Advertising
Advertising

The Smartest Way to Pay Off Your Student Loans

The Smartest Way to Pay Off Your Student Loans

Graduation is just around the corner for millions of college seniors around the world. Concerns like college rankings, mid-terms and essay samples will be a thing of the past. Of course, these will be replaced by new worries: finding a job, deciding on grad school and for most, the dreaded student loan repayment.

In today’s economy, students have more debt than ever before; some estimate the total amount of student loan debt is well over 1 trillion dollars in the United States alone. While these numbers are daunting, the repayment process doesn’t have to be. By following some simple suggestions, you can reduce you burden and your overall interest payments without living like a broke college student for the rest of your life!

Student loan

    1. Pay a little extra.

    Once you get started with your loan repayments, you might be feeling a little strapped for cash each month. The thought of sending them MORE money might seem a bit of a stretch. However, if you can manage to send even just $5 extra per month, even if it’s not every month, it can save you thousands in interest over the life of the loan. Experts estimate that for every extra dollar you spend, you can cut up to $2 off at the end. That can add up quick!

    Advertising

    square mobile payment

      2. Biweekly payments.

      It may sound strange, but sending in half of your loan payment every two weeks will save you thousands of dollars. In addition to paying less interest, you also manage to make an extra full payment every year. Consider the approach, especially if you are paid biweekly.

      4 Money-saving Ways To Make a Vacation Cheaper

        3. Sign up for automated payments.

        Contact your lender and ask about this option. Most will allow you to have your payments automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account on a regular interval you set up. The other good thing is that lenders will often lower your interest rate by as much as 0.25% if you make automatic payments. It may not sound like much, but it could knock a year, or more, off the life of your loan.

        Advertising

        You can also have the payment automatically deducted from your paycheck; it won’t hurt nearly as much as writing out a check will. Because you never get to see the money, you won’t miss it as much!

        save_money-banking

          4. Let the tax code work for you for a change.

          One of the good things about student loans is that the interest you pay on them is tax deductible, meaning you can subtract it right from your gross income. This means fewer taxes paid and usually a bigger refund for you.

          For example, if you pay $2,000 in interest on your loans in one year, and are taxed at a rate of 25%, that’s $500 less you owe in taxes, or $500 more in your refund check. If you turn that around and apply it as an extra payment towards your student loans, it means you will effectively be using the government’s money to lessen your debt.

          Advertising

          You Can Save a Ton of Money With Financial Compartmentalization

            5. Pay off variable rate loans first.

            If you have some loans that have a variable interest rate, consider paying them down faster first. While they may have a lower rate than your fixed rate loans, that can change quickly. As the economy improves (hopefully), interest rates can rise drastically, catching you off guard and raising your monthly payments significantly. You might even check into converting these to a fixed rate option. It never hurts to talk to your lender.

            31 Things To Do When You Have No Money

              6. Consolidate.

              This option may not help newer loans that have a fixed interest rate, but for older loans, you can often consolidate them into one monthly payment. This is often at a rate lower than what you are paying on the individual loans. Even if you don’t get a better rate, it may still be easier for you to make one payment per month instead of several.

              Advertising

              think about what you can do with the money

                7. Get someone else to pay it.

                While this sounds like a great idea, it’s not what you think—unless you have a rich uncle willing to write the check, that is! What you might seriously consider is that some companies that hire college grads may be willing to pay a lump sum payment towards your loans as part of your compensation package.

                You will probably have to accept a reduced salary, and agree to work for them for a specific number of years, but the reduced interest and length of time required to pay off your loans could make it worth it. Consider this option when you get to the salary negotiations stage or at your annual review if you are already working.

                No matter what you get your degree in, if you have student loans, repayment is soon going to be a reality for you. If you use some of these tips, you could easily save yourself thousands of dollars over the course of your loan. That’s no small change for simply applying some of these mostly painless suggestions.

                More by this author

                Google and Their Educational Programs The Smartest Way to Pay Off Your Student Loans young IT intern Make The Most Of Your Internship in 7 Easy Steps Student Guide to Effective Note Taking 10 Most Useful College Degrees In 2013

                Trending in Money

                1 40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5 2 Life Insurance: A Secure Way To Protect Your Future. 3 How To Save Money On Groceries: 13 Quick Tips 4 10 Investment Tips For Beginners 5 Top 6 Hacks on How To Build Credit Fast

                Read Next

                Advertising
                Advertising
                Advertising

                Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

                40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

                Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

                1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

                Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

                3080

                  2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

                  We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

                  3069_0

                    3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

                    Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

                    3074_0

                      4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

                      Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

                      Photo-Oct-26-21-e1414441326306-225x300

                        5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

                        Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

                        3077_0

                          6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                          We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

                          3078_1

                            7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                            This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

                            Advertising

                            3068

                              8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                              One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

                              3079

                                9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                                If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

                                R172184.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                  10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                                  Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

                                  R131419.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                    11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                                    Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

                                    RU193781.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                      12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                                      Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

                                      R150828.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                        13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                                        You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

                                        R058526.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                          14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                          With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

                                          RU191493.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                            15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                            Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

                                            Advertising

                                            Black-Bean-Cilantro-Mango

                                              16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                              If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

                                              IMG_4791

                                                17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                                The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

                                                RU173795.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                  18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                                  If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

                                                  R102170.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                    19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                                    Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

                                                    RU172118.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                      20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                                      I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

                                                      RU202653.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                        21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                                        Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

                                                        R131417.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                          22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                          You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

                                                          RU206151.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                            23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                            Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

                                                            Advertising

                                                            Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                              24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                              Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

                                                              Baja-Cali-Black-Bean-Salad-1024x682

                                                                25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                                Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

                                                                RU173796.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                  26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                                  If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

                                                                  R090413.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                    27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                                    Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

                                                                    R105114.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                      28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                      A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

                                                                      Quinoa-Brussels-Sprouts

                                                                        29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                                        You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

                                                                        Butternut-Squash-Chili

                                                                          30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                          Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

                                                                          RU170895.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                            31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                            Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

                                                                            Advertising

                                                                            RU161399.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                              32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                              Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

                                                                              burrito-cups-1

                                                                                33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                                Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

                                                                                RU172115.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                  34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                                  If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

                                                                                  RU170901.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                    35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                                    Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

                                                                                    R104031.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                      36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                                      Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

                                                                                      RU187523.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                        37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                                        You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

                                                                                        RU170642.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                          38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                          Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

                                                                                          R166367.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                            39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                            Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

                                                                                            R166368.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

                                                                                              40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                              You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

                                                                                              stuffed-sweet-potatoes

                                                                                                Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

                                                                                                Read Next