As a parent, it can be disheartening to see your child mired in student loan debt. They’re just starting out and the cards are already stacked against them at such a young age. You may wonder how you can help your child pay off their student loans.
On one hand, you want to help and do what you can, but on the other, you have to look out for yourself and your own financial well-being, especially as you near retirement age.
Luckily, there are small ways you can contribute and help your kids pay off student loans without sacrificing your own finances.
1. Forget the gifts – do this instead
Consider how much you spend each year on Christmas gifts, birthdays, and other special occasions. While everyone loves gifts, I’d venture to say that many student loan borrowers would prefer to have that money you spent go toward their student loan payments instead.
Rather than giving cash, you can typically become an authorized payer on your child’s student loans through their servicer. That way, you can go directly to the source and make payments.
It doesn’t have to be a lot either. Let’s say you typically spend $20 on a gift. Instead of buying something your children may not need or even like, you can help them financially by putting that $20 toward their student loans.
2. Match their payments
“If parents can afford to double down on payments with their children at least every other month, it’s extremely helpful,” said Tonya Rapley, founder of My Fab Finance and the Banish the Balance Challenge, which helps people get out of debt.
“By doubling down, I mean matching their payment,” she explained. “So instead of a $400 payment, they are making payments of $800 at least six times a year. This nudge can significantly speed up the repayment process.”
If you want to support your kids year round, rather than putting money toward loans once or twice a year for holidays, consider matching your child’s student loan payments. By matching payments, you can motivate them to get out of debt even sooner and help make significant progress.
3. Help out their bottom line
A recent report by GoodCall notes that 58 percent of college grads with student loan debt would give up buying a new car, while 59 percent would give up a vacation and 46 percent would sacrifice saving for their future in order to get rid of their loans.
Instead of helping out directly with student loan payments, you can contribute in other small, yet effective ways to help your kids’ bottom line. This frees up some cash for your kids, which then can then put toward their student loans.
To help out, consider the following:
- Getting a gift card to a grocery store
- Helping buy them toiletries
- Purchasing new clothes they need
When I was paying off debt, my mom would occasionally send me a $50 Trader Joe’s gift card and I can’t begin to describe how happy it made me. That was $50 I didn’t need to spend on groceries that month and could allot toward my student loan repayment instead.
A small gesture like that really went a long way for me. Helping your kid buy necessities like food, toiletries, clothes, etc. can help them get what they need, while focusing on their debt repayment.
4. Sign up for Upromise
There’s one way you can make money for your day-to-day spending AND help your kids pay off student loans. Upromise allows you to sign up for their free rewards program by linking your credit and/or debit card. You’ll earn cash back on a variety of purchases including travel, restaurants, groceries, shopping online, and more.
In other words, you could earn cash back for spending that you are going to do anyway. You can cash out your rewards via check or use them to pay down an eligible student loan directly. Signing up for Upromise is a great, hassle-free way to help you earn more specifically to pay off student loans for your child.
5. Refer them for gigs
One way you can help your kids pay off student loans without spending a dime is by referring them for side hustle opportunities that will help them earn extra income.
A side hustle is any gig outside of a traditional day job. Hopefully, your kids have steady employment, but whether they do or not, having a gig on the side can be helpful.
Consider gigs like freelance writing, design services, pet sitting, house cleaning, landscaping, and more. Still need ideas? We got you covered.
When it comes to getting gigs it’s often about who you know, rather than what you know.
Of course, speak to your kids first before recommending them for something and make sure you are both on the same page. Once you both are in agreement and have an understanding of what you are willing to do, you can help refer them to side hustle gigs that can help them earn more money and pay off student loans faster.
There are a variety of ways you can help your kids pay off student loans, from a monetary standpoint and otherwise. Of course, you want to keep your own financial success on track before helping out your kids; using these tips, you can find something that works for you.
You can continue to support yourself while helping your kids pay off student loans. Just be sure to never put your own financial life in jeopardy to help your children, as they still have many working years ahead of them!
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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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 3.36% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.41% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% 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.
2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
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 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.41% – 6.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 7.89%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.38% – 6.81%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 8.19%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.60% – 9.60%6||Undergrad & Graduate|