Finishing your college education is a major achievement that should make you proud – whether you get a 4-year degree or go all the way through graduate school. After that task has been completed, paying off your student loans will come next. This can take years to accomplish. However, there are ways to reduce your student loans, which will enable you to pay it off faster.
Look for Loan Forgiveness Programs
If you are going into certain career fields, you may be able to qualify for loan forgiveness, which will allow you to reduce your student loans or eliminate them altogether. Some career fields have programs that allow for student loan forgiveness. For the best advantage, you need to apply before starting school. These fields include teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, public service, and the military. Others may require that you be already working in the field before receiving any loan forgiveness.
Most states also have some student loan forgiveness programs – but not all. The programs will differ from one state to another. Private organizations may also offer financial help if you agree to work for them for a specified number of years. They often require working among less privileged people in rural areas where people working in essential career fields are very limited.
Check with Your Employer
Some employers are now giving tuition assistance to their employees that pursue higher education at accredited schools. It may require you to pay for the course in advance and then bring proof of successful completion -and the bills to your employer – who will then reimburse you in your paycheck.
Establish Good Credit
One of the best ways to get good terms on a school loan is to have a good credit score. If not, take the time to raise it. You can raise it by paying all of your bills on time and always pay at least the minimum required amount. You will also need to reduce your other debt. It will not be possible to get a good deal on a loan if you have a lot of other debt besides your student loans.
Stay at Your Job
Lenders want to know that you have a stable income and will be able to make payments each month. Moving from job-to-job will likely prevent you from getting good loan terms – and you may not be able to get a new loan at all.
Consolidate Your Debt
One of the easiest ways to do this is to take out a new loan to combine your student loans. You want to put them into a single loan, which will give you just one payment per month.
It will be necessary to apply to more than one place to get a good deal. You want to get the lowest possible interest rate on the loan. With a good credit score, you should be able to get a loan with an interest rate that is lower than the loans you currently have. This could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, which will enable you to pay it off faster. Also, make sure that there is no penalty for paying off the loan early.
You will be able to further reduce the amount you owe by making your payments larger than the minimum amount required. Be sure not to miss any payments or send in late payments since it will be reflected in your credit score.