Losing weight. Getting in shape. Fixing your finances. Chances are you’re one of the millions of people who makes a New Years Resolution around health or wealth. And if you’re stuck with a pile of student loan debt staring you in the face, chances are that paying off your debt is on your to-do list in 2014.
Paying off any amount of debt – let alone thousands of dollars in student loan debt – can seem daunting. But with a few simple strategies taken one step at a time, you can make a serious dent in your debt in the new year.
Here are three powerful ways to help you crush your student loans and reach your financial goals in 2014:
1) Bump up your monthly student loan repayment by $25 a week.
Okay, so you probably don’t pay back your student loans in weekly installments – this is technically $100 a month. But thinking about your money in smaller chunks is a great way to trick your brain into taking small, but positive steps toward repaying your debt. Just $25 a week doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on a whole lot of money; that’s a night out to dinner, a week’s worth of lattes or two pricey tickets to the movies! That extra money might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of your overall debt, but it’ll add up quickly overtime – and it could shave off hundreds of dollars in interest over the lifetime of your student loans.
2) Earn extra income on the side to ditch your student loan debt faster.
Feeling strapped for cash? Not sure you could come up with extra money to pay down your student debt any faster? Earning extra money – either on the side or at your current job – may be a smart strategy. Again, just an extra $100 a month toward your debt could significantly decrease the lifetime of your student loans. Whether you increase your hours at work or decide to start something on the side, there are tons of creative ways to earn extra income. And don’t worry: if you start earning more money and you’re enrolled in the Department of Education’s Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program, you’ll still be able to participate in that plan. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of lower monthly payments under the IBR versus paying off your debt more quickly.
3) Explore repayment options and keep track of your student loan debt with Student Loan Hero.
Alright, shameless plug here. But in all seriousness, one necessary ingredient for reaching any goal is to measure your progress. Not only does Student Loan Hero give you an easy-to-use dashboard to help you keep track your debt progress, but we also let you compare student loan repayment options and alternative plans that could help you save money and pay off your debt faster. Whether you choose to keep track of your debt with paper and pen or through the online Student Loan Hero interface, monitoring your progress – and celebrating important milestones – is a critical element to helping you stick to your financial goals and dump your student loan debt in the new year!
Best of luck, and let us know how we can help!
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