How to Crush Student Loan Debt and Pay it off Quickly! Money Saving Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for getting rid of your college debt as fast as possible.
It may seem like Fannie Mae will never go away, but here’s How to Crush Student Loan Debt and Pay it off Quickly!
I saw a post on Facebook the other day that asked you to post something you would never get rid of… it was amazing to see that many responded with “student loan debt”. It’s sad but true. Student loan debt is one of those things that people tell you is okay, but once you have it, you live under the weight of it like it will never go away.
I personally did not acquire student loan debt in college, so I did not feel the weight of having such a large financial burden weighing on my shoulders until I met and married my Husband. Through a series of college transitions and lack of guidance, he (like most people) borrowed money to go to college. During that season and making those “big life decisions”, borrowing money just seems like the thing to do – I mean everyone does it, right?!
The idea of paying for school as you go or not going into debt to get through school seems super far off and unobtainable. Not everyone has the resources, blessings, or scholarships to go the “debt free” route. So what do you do?
Since this debt became my debt when we got married, I was able to feel the financial weight of student loan debt like I never had before.
So the question is, how do you either pay off your Student Loans before you go deeper into debt? Or how do you pay them off as quickly as possible once you are out of school?
If you aren’t in school yet, and haven’t made those “big life decisions”, I ask that you stop and really think about everything before you go into debt for your college degree. Think of ways you can work and earn extra income to “cash flow” your college and pay as you go.
Read my post here for 4 Ways to Save Money for College to Avoid Student Loan Debt.
If you have already finished college and still have student loan debt hanging over your head, here are 6 ways to crush the debt quickly so that you can kick Fannie Mae out of your life forever.
1. Have a plan
The first thing that you need when it comes to getting out of debt is a plan. One of my favorite quotes is, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” because it is SO true. Without a plan, getting out of debt seems like a giant elephant that you could never possibly eat. But how do you eat an elephant? One. Bite. At. A. Time.
A plan helps you stay organized and a plan helps you to stay focused.
This is the part of getting out of debt that discouraged my Husband. He was not raised with the mentality of being debt free, so he wasn’t even thinking there could be a plan to get out of the debt quickly. It was more of “pay as you go” or just pay the minimum payments and live your “normal” life. Even if that “normal life” meant carrying the weight of financial debt on your shoulders.
Well, once he added me to the equation, the “plan” started to come alive and actually become a reality. You see, I’m the planner in our relationship. I am task oriented and goal driven. He will follow a plan if he has to, but by nature, he’s not just going to come up with one on his own. He’d rather live life in the moment and enjoy the adventure! Now that’s great and all, especially when it comes to living life in general and taking vacations, but financially, not much will get done if you don’t have a plan.
If you are like my husband and you’d rather enjoy the ride then set a plan with a course of action, you may want to grab your spouse, a friend or an accountability partner to help walk with you on this new adventure in life of crushing debt!
1. Get on a budget
A monthly written budget is HUGE when it comes to getting out of debt and crushing those student loans. A budget is a way for YOU to tell your money where to go and not letting it slip through your finger week after week.
Think through your monthly bills and expenses to allocate your money so that you are following a set plan to help you crush the student loans.
Here are a few basic Budget Categories:
Debt Minimum Payments
After these main areas, really consider where you can cut. Maybe it’s eating out. Maybe it’s your cable TV. Maybe it’s starting a meal plan so that you don’t overspend at the grocery store.
The point of a budget is that you get to tell your money where to go and every dollar has a name on purpose because it’s part of the “plan”.
2. Do not consolidate your student loans
One of the things my husband did that we didn’t know you shouldn’t do until later was consolidate your student loans. The only reason you should ever do this is if you can get a lower interest rate on the loan. If not, keep them separate so that you feel small “wins” every time you pay one off.
My husband had already consolidated his student loans before we got married, so paying off his loan seemed like an unrealistic goal that would take us years to accomplish.
3. Start from smallest to largest
When you start from smallest to largest, you are able to feel the weight of the loans lifted off your shoulders one at a time. You start to build momentum with an energy that helps push your further faster. You will start realizing how great it feels to pay them off that you will actually pay the other ones of quicker by sacrificing more or by working harder.
4. Work extra jobs
Extra jobs are a great way to earn extra money. Plus, in our society, there are SO many things you can do to make extra money. My husband LOVES to work with his hands. He started a side job of building tables to earn extra income along with his day job. We sacrificed the time that we had, because we knew that time was money. We found things that we were good at to help us accomplish our goals.
5. Set realistic goals
Goals are SO important when it comes to getting out of debt. These goals are what will help motivate you during the process of getting you out of debt. One of our biggest goals for getting out of debt was to change our family tree – our legacy. We never want our kids to experience some of the things that we experienced growing up due to debt and financial burdens.
Start with small goals like earning $300 a month. Or perhaps you could earn $1,000 extra every month! Whatever your goal is, write it down. Make sure that you keep it in front of you so that you don’t lose sight of your “why”.
6. Be Intentional
Being intentional is another important aspect when it comes to getting out of debt and paying off your student loans. If you are not intentional, you will pay SO MUCH EXTRA money in interest that could be working for you, not against you.
When you are intentional at having a plan, setting a budget, hustling hard at work, and pressing towards your goals, you will see that debt disappear faster than you ever imagined. Get so mad at your debt that you are motivated to see it crushed right before your eyes.
Find people to encourage you along the way and to live the lifestyle that says “I don’t need that, I have a bigger GOAL in mind”. Find people who want to see you succeed and stay the course. Find people to cheer you on and celebrate your wins!
It is truly amazing to have the feeling of crushing Student Loan Debt and being DEBT FREE! We were only able to accomplish this goal through many blessings and by having a plan. Since we had a plan, any blessing that came our way was already assigned to our plan. We stayed the course and finished the race.
And guess what!? It worked – WE WON! We are debt free and were able to crush our Student Loan Debt far faster than we ever thought or imagined. AND YOU CAN DO IT TOO!! No more Fannie Mae. No more consumer debt. No more financial burdens on our shoulders but a covering of peace!
Our lives have been forever changed because of this journey, and we want yours to be too! You can do this! You can dream bigger and reach those goals you have set! Have a plan and be intentional. YOU’VE GOT THIS!