Here at Debt Roundup, we take any forms of debt seriously. After struggling to pay off over $50,000 of credit card debt and $25,000 in loans, we know what it feels like to be buried under that mountain. It sucks. Plain and simple.
We’re especially focused on the massive student loan epidemic that is hurting those trying to get an education, but immediately starts out in a hole. I guess we should be giving out shovels instead of diplomas when we walk people across the stage at commencement. While we have a bit of information revolving around student loan debt (and ways to pay them off), we wanted to get a perspective from someone working through college right now.
Here is the story of Lauren Davidson, who is working on saving money on her student loans while still in college. I hope you enjoy her story.
Simply put, student loans are a bummer. They can drain you financially and weigh on you emotionally. During your repayment, they may seem to haunt you, no matter what you do. I have personally taken steps to make sure I save money while paying down the amount I owe at the same time, and I would like to share them!
To give you a brief background about myself, I just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in English and Communications. Aside from my degrees, I also left school with a substantial amount of student loan debt – unfortunately.
Below, I will talk about some of the ways that I was able to save on my student loans while I was still in college. I hope that you will be able to use this information and put it into play in your own life to help you or your family save as well.
Take Advantage of Subsidized Federal Student Loans
Subsidized federal loans are a wonderful way to pay for school, especially if you have financial need. The reason is because these loans do not accrue interest while you are in school. Therefore, you do not have to worry about the interest payment on these while you are taking classes.
I have a couple of subsidized loans and I loved the fact that I did not have to worry about the interest while in school. Though I told myself I would always try to make payments towards my student loans while in school, knowing my loans were not accruing interest allowed me to put them on the back burner if I was strapped for cash.
Pay Down Interest on Private Student Loans During School
Did you know you have an option to pay interest on your private student loans while you are in college? Many students simply elect not to do this, but I did. I tried to make as many interest payments as I could on my private loans, so that it did not get added onto my principal balance causing subsequent interest charges to be higher. You see, interest on private loans still accrues during college. This means that you should make payments towards interest while still in school. If you don’t, then you’ll end up paying more towards the end of your loan repayment. The more money you can put towards the principle amount lowers the amount you will pay in interest too.
Think About Student Loan Refinancing
Okay, one of the first private student loans I took out in college had an interest rate of over ten percent. Boy, oh boy, did I not realize how much pain this would cause me in the future. I was making huge monthly payments just to pay off the interest and hardly touched the principal balance of the loan. I recently learned that I may have the opportunity to refinance the loan in the future and I definitely plan on it.
Before I apply for refinancing, I hope to improve my credit score some. In college I had a credit card but didn’t use it much, leaving with little credit history. Not only can improving my credit increase my chances of being approved for refinancing, it may also allow me to get an even lower interest rate!
Student loans can really be a hassle. Even if you make all of your payments on time without having too much strain on your budget, it still feels like the debt will never go away. Heck, most of my loans haven’t even gone into repayment yet and I already feel the pressure of the debt looming over my head.
Whatever your situation is, there are some easy steps you can make to save while still in college and even once you enter repayment. Be sure to do your research, be careful with your money, consider your options, and you’ll be just fine!
Lauren Davidson is a recent graduate exploring new ways to make money to help her pay down her student loan debt. She hopes to soon start a blog to help track her journey and help borrowers in similar situations.
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
Even if you don’t plan on getting a loan, a good credit score can affect your ability to get a job, a place to live, and will save you money whenever you need to borrow. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get yours free at Credit Sesame. It’s 100% free with no credit card required to signup. I’ve been using it for years to monitor my credit score.