If you have a student loan to pay off, the feeling you get when you graduate can be a weird mixture of pride and worry. If you earned an expensive law degree at Vermont Law or any other private law school, then you could be very deep in debt. However, it’s not impossible to get yourself through it all in one piece. Here are 5 student loan tips for recent college graduates.
You probably already know this, but you want to try to find a job as soon as possible once you graduate from college. If you haven’t already found a job, then consider your job search a full-time job with the commitment, responsbility and accountability you would expect of any future employment.
If you have hefty student loans to pay off, then you want to be sure that you don’t start working full-time for an internship unless it’s a paid one. You need to make as much money as possible so that you can get your loan paid off quickly and not fall deeper in debt. It’s not unlikely that you will need to take on multiple jobs for the first few years after college.
2. Set Your Monthly Payments
Once you have landed a job or two, it’s time to start determining how much you can realistically start paying each month on your student loan. Just remember, the more you pay now, the sooner you will be done paying your loan off and the less you will need to pay in interest.
Once you’ve decided how much you can pay each month, be sure to set up automatic payments from your checking account so that you never fall behind.
3. Curb Your Spending
In order to pay off as much of your loan as possible each month, you’re going to have to cut out some of your more extraneous expenses. If you are spending unnecessary cash on shopping, eating out, recreational activities, or anything else, then you’re going to have to give yourself a realistic budget for all your superfluous expenses so that you can get your loan paid off. Instead, make those activities the incentive for paying off your loan as quickly as possible.
4. Avoid Relying on Credit
When you were in college, you lived most, or even your entire life off of borrowed credit. In which case, it can be very hard to stop depending on it for your day-to-day expenses. However, now it’s time to pay off those debts, which means that you will need to rely on earning your own cold, hard cash in order to get by. The last thing you want to do is dig yourself deeper in debt when you should be clawing your way out.
5. Beware of Credit Consolidators
If you do have multiple lines of credit to pay off and you’re struggling to do so, be careful not to put your finances into the hands of a disreputable credit consolidator. In some cases these people actually can help you pay off your debt in a more efficient and manageable manner, but sometimes they just make it worse. So if you do decide to go this route, be sure to do your research.