Hopefully you’ve seen part one to this blog post: 3 Ways to Graduate College with Less Debt – During College. But congratulations you’ve been handed your diploma, shaken hands with the President of the college, and had that “now what?” feeling. Hopefully “now what” for you includes finding a good job, beginning your adventure in the real world, and celebrating your survival of college. You endured so much to get here which allows you to feel great amounts of relief. However maybe you have debt from student loans and you can’t fully relax as much as you’d like to. Here’s the steps to having less debt after college.
1. Pay Off the Loans with the Highest Interest First
This is scary if you overlook it. Some of your loans have higher interest rates which can build up so much over time it will feel as though you’re only paying off interest and none of the principal. Start paying these off first so you’re not slowly getting buried in high interest rates.
2. Choose the Right Employer
You’re probably thinking “of course I’m trying to choose the right employer!” We all want good jobs, but did you know that some company’s/employers offer loan forgiveness? Many public service jobs offer loan forgiveness or loan repayment benefits. Also don’t forget that some companies offer tuition reimbursement for extended education. This can be great if you still want to further your education in a way that benefits you and your employer. Some loan forgiveness offers have a time limit tacked on to it but this can be so helpful for you financially as you tackle your student debt.
3. Don’t Zone Out
It’s easy to start obsessing over your student loans and seeing everything through the lens of debt you have. Yes – it’s important to pay off your loans, but don’t get so obsessed with it you ignore the other things you should be doing for your financial well-being. For example: paying into your 401K or some other type of retirement savings. This is something you should be thinking of and actively doing when you are in your low – mid 20’s. Pay off your loans but don’t forget about the other important financial aspects of your life.
Keep in mind that many of us have college debt and understand that it can be a lengthy and at times stressful process. Just keep moving forward and plan ahead.
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