Student loans and student loan debt have been a hotly contested issue in the past several years – and for good reason. With the cost of college tuition higher than ever before, the vast majority of college students have one type of student debt or another. In fact, recent studies show that one in five college aged adults have some sort of student debt.
The problem with student loans and their associated debts wouldn’t be as enormous if it weren’t for the additional fact that many college graduates just aren’t getting well-paying jobs right out of college. In past years, it was all but a given that a college education and a degree could get you a solid, well-paying long-term career job in your chosen field. Even if you graduated school with some debt, you were well on your way to paying it off.
Today more students than ever before are leaving college only to struggle for months (or years) to find a reasonably well-paying job. Some are never even able to find one and have to accept lower-paying jobs in other fields. All of this added together makes the current debt problem trickier, tougher, and more important than at any other point in the past.
Luckily, there are many ways that you can get a handle on your debts so that you can get out of them as quickly as possible. Worrying about your debts and struggling to pay them off can weigh down on your life considerably. Plus, the longer your debts are around for, the more that you will end up eventually paying towards them in the form of interest.
We’ve talked a lot about student debts here on Project Debt Relief in the past. However, much of what we have looked at has been on managing your student loans and finding the lowest interest rates for student debts. While this advice is no doubt valuable to the college student, it does nothing to erase the fact that many people out there are still struggling to pay their loan debt off.
And that’s what today’s article is based on. We’re going to look at how you can get a handle on your student debt situation and how you can pay it off as quickly and effectively as possible.
Get Started Early
When it comes to student loan debts, perhaps the best possible thing that you can do is to get started on them early. This means both looking at them and understanding all of their terms, and beginning to pay them off.
It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to student loans. You’re young and you have a long time to pay them off. Yeah right! Many students have debts that are so high that they need to be paid off as quickly as possible. Or at least you need to get an early start, set up good repayment habits, and take a big chunk out before they creep up on you.
Many older Americans are experiencing this student debt hurt already. Their student debt loans have snuck up on them and become a real problem as they are make their way through their mid to late sixties and get ready to retire.
Set Up a Budget Plan
Nearly any problem involving debt or debt relief can be solved, in part, by setting up a budget plan. A strong budget plan just makes saving money (and putting some of this saved money towards your debt payments) all the easier.
Take a look at our post on little known budgeting tips to make your budget plan as strong as possible. The fewer expenses that you have, the more extra money you can pay towards your debts, and the quicker you will be debt-free.
Look Into Debt Consolidation
Looking into student loan debt consolidation is a very intelligent thing to look into if you are a post-college student. This is especially true if you have multiple different student loans.
Debt consolidation is a simple concept to understand. What happens is that all of your loan debts are put together (consolidated) into a single monthly payment. Having a single bill makes your payments much easier to keep track of and make. If you play the game correctly, you can sometimes even garner a lower combined interest rate for your new consolidated debt as well.
Consider a Loan Forgiveness Program
Another great way to get out of student debt that you might want to consider is a loan forgiveness program. These programs, which are offered by the military, the federal government, and state governments, serve to wipe out part of (or all of) your debt for a few short years of service.
Most of these programs are involved with fields such as health care, law enforcement, or military but they usually don’t require that you have a degree in one of these. Others, like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or the Military, are even more lenient about the majors of the college grads that they accept.
Student debt has been a big problem in America in the past several decades. And the problem doesn’t look like it will be eradicated soon. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, it is better to take ahold of your particular situation yourself. Work hard, pay off your debts as soon as you can, and consider the other advice discussed above.
With some effort, you can pay off all of your student loan debts once and for all.