There is no shortage of information out there on how to tackle student loan debt. But one of the biggest challenges in tackling student loan debt, and often debt in general, is simply making a good plan and seeing it through. Here are just a few tips to help you reign over your debt in the New Year by making a resolution to eliminate your student loans.
Bruce Lee your debt, or snowball it. Resolve to take them head on.
You too can deal with debt head on with like the master in a yellow track suit. This is also more popularly known as the snowball method and applies to credit card or other forms of debt. To ensure success, you have to keep up with your minimum payments and then apply any extra dollars to paying off one specific loan.
There are two methods to when choosing which loan to pay off next…
- Firstly, you can pay off the higher interest loan, taking out the heavy hitting bossman before he does more damage. This will tend to result in paying less overall.
- Secondly, you could choose to pay off the loan with the smallest balance, working your way up the ladder by taking on each loan one by one. This is a great way to feel good about making progress while tackling loans at a faster rate.
The key to either approach is consistency. Once you’ve established how much you will make in each payment cycle, keep that number. Do not lower how much you pay monthly as you cross off each loan from your list of headaches. Use the full amount to begin “snowballing” your success in repayment. The true martial arts action hero doesn’t stop until he or she has achieved victory in their objective.
Consider sitting with a debt consultant or advisor to make sure you’re on the right track.
Squeeze out more juice! Resolve to be more frugal.
Ok, so we would love to have this “extra cash” to pay beyond the minimums, but what do you do when that does not seem possible? Well, when you are cooking and need more lemon juice but you only have one lemon, what do you do? You squeeze it and hope to get enough out of it to save you the hassle of cutting up another lemon.
The lemon is how much money you have coming in monthly, post tax. The lemon juice you need is how much you pay in expenses monthly. You have to be efficient with your lemon juice, because you’ve got lots of salad, seafood, and poultry that needs lemon juice! If you do it just right, you can make that meal a flavorful masterpiece and maybe have a slice left over for a nice margarita as well.
For those who have never cooked a day in your life, you’re just taking how much money you have coming in and subtracting how much you spend on a monthly basis. If you end up with more of a surplus than you find in your bank account, maybe it’s time to get up earlier and make your own coffee. If not, see what you can cut back on or do without.
Consider consulting with a financial planner to help you better understand your budget. Don’t bring lemons.
Carry one bundle, not a pile! Resolve to get organized.
If you have multiple loans out there and have trouble managing them all, you may look to consolidate the loans at your banking institution, such as your local credit union. A Direct Consolidation Loan may also be done at the government’s StudentLoans.gov.
You should do your homework before deciding if or how you should consolidate your debt. However, once done, you should feel the burden becomes a little more manageable. It can be a big help to your stress levels to manage only one payment at a decent interest rate as opposed to managing four, five, or more different payments towards your student loans a month.
Have your loans forgiven after ten years! Resolve to be a superhero.
What else do you call a person who works to make an impact in their communities and help improve the human condition through either charity or public service? We love heroes because they use their strengths to help the world. Have you ever thought of working for a non-profit when you get out of college? If you work for 10 years in public service after college, you may qualify to have your student loans forgiven. Be sure to check out what jobs qualify, what loans qualify, and how your payment plan would work before you get all Conan the Barbarian and say, “to hell with you!” to those pesky student loans. Not exactly a superhero, but…
The New Year is Your Year
This may only give you a start and there are a lot of options out there from different repayment plans to using home equity in debt consolidation. Knowing everything can seem a daunting task, so just start simple – make a resolution. Take the reins in 2017 as if you just watched the most inspirational speech ever, then get planning and get doing.
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About the Author:
Matthew (Mateo) R Escobar – I love to cook for my family, dance, coach youth soccer, and pretend to know kung fu after watching a Jackie Chan movie. My bucket list is every commentary in Dos Equis’ “most interesting man in the world” commercials. For better or for worse, I have checked off more than a few.
As part of an elite team of financial consultants, I help businesses and families achieve their financial goals through personalized financial planning. I give my clients the tools and knowledge to navigate their financial future, bringing them peace of mind so they are prepared to enjoy what truly matters in life.
Matthew R Escobar is a Financial Professional at AXA Advisors, LLC. He is passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals and tailoring their investment style to match their personal values. He has cofounded West Side International Soccer, an all volunteer non-profit dedicated to youth mentoring through free soccer programming for primarily low income and refugee youths in Buffalo, NY. Most recently he was honored as one of Buffalo Business First’s 30 Under 30 Class of Honorees for 2016, selected for career achievement, leadership and initiative, community engagement and the potential to become a community leader on a grand scale. He is a proud husband and father of two.
Matthew Escobar is a registered representative who offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC and an agent who offers annuity and insurance products through AXA Network, LLC. AXA Network conducts business in CA as AXA Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC, in UT as AXA Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC, and in PR as AXA Network of Puerto Rico, Inc. AXA Advisors and AXA Network are affiliated companies and do not provide tax or legal advice. Representatives may transact business, which includes offering products and services and/or responding to inquiries, only in states in which they are properly registered and/or licensed. The information in this web site is not investment or securities advice and does not constitute an offer.
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