5 Ways To Control Your Student Loans Without Them Controlling You

financial planning student loan debt

Paying back your student loans can be confusing and frustrating. Here's 5 ways to pay them back like a boss!

1. Educate Yourself

There are many resources out there to help young adults with student loan debt. My favorite company Student Loan Hero offers a free service to help consolidate and keep track of all your student loan information. They offer a support team as well and have a great blog for reference. Two of my other favorite resources are askheatherjarvis.com and Jay Fleischman both of who now specialize as attorneys in helping people with student loan debt. They each have tools to help explain the student repayment options and how to deal with them in your daily life.

2. Know your loan servicer

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To clear things up, student loans, except those from banks, are federal loans. They are serviced by various companies called student loan servicers. They act as the liaison between you and the government. You will not actually ever work with the government to change repayment plans or make your payments. This will be done through the servicer, though the government does provide the resource of finding out who your servicer by visiting the National Student Loan Data System.

3. Communicate with them

Communication allows you to be proactive about paying down your debts and gives you the best chance at making sure you are on the right repayment plan for your current situation. Depending on your goals and situation your payment plan option is most likely going to change. And you can change which repayment plan you are on yearly basis depending on your situation. But you must communicate this with your student loan servicer.

4. Make Extra Payments On Your Principal

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If your money is going towards the interest, you are never going to pay down your balance. Your only paying down the interest which is still growing because you still have a balance and that's what the interests grows on. What you need to do is make extra payments to your principal amount. By paying down your principal you will see your balance decrease faster and be paid off sooner than the scheduled payoff date, but you have to stick to it. Paying off any debts takes sacrifice but you will gain more in the future when your debt is off your back. When making extra payments, be sure to call your loan servicer and explain to them you want the money to be applied to the principal. Otherwise they can wait to apply until the full payment amount has been added and they don’t have to apply it to the principal.

5. Don’t Ignore the Service Providers

This only makes matters worse. Addressing the problem head on is the only way to get out of debt. Thankfully with federal loans you will not end up in default as soon as you miss a payment. You will instead go into delinquency until you make up your missed payments. However if you miss more than 270 payments you will go into default which is not good. If you think default and declaring bankruptcy is a way out, it’s not as your student loans won’t go away in bankruptcy. Don’t fall for this and make sure that you are making your minimum payments and you're communicating with your servicer to learn what your best payment plan is for your situation.

I want to help you live your ideal life and sometimes that means taking action on the things that are holding us back like student debt. If you need help with figuring out the best payment debt plan for you please don’t hesitate to email me as I am happy to help and figure out what the best options are for you. steven@truemeasure.com 

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Steven LaFleur grew up in Rapid City, SD and after high school went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majored in finance and met his wife Kelly. After college graduation in 2013 working for the family business for three years Steven decided it was time to pursue a passion of his in helping people and their finances. Steven is now a financial advisor at True Measure Wealth Management in Omaha, NE. Steven and his wife Kelly have two daughters who keep them busy at all times of the day. Steven enjoys skiing in the mountains and also biking and golfing during the non-snowy months.