| Hi Taylor
- Do you have any recommendations for easing the burden of student
loan debt? I'm working steadily and making my payments on time, but
I'm wondering if there's a better approach than losing money every
month for the next 30 years. - Sharon
Hi Sharon - I've helped a lot of people fight through student
loan debt, and there are more options than you might think. In addition
to making regular payments, here are a few other tactics you can try.
your payments. If you feel comfortable with your finances,
you can always tighten your belt a little more and try to pay
the loans off faster. At first, it will feel like you can't possibly
afford it, but if you try cutting back on other expenses for a
couple months, there's a good chance those habits will stick and
you'll save loads of money in the long run. Remember that every
dollar you pay above the minimum saves you interest and reduces
the lifespan of that debt. If you make repayment your primary
objective, you'll surprise yourself with how much you can actually
afford each month.
2. Refinance. Imagine paying the same amount each month and
having the total balance go down even faster. That's exactly what
happens when you consolidate your loans with a good refinancing
company. If your interest rate is 4.5%, which isn't all that high,
you might still be able to lower that by a full point or more.
Assuming you have good credit and a stable job, any number of
student loan consolidation companies will be happy to assume your
debt and give you better terms than whatever you have at present.
If you don't know where to start, check out Splash Financial.
They are a small company but they genuinely try to help people
get out from under their student loan debt so they can move forward
with their lives. To read more about them and other student loan
debt companies, check out my latest post at GoFarWithKovar.com.
3. Stay the course. This might not be exactly what you
want to hear, but there's definitely a world in which you should
keep paying the minimum on your loans while shoring up other aspects
of your finances. If you have smaller credit card balances with
higher interest rates, make sure to get that debt off the books.
If you don't have an emergency fund, focus on building that safety
net so you can comfortably pay off your loans without potentially
forcing yourself to take on more debt. While student debt looks
awful on paper, you might benefit from focusing your efforts on
other debts before tackling student loans head-on.
this gives you a little direction, Sharon. If you're managing to
make payments and work a job you like, take a moment to recognize
that your debt isn't holding you back too much. Do what you can
to improve the situation and keep enjoying life!
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not
an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.