Student loan debt seems to take forever to pay off! With so much of each payment going straight to interest, we sometimes feel like we’ll never be free from these payments. There’s some truth behind that feeling. If we just paid the minimum payment each month, it would take a long time to pay off our student loans.
But, we’ve learned a trick or two to help us make progress on student loan debt. We wanted to share our findings with you, in case you’re ready to accelerate the repayment process.
Pay More Frequently
Interest accumulates daily. So we started making smaller loan payments more frequently. The easiest method we’ve found is to make a payment every two weeks. We just took our minimum payment, and divided it in half. Then we started paying that amount every two weeks. Not only does this method help keep the interest from accumulating, it also puts an extra payment toward our debt every year.
It’s important to time this strategy just right. We need both half payments to get to our lender before the due date. Otherwise we’ll be slammed with late fees. Those fees would defeat the purpose of paying more frequently, so we want to avoid them.
Here’s another simple strategy that works well. Instead of just paying the minimum balance, we round our payment up. For instance, if we owe $225 a month, we round up to $230. Though $5 a month doesn’t sound like much, it really does make a difference when done consistently.
Consolidating multiple student loans can also help, especially if we can lower our interest rate at the same time. We can check with our lender, or a third-party consolidation company to see if consolidation is right for our situation.
Put Extra Money on the Debt
If we’re really trying to get our debt paid down quickly, we should put extra money on the debt. Whether we’re reducing our spending, or taking on a side-hustle to increase our income, putting a quarter of all extra income on our debt will help us pay it down more quickly.
Slowly Increase Payments
Sometimes we have a tough time suddenly sending extra money to our student loan debt. One strategy we can use to help make the adjustment mentally is to slowly increase payments.
The first month month we could send two payments of $115 each to reach our goal of $230. Then, the next month we’d step that up a bit. We’d send two payments of $120 each. Paying only $5 more each time doesn’t seem like a huge budget hit to us, so we don’t mind it as much.
If we consistently increase our payments by $5 each month, we’ll send a lot of extra money to our loans by the end of a year. Baby steps really do pay off!
Earn More with iRazoo
One way to earn more to pay toward that student loan debt is to sign up for an iRazoo account. We can redeem our points for gift cards to our favorite retailers; which can help us send more from the regular budget to pay off our student loans. If you aren’t earning with iRazoo, you’re missing out, so sign up today!