For some, student loan debt can feel like a weight they can't shake. But with a plan, borrowers can pay off their loans faster and start feeling relief from student loan stress. Here are things to consider and four tips to get started.
Is paying off student loans early beneficial?
While there's no right or wrong answer, there are some things to consider before making the decision to pay off your student loan debt ahead of schedule. If borrowers have the financial means to do so, paying off their loans early can save them money in the long run. Early payoffs can minimize the amount of interest accrued and free up monthly income to allow for more financial flexibility down the road.
Of course, there are also some drawbacks to early student loan payoff. For one thing, borrowers may forfeit certain repayment benefits, such as forbearance or federal loan forgiveness options. Additionally, if they have multiple loans with different interest rates, it may make more financial sense to focus on paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.
Ultimately, the best way for borrowers to decide if they should pay off their student loans early is to weigh the pros and cons carefully and decide what is right for their unique financial situation.
Ways to pay off student loans faster
1. Student loan refinancing - One way to potentially start paying student loans off faster is to refinance them. Student loan refinancing is available for federal and private student loans. Through refinancing, one could potentially combine their loans and replace current debt with a new loan that offers a lower interest rate to reduce the monthly payment and/or shorten the term. Keep in mind, if one refinances a federal student loan, one will no longer qualify for existing or future benefits offered by the federal government to federal student loan holders. Please consult www.studentaid.gov for the most current information about any federal student loan benefits. Many lenders offer student loan refinancing, so be sure to shop around, compare rates, and be sure to understand all the terms and conditions of the new loan before signing the dotted line.
2. Automate payments - One of the best ways to ensure that student loan payments are always on time is to set up automatic payments. This way, the payment will be taken from the borrower's bank account automatically each month, eliminating the risk of late payments and added penalties.
3. Make extra payments when possible - If borrowers find they have some extra money coming in (from a bonus at work, for example), they should consider making an extra student loan payment in addition to their regularly scheduled payments. This will help lower the principal balance and in turn, cut down on the amount of interest overall. Even if it's just a few hundred dollars, every little bit helps to pay off student loans faster.
The bottom line
Paying off student loans early can be a smart financial move, but it's not right for everyone. Borrowers should carefully consider their unique situation and all their options before making a decision. Those who decide to go ahead with early student loan payoff can use the tips above to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
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Original Source: Laurel Road: 3 Tips to Pay Student Loans Off Faster