Seven Steps to Quickly Pay Down Your College Debt

U.S. student loan debt totals $1.7 trillion. It is an average debt load of $39,351, according to EducationData.org.

Yet, simple tools can ease that burden and help graduates get out from under their debt. 

These include—

  1. All payments during forbearance go to principal. Covid-19 forbearance on college debt has been extended through at least Sept 30.
  2. Make payments greater than the minimum payment. Simply adding $100 per month to your payment will shave roughly 3 three years and $3,000 in interest payments off the average loan (NerdWallet).
  3. Pay off high-rate loans first, then apply that payment to your next loan when the first loan is paid off.
  4. Pay off the smallest loan first. It may not be the most expensive, but there is a sense of satisfaction when you can ‘check the box’ on a loan.
  5. Attempt to refinance your loans at a lower rate.
  6. Set loans up for auto-payment, which can help you qualify for a lower rate, usually a ¼% lower.
  7. Be leery of extended plans. They come with lower monthly payments but will extend your repayment schedule and interest payments.

Bottom line

A blanket forgiveness of student loan debt is far from a given. Yet, various repayment methods will help graduates get a handle on what seems to be an insurmountable challenge.