Although the rich and the famous have cushy lives, they still face many of the everyday struggles of Americans.
And, not even celebrities are immune to worries about student debt, and many have spoken out about their own experiences with student loans.
While stars often have more money and financial resources to tackle their student loan debt, many of their strategies can be used by anyone.
Here’s a look at what some of today’s biggest names have to say about the best ways to pay off student debt.
Kerry Washington: Capitalize on opportunities
Kerry Washington is best known as Olivia Pope on ABC’s “Scandal.” And it wasn’t until Washington landed that iconic role that she could afford to pay off her student loans, she told ELLE magazine earlier this year.
Washington, however, has few regrets about her student debt. She “could not have afforded college without the help of student loans,” she said during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Washington recognizes she wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for her college education and the student loans which enabled her to pursue it.
Like Washington, college graduates should make the most of their education and opportunities to create success, earn more income and pay off their debts.
Miles Teller: Balance financial goals
Miles Teller is an actor known for roles in films like “Fantastic 4” and his Oscar-nominated turn in “Whiplash.”
But before heading to Hollywood, Teller told Vulture that he studied acting at NYU and borrowed around $100,000 to pay for it. And while Teller could easily afford to pay off his student loans, he hasn’t yet.
“I can, if I want that badge of accomplishment,” he told Vulture. However, “My business manager says the interest is so low, there’s no sense in paying them off.”
Like Teller’s manager, it’s important to weigh student loan repayment against other financial priorities. It may be that your money can be put to better use, like saving for retirement or an emergency savings account, rather than paying extra towards student debt.
Jane Lynch: Make informed decisions
Jane Lynch, who was on the hit FOX TV show “Glee”, feels so passionately about the topic of student loans that she partnered with the National College Finance Center to create a “Don’t Major in Debt” campaign.
Lynch did so with the aim to help educate parents and students on the options to pay for college.
“Parents and students have to be wise and have to have their eyes open about what’s out there, and what you’re looking at in the long-game in terms of having this much debt on you as a young person,” Lynch said on MSNBC in July 2012.
Lynch adds that families need to weigh their options, both for financing education and choosing a low-cost institution, to make smart decisions.
Gabrielle Union: Live below your means
Known for her roles in films like “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Bring It On,” Gabrielle Union currently stars in the titular role of BET’s “Being Mary Jane.”
But before hitting it big, Union studied at UCLA.
“I want people to know the work that it took to get through UCLA, that I had student loans and worked,” Union told E! Online last year. “I was eating Top Ramen and lived well below my means.”
Keeping expenses well below earnings is important to ensure you can afford you student loans, and even repay them faster.
Kate Walsh: Use windfalls to target debts
As a college student, actor Kate Walsh of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” fame studied at the University of Arizona.
She “came out of college with, oh, jeez, just thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in debt,” Walsh said in an interview with Refinery2. “And that’s insane — it was just interest accruing and accruing and accruing.”
When Walsh finally did hit on success, she used the windfall to target her student loans.
“The only way I was, honestly, able to pay off my student loans was at age 37, because I happened to get on a big, fat TV show called ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and I was able to finally pay my student loan debt,” she added.
Everyday borrowers might also come across similar “extra” money from a raise, side job, or even a tax refund.
When these windfalls come, putting the extra cash toward student loans can cut the principal down, save interest and shorten your repayment period.
President Obama: Pay as much as you can to student debt
President Barack Obama has been fairly candid about the student debt that he and First Lady Michelle Obama faced.
“When we graduated from college and law school we had a mountain of debt,” he said in a 2012 address at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “When we married, we got poor together.”
He added that they put a lot of their earnings into their student loans early on. During the first 8 years of marriage, they paid more on their student loans than they did on the mortgage of their Chicago condo.
Obama revealed they finally were free of student debt just four years before he was elected to the presidency.
Be proactive when setbacks arise
Plenty of college graduates find themselves in the same boat of being unemployed or otherwise unable to pay student loans.
When this is the case, be proactive, communicate with your loan servicer and take advantage of deferment or repayment options. It can lower loan payments and give you a chance to get back on your feet, without the painful consequences of delinquency, default or damaged credit.
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1 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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 July 31, 2020, 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 7/31/2020. 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 protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
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.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. 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 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.