3 Tips for Overcoming Student Loan

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					3 Tips for Overcoming Student Loan Debt

Student Loan Statistics

Up to 60 percent of undergraduates take out student loans to help finance their education,
and they have an average debt of $23,000. The numbers of borrowers and the average
amount borrowed increases with graduate degrees.

Many new graduates are unable to pay their loans when they graduate. This happens for
many reasons. First, many students don't realize how much they will need to pay back
each month once they graduate. In addition, some students overestimate how much
money they will make once they graduate, or they overestimate their chances of finding a
job in their chosen field. Up to 28 percent of students have reported that they have a great
deal of difficulty paying back their loans. However, there are some strategies that a
student can take to overcome their school loan debt.

Choose a Repayment Plan that Works for You

Many new graduates don't realize that they have options when they set up their college
loan repayment plan. There are four general types of repayment plans to choose from:

1. Standard Repayment Plan - This plan is usually the first one offered by the lender. The
terms of this plan include making regular, fixed payments for 10 years.

2. Graduated Repayment Plan - This plan allows the borrower to make lower payments to
begin with, and then increases the amounts of the payments.

3. Extended Repayment Plan - This extended plan stretches out the payments for up to 30

4. Income-Contingent Repayment Plan - This plan adjusts the amount of the payments to
make them manageable for your income level.

Investigate Loan Forgiveness Programs

New graduates working in some fields may have the option to have some of their school
loans forgiven. For example, public school teachers working in disadvantages school
districts can have their loans forgiven after they make payments for 10 years. These
programs have expanded since 2010, allowing more people to take advantage of them.

If you aren't eligible for a student loan forgiveness program, volunteering may reduce
your student loan debt. For example, participating in some volunteer programs, such as
the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps, can cut thousands of dollars off your student loan debt
when you agree to volunteer for a specific time period. These programs aren't for
everyone because most of them represent a significant time commitment that will
probably prevent you from working a regular job. However, if this volunteer experience
will improve your job skills or your chances of finding employment, you may benefit
from the experience as well as the loan forgiveness.

Pay as Much as Possible

If you are making payments on your student loans, pay as much as you can afford.
Making more than the minimum required payment can significantly reduce your principle
over time. When you make a payment, the late fees are paid first, then the interest that
you owe, and finally, the rest of the money goes toward the principle. When you may
more than the minimum amount on the loan, the amount that you pay over the minimum
is directly applied to the principle. If you do this each month, you will reduce your
principle much more quickly than you would if you only made the minimum payments.

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