from its 2018 record. It also showed a huge spike of 33% since 2014, which was recorded at $1.06 trillion.

Education is one of the most essential things in your life; thus, borrowing to invest in your degree is vital. That said, it is important to find some effective ways to pay off student loans. You got a degree to boost and ensure your lifetime income, so do not let your student loan debt crush your dreams.

However, is repaying your student loan faster the best option for you?

Pros and Cons of Paying Off Your Student Loans Early

Pros of Paying Off Student Loans Fast

Let us state the obvious and say that to repay student loans early means to free yourself from your loan debt faster. Moreover, you will not be dealing with the interest rate, which guarantees a return on your money. You can save thousands of dollars with early loan payments in full.

So, what is the best way to pay off student loans without the setback of interest rate? What you can do is double your monthly payment instead of the scheduled basic amount. For instance, you secured a student loan amounting to $10,000, which you need to pay in a 10-year term. On top of that, you also need to comply with the 5% APR.

Making your student loan payments with your scheduled $106 on your 120 schedule monthly payments, you will be able to complete it in 10 years. You will also have paid your interest rates of $2,728 over the original $10,000. If you do your student loan payments and double the amount, you can pay your student loans faster.

Paying your student loan in full will only take four years and five months with $1,157 in interest. When you double up your loan payment, you can save money, getting out of your student loan debt quicker, particularly less than half the time. Your extra payments also allow you to save on half the interest.

Cons of Paying Off Student Loans Fast

As to the downside of paying off your student loans fast, the degree may vary from one person to another. Take note that it would mean you will have limited money that you can supposedly spread over different goals. If you hang on to your cash, you may have some benefits, after all.

You may choose to double your loan payments, but there are some things you would have to sacrifice. For instance, making a long-term investment in the stock market is not possible with a limited financial resource. To comply with your due date and make an extra payment toward your loan can repay your student loan debt faster. However, it is also difficult to save for unexpected job loss or expenses.

The extra amount you’re paying also keeps you from saving for what you deem as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Before you decide to double your monthly payments, make sure you look at what you are paying the interest rates particularly. The general rule of thumb is to earn interest than pay it. However, the lower they are, the less incentive for you to repay your debt or save money.

Pros and cons of paying off your student loan early

Making sure you are not missing out on some important financial ventures could be your best option. Take note that you must borrow with a low-interest rate and invest in a higher interest rate. Remember that paying down your student loan debt has a guaranteed return, while investment involves risks.

Another thing to remember about federal student loans is that they are not your typical line of credit. If you are making advanced monthly repayments toward your loan, you cannot borrow it back. Therefore, paying only the minimum payment may also have its upside, particularly in letting you hold onto your cash.

Effective Techniques for Paying Off Your Student Loans

Student loan payments are essential to rid yourself of the financial burden that comes with it. However, you need to know how to pay back student loans and do it fast. Is there are secret formula on how you can repay a student loan that would not drag for years? You can follow some strategies that will help you save money and fully repay your current loan balance faster. Remember that repaying the principal balance quicker, will reduce the interest overall.

Organize Your Debt Effectively

Being bound to your student loan debt makes you feel like your lenders are enslaving you, yet your student loan payments need not be a life sentence.

Start with a long-term plan. Determine how much you actually owe and organize it by creating a spreadsheet. This should include the total loan balance, minimum monthly payments, due date, and interest rates.

Follow this practice to give you a clearer picture of your personal finance and repayment obligation every month. Pay your student loans fast, starting with a spreadsheet that shows everything in detail. Check out your monthly payment, interest rate, due date, and focus on how much you have already repaid.

Create a Pay Off Student Loans Plan

There are two choices to repay student loans, depending on your capacity to pay and comply with the repayment term. One option is to manage multiple student loans while the other is to consolidate them. Identifying the smartest move to pay off student loans means to match it with your available budget and other personal finance goals.

Organize your due dates if you intend to go with multiple federal educational loan payments. However, consolidating your student loan is more suitable and can ease your payments while enjoying a lower interest rate.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

Paying off your student loan is a financial obligation every month, and you need to get on a budget to make it work. Consider a zero-based monthly budget to see where your money is going exactly, thus, where to cut back. This can result in some “extra” money that you can spend on your student loans per month.

Register for Automatic Payments

Check out some ways on which you can repay educational debts monthly without too much burden. For instance, some loan servicers offer a small interest rate reduction when you sign up for automatic payments. Loan servicers can cut around 25% off your interest rates if you opt to register for direct deposit. Consequently, this lowers the total loan cost while making sure you do not miss a monthly payment, improving your credit score as well.

Consider Extra Payments than the Minimum Payment

As mentioned earlier, you can repay student loans fast and complete it ahead of time, saving you money on paying the interest. Paying only the minimum monthly payment will obviously not get you anywhere fast. Make extra payments and finish dealing with your loan debt in no time. You will no longer be enslaved to your lender and start with your other goals with the money that you have.

Make Payments Every Two Weeks

When you repay a student loan every two weeks, you are actually saving money on interest. This type of payment can pay half of your student debt, leading to full extra payment per year. Repaying your loan debt faster means saving time and money, which your total interest requires you to pay. The secret to this is to make sure that both your payments are complied with before the due date.

Use the Debt Snowball Method

This method can help you if you want to comply with your student loan obligations by dumping your student loan debt. For instance, make a list of all your other debts, such as secured loans, private student loans, and unsecured loans. Classify each loan from smallest to largest balance. Pay off the lowest educational loan balance. While doing this, you are putting in extra money to repay the first debt, ensuring a minimum payment on all the other loans.

Get familiar with effective ways to pay off student loans quickly

Complete Your Capitalized Interest Pay Off

This strategy is potentially effective, requiring you to focus on the interest that is not paid off.

Capitalized interest can affect your overall educational loan by adding to your balance. The interest accumulates while in forbearance, deferment, or while you are still in school. However, even when the interest accrues, you can make federal student loan payments monthly. This makes your student loan balance less; thus, easier to repay as you avoid capitalization. In case you’re still in the grace period, focus on paying off the accrued interest.

Maintain Your Standard Repayment Plan

Federal student loans are automatically on a 10-year repayment timeline. You can stick to the standard repayment plan of your federal loans, especially if you cannot make big extra payments each month. Staying with your standard plan allows you to take the quicker road to a debt-free future.

Learn the Raise and Tax Refund Application

Pay your student loans fast by applying for every raise and tax refund, focusing on the full repayment of your student debt. Some professionals have raised and tax refunds and, unfortunately, misspend them. It is wise to put your extra income into something essential such as repaying your student loan debts. Prioritize paying off student loans, and you will have more money once you are debt-free.

Choose to Refinance – If it Works

Student loan refinancing is one of the options you can choose from when dealing with your student loan debt. Depending on your goals, choosing to refinance could help reduce your monthly repayment or pay off your student loans quicker. You can opt for a new loan term that is shorter than your current loan.

However, refinancing may not always be the right move for everyone. Student loan refinancing works by taking your federal or private student loan to a lender, wherein that loan will be paid off.

Doing this would rid yourself of your student loans, but it also means you owe this new lender the amount that they paid for your student loan debt. The main goal of student loan refinancing is to ensure better payment terms and interest rates (including a competitive interest rate). Consequently, you pay less every month toward your loan for a shorter period to one lender.

Find a Side Hustle to Increase Your Income

You can always repay your student loans by increasing your income, and doing this requires a little creativity. Consider having a side hustle like a part-time job, which can give you extra cash. You can drive an Uber, house-sit, or walk dogs for the extra money, which you can toss at your student loan debt.

Do Your Repayment Plans Analysis

Know every important detail of your student loan debt to help you pay it down strategically. Analyze your repayment plans and see which one can effectively help you pay loans fast. You can go to the National Student Loan Data System to get the information you need. Track your private student loans or get updates about your credit score. This way, you will figure out the best approach that can help you pay off student loans without affecting your other financial obligations.

Ask Your Employer for Help

Some employers may offer loan repayment incentives or money, which they consider an employee benefit. You can find out if you are eligible for it or if your company offers that benefit so that you can enroll. That extra amount of money can be of great help, especially if you want to double your monthly payment.

Also, some jobs may offer student loan forgiveness in return for working in a service capacity. Check if your career goals may be adjusted to the criteria for student loan forgiveness programs.

Bottom Line

Investing in your education has consequences and rewards, but it is all worth it in the end. The best strategies on how to pay off student loans can help you become debt-free in the future. Of all the effective steps you have learned, sticking with your payment and religiously complying with it is the key to pay back your loans finally. Do your obligation and reap the fruits of your hard work.


Topics and Questions to Answer

• How can I pay off my student loans faster?

There are many strategic steps to repay your student loans quicker, such as organizing your student loan debt, creating a pay-off plan, making extra payments, refinancing, student loan forgiveness programs (if eligible), using your grace period, and increasing your income with a side hustle.

• Is it smart to pay off your student loans early?

Repaying your student loans early has its pros and cons, just as any other loan payments have. For the upside, you can repay your loan in a short time, freeing you from paying the interest and saving money in the long run. However, it can have downsides, such as not having the money, which you can invest or need for unexpected circumstances.

• How long do you have to pay off your student loans?

The automatic federal student loan term is 10 years. However, you can pay it early to ensure a debt-free future. Federal loans may also provide income-driven pay off plans, which can help extend your repayment timeline to 20 or 25 years. Your private student loan term is agreed with your lender upon signing the loan agreement.

• How can I pay off my student loans in a year?

If you still owe a considerable amount, this might not be possible. However, you can make payments twice per week so that you can repay your student loan quicker and save money on the interest.

Mike Lefler shares his interest in a wide range of different subjects, including his love for finance-related writing. The passion for writing, related exceptional skills and his years of study, along with a Master’s Degree at Southwest Minnesota State University led him to become one of the brilliant authors in the massive finance arena and in the area of Financial Planning and Lending Industry.

At the same time, his ability to identify the main points of various aspects and intention to significantly contribute makes him a great team member and a valuable part of 1FirstCashAdvance.

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