There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to mastering how to manage student loan debt. It’s a tough financial burden to bear, and it’s easy to get bogged down by feelings of anxiety, stress, and hopelessness.
But, the truth of the matter is, your debt does not define you.
You are more than your student loans. It might not seem true right now, but you can still take control of your financial fate. It’s all about learning how to deal with student loan debt, both financially and emotionally.
Here are three different ways you can take control of your student loan debt, rather than letting it control you.
1. Develop a mindset that empowers you
When it comes to learning how to manage student loan debt, the first thing you’ve got to think about is what your attitude is towards money and yourself.
First off, it’s time to get out of a mindset of helplessness and negativity. Feeling paralyzed, confused, or just plain hopeless comes from the story you tell yourself about your student debt and what it means to you.
Student loan debt is a part of your life (for now). But, again, it doesn’t have to define it.
What does your inner voice whisper when you think about dealing with your student loan debt?
Does it say things like:
- “This is your fault because you didn’t do well enough to get scholarships, so you had to borrow money.”
- “You’ll never be wealthy and you’ll always be in debt.”
- “You’re a failure because you have financial problems that you don’t know how to solve.”
The truth is, all that happened was you borrowed money to pay for higher education. But once you start attaching negative feelings to your student loan debt, you start believing they’re true.
However, it doesn’t need to be this way when you’re thinking about how to manage student loan debt. The good news is you have the power to change it.
Why? Because you started believing your own negative thoughts in the first place! That means you can choose to make up and believe a different story.
You can change your mindset, and say things like:
- “I made an investment in my future.”
- “My student loans provide me with opportunities to learn about personal finance in a way I might otherwise not have.”
- “I’m educated, intelligent, and capable. I will succeed in reaching my financial goals, which include repaying my loans.”
You can choose what you believe is true. And if you want to handle your financial life — and your loans — more confidently, then choose to believe something positive and energizing.
Tell yourself a story where you are capable, effective, and successful in paying down your student loan debt.
2. Strategize dealing with student loan debt
Feeling fired up and inspired? Good! Now, it’s time to make a plan around how to manage student loan debt that you can stick to over time.
Having a detailed roadmap that outlines the actions you need to take and when will help keep you motivated, even when things get tough.
It’s easy to despair and say, “I don’t know what to do!” However, giving yourself an action plan to follow means you don’t have to continue researching. And you’ll have something to lean on if you feel emotional or overwhelmed.
There are a variety of strategies you can use to help you repay your student loans.
If you’re motivated by the numbers, consider using the debt avalanche approach. If you need little victories along the way to keep you in action, try the debt snowball instead.
Don’t forget about options like debt consolidation, too when considering how to manage student loan debt. If you have a lot of loans with various payments and interest rates to track, it can help everything feel simplified and straightforward.
And don’t be afraid to research options for aggressively paying down debt. These might include finding ways to generate more income or cut costs out of your monthly budget so you can make bigger monthly payments.
3. Learn how to manage student loan debt today
You have the right mindset. You have a plan. Now it’s time to start making progress on repaying your student loans.
Check out these resources to help you get started:
- If you have federal student loans, be sure to check out repayment and forgiveness programs.
- The U.S. Department of Education also provides a complete website for student loan borrowers with an extensive list of resources.
- Contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you experience issues with your student loan servicer.
Use various Student Loan Hero calculators to help you play with the numbers and envision different scenarios. Tweaking the variables can help you see how different actions lead to different outcomes.
For instance, it can be extremely motivating to see how just an extra $50 or $100 per month put toward your student loans can accelerate the repayment process and save you money in interest over time.
Stay positive, focused, and motivated
Remember, at the end of the day, you are more than your student loan debt.
With the right mindset and game plan, you can set yourself up for success and make progress towards repaying the money you owe.
Choose positivity over negativity, and powerful action over a meek retreat. You can take control of your situation and deal with your debt. What you believe about yourself and your finances is up to you.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|