4 Ways to Eliminate Your Student Loan Debt

By Danielle Wirsansky on September 13, 2017

The weight of student debt can be crushing. A college student finally gets to leave school, thinking they are free — only to find that they are instead shackled to a debt that can seem insurmountable. Most student loans give you a period of time where you do not have to pay and then after that, there is no leniency. Student loan debt can be unforgiving.

So instead of barely being able to make your student loan payments (or even missing payments), you need to power through and get rid of that debt altogether. Read on to learn ways to work on eliminating your student loan debt!

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Do not wait

The first tactic to help you completely eliminate your student loan debt is not to wait to start paying it off. You have a forgiveness period where you do not have to give payment towards your loan — do not take this time off! Use it to start paying the debt off because the smaller the debt is once you are required to start paying interest on it, the less you will have to pay in the long run.

You might think you have some time to breathe and not worry about it, but that is not a good mindset to have. Do not put paying the debt on the back burner and do not wait to start paying it off. Make sure you have money to start paying it off so that your interest is not astronomical and so that you know you can make your payments on time. The sooner you get the debt off your back, the better.

Add it to the budget

As soon as you have to take out a loan, you need to incorporate payments to pay it off into your budget. Whether you budget by week or by month, make sure that you are saving the appropriate amount to make your student loan debt payments. You can’t wake up on the day your loan payment is due only to discover that you were not watching your bank account or your budget carefully enough and you no longer have enough money to put towards your payment. This is how you can destroy your credit score and rating.

You must be sure that you can at least make your minimum payments, if not more, and that means you have to be financially savvy and include the payments as an unshakeable facet of your budget. There is no just waiting to see what money you have left at the end of the month. You need to be active about making sure you can make your own payments. After all, you are no longer a student and a child. You are an adult and you need to maturely handle your loans.

Side hustle

Another great way to start working off your student loan debts is to pick up some kind of side hustle where all the money you make at that job goes towards your student loan debt. It can be something small, something you do for only a couple hours a week in addition to your regular job.

The wages from your regular day job go towards your living expenses. The money from your side hustle belongs to your debt. It could be doing freelance editing through Upwork, pet sitting, tutoring, babysitting, selling clothes online, creating jewelry to sell — whatever side hustle you can establish will help.

This way you have enough money to live off of and enough money to work off your debt. It is not too many hours that you feel like a slave, constantly working too. This way you can keep your mental and emotional health in check too so that you are taking the best care of yourself even while under tremendous pressure. And once you get your student loan paid off, you can keep that side hustle and all the money that you were making for yourself!

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Change jar

This might seem like a silly suggestion but it can pay off in the long run! Keeping a change jar that you put all your loose change into can help you to not lose or waste any of the coin change that you have in your wallet and actually put it to good use. Coins are often disregarded and can easily be lost or fall out of a wallet. Some people even just get rid of coins if it makes their wallet too heavy!

But coins add up and while they may not be enough to pay off your entire student loan debt, they can probably help you make a payment or two. Just be sure to strictly empty your wallet of coins every week and promise yourself not to use the coins to pay off anything besides your student loan debt.

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre and a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She is a second year graduate student in FSU's History department where she serves as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor).

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