Since 2006 Student Loan Debt has been growing rapidly and became the number one debt in USA, with nearly $1.5 Trillion by late 2017. Approximately 43 million Americans have student loans, with an average of $30,000 student loan debt per borrower. Half of the student loan borrowers are between the age of 20-30 years old.

In June 2014 the economist reveal that about 7-12 million debtors were in default.The money they owe is becoming a bigger share of total outstanding student debt in repayment. The rise of defaulted student loan borrowers comes from a high record of unemployment and low wage salaries, causing debtors to stop making their payments and damaging their credit and the ability to borrow money for a home or car.

If you feel that your payments are to much or if you are having a financial hardship there are solutions to take to help you avoid getting into default and continue making your payments at a more affordable rate.

But with all these options available it can be a little overwhelming and confusing. And that’s why we are here to help you create the best strategy to pay off your student loans.

Stay Organize

Before you start creating your strategy you need to know how much you owe and who you owe to. Log in to your lenders online portal if you don't know who your lender is here is a list of the top 6 student loan lenders.

These are just some of the major lenders, if you still don't know who you owe to, you can create a FAFSA ID and that will pull out any student loan you have with more in detail information. Once you pull all your loans out, make a list using google sheet to put down all your student loans, interest rate, type of loans if they are private or federal, subsidized or unsubsidized and monthly payments.

Don’t Miss Payments

With the information you have find out the current status of your loans. Most students get a grace period or deferment of 6 months after they graduate to start paying on their student loans. Once your grace period or deferment runs out first payment is due so make sure you have updated any mailing information to not lose track of your student loans.

The majority of students that consolidate their student loans are more likely to stay up to date with their payments.

Find out your options to save on your monthly payments

Income-Base Repayment
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is an option to lower your monthly payments depending on your income and family size.
  • To qualify for IBR, your payments must be lower than they’d be on the Standard Repayment Plan. You also must proof of income and dependents.
  • For example, if your student loan debt is higher than your annual discretionary income or is a significant portion of your annual income, you should qualify.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is one of the newest income-driven repayment plans to help borrowers manage their student loans. Unveiled in 2012, it’s similar to IBR but has stricter requirements.
  • To qualify for PAYE, you must demonstrate financial need. You also must be a fairly recent borrower. Specifically, you must be a new borrower as of Oct. 1, 2007, and have received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011.
  • To take advantage of PAYE, your prospective payments must be smaller than they’d be on the Standard Repayment Plan. This is a good program for those seeking public service loan forgiveness.
Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), which became available in December 2015, is the newest income-driven repayment plan.
  • This plan is similar to PAYE, with a few key differences. The difference is the fact that you’re eligible regardless of when you took out your first federal student loan. You also don’t have to demonstrate financial need.
Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), like REPAYE, doesn’t have an income eligibility requirement. It’s also the only income-driven repayment plan under which Parent PLUS Loans qualify after you consolidate them into a Direct Loan.
  • So, if you don’t qualify for the other plans but want a lower payment, Income-Contingent Repayment is the best repayment plan for student loans for you.

Things You Can Do to Pay Off Your Student Loan Quicker

Decrease your budget, it might be hard for some of us but this is one of the best ways to have some extra cash and be able to make a bigger monthly payment than what u are supposed to pay. And this is going to be only for a short period of time.

  • Cut your cable TV
  • Lower your cellphone bill
  • Stop going out to bars and expensive restaurants
  • Get a side hustle.

Refinance Your Student Loan

If you are now at the point where you need to start relieving yourself of the burden of your debt, student loan refinancing can be a practical step to take, especially if your loan payments are going to make it nearly impossible for you to eat and pay your other expenses.

Benefits of Refinancing Your Student Loan
  • Simplify Your Payments: If you refinance multiple student loans, you can simplify your monthly payments by combining them into one easy monthly fee. It is especially helpful if you make payments to more than one loan servicer.
  • Terms and Conditions: Some of the more recent private student refinancing companies appear to offer fairer terms, including more abundant opportunities when borrowers face economic difficulties and issue options based on death and disability. It is also possible that you can publish your co-signer. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of any refinancing agreement before signing up.
  • Lower Monthly Payments: You might be able to lower your monthly payments by decreasing the average interest rate on your current loans and/or extending the loan repayment term. Keep in mind, extending the term may increase your overall cost of borrowing.
  • No Upfront Fees: Private refinance loans should not have any application, origination, disbursement, or prepayment penalty fees. If they do, find a different loan provider.
  • New Borrower Rewards: You may become eligible for new, money-saving rewards programs that were previously unavailable or you have already redeemed. Borrower rewards can help you save hundreds of dollars on the cost of your loan.

Conclusion

Student Loan debt is one of the biggest battle Americans are facing everyday, and navigating thru the options can be intimidating. But know that you are not alone, you do have options and you could consider all the options detailed here. Good Luck! with your student loan battle.

Interested in Refinancing Student Loans?

Here are the top 5 lenders to refinance Student Loans in 2018!
Logo

Variable Rate
2.58% - 7.07%

Fixed Rates
3.25% - 7.25%

Terms
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Eligible Loan Balances
Minimum: $5,000
Maximum: None

Logo

Variable Rates
2.69% - 6.01%

Fixed Rates
3.09% - 6.69%

Terms
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Eligible Loan Balances
Minimum: $15,000
Maximum: No Max

Logo

Variable Rates
3.92% - 11.52%

Fixed Rates
6.07% - 12.66%

Terms
8, 10, 12, 15 years

Eligible Loan Balances
Minimum: $2,000
Maximum: Cost of Attendance

Common Bond

Variable Rates
2.55% - 7.10%

Fixed Rates
3.14% - 7.25%

Terms
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Eligible Loan Balances
Minimum: $5,000
Maximum: $500,000

LendKey

Variable Rates
2.56% - 7.94%

Fixed Rates
3.15% - 8.12%

Terms
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Eligible Loan Balances
Minimum: $7,500
Maximum: $300,000