Paying off debt is a process — sometimes, a really long process. At some point, you might find yourself suffering from debt fatigue.
We’ve all been there. If you’re getting complacent paying off your student loan debt, it’s time to jump start your motivation, get rid of those loans, and take back your life.
Try These Creative Debt Repayment Strategies
Here are four ways to kick your debt repayment (and your attitude) into high gear.
1. Make It Into A Game
Everyone likes games, right? Americans love to watch sports, play board games, and be competitive in general. Why not take that same zest for games and put it toward paying off debt?
Here are some examples of ways to turn your student loan payoff strategy into a game:
- Save every $5: Whenever you have cash and end up with a $5 bill, stash it away and then put all your fives toward your bill at the end of the month.
- No spending week: For one week, commit to no spending of any kind. Put that amount of money you would have spent toward debt. If you fail the challenge, double your payment for that month.
- Side hustle challenge: Find one of your lowest bills and commit to side hustling until you earn enough to pay it off. (Check out our list of ideas to get started.) Every month, pick a new bill and hustle to get rid of it.
- Bill haggle day: Every month, figure out one expense that you can lower by getting on the phone and negotiating. Is it cable? Phone? Internet? Negotiating can be nerve racking, but companies are often willing to work with you in order to keep you as a customer.
Making a game out of your debt repayment strategy can help make it a little less stale and keep you focused on your goals.
2. Calculate Your Daily Interest
When I first did the math on how much interest I owed per month, I was in shock. I went a step further and calculated my daily interest.
At its highest, I was paying nearly $11 per day in interest alone. This quickly motivated me toward getting out of debt as soon as possible. I imagined throwing away $11 in the trash every day and all the great things I could do with that money instead.
To calculate your daily interest rate, use the following formula.
(interest rate) x (current principal balance) ÷ 365 = daily interest
So let’s say you have $30,000 in debt with an interest rate of 6%.
(.06) x ($30,000) = $1,800
$1,800 ÷ 365 = $4.90
That’s nearly $5 per day you are throwing away at interest. Think of what else you could be doing with that money.
3. Get Angry
I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions throughout my debt repayment journey. I’ve been sad, then sadness led to apathy.
It was anger that motivated me to keep going. Anger, while not the healthiest emotion, can motivate you to action. Get angry about your debt and what it’s doing to your lifestyle. Get mad about how much money you’re throwing away on interest. Get mad and start putting more money toward your debt.
4. Imagine the Future
Being in debt can make you feel like your future is being robbed from you. It dashes your dreams and kills your hope. I know I’ve felt like debt has held me back in a lot of ways. But dwelling on the negative consequences of your debt won’t get rid of it.
Change your thinking and imagine all the things you will be able to do after you pay off your student loan debt. Debt does not have to be forever. Your big goals and dreams can co-exist with debt repayment, it’s just about making the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
Start thinking about the future and all the things you will be able to enjoy untethered from the burden of debt.
- Travel more
- Have less guilt about purchases
- Save and invest more
- Have freedom to quit your job or start a business
- Provide a free college education for your children
Instead of letting your student loan debt make you feel down, flip your mental script and tell yourself the sooner you get out of debt, the sooner you can achieve these things and more.
Sustaining motivation during long periods of debt repayment can be difficult. Sometimes it requires a change of thinking or new approach. Paying off debt is so much more than just numbers — it’s about your mindset, too. Use these four steps to get yourself motivated to pay off debt. Your life is waiting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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|
|2.53% – 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|