I’m not going to lie- learning how to pay off student loans faster is a doozy. As a college student, I didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into. I knew I couldn’t pay my tuition and that there were subsidized loans out there ready to pay for it. The payments didn’t start rolling in until 6 months after graduation, so I only knew the amount. I never realized how heavy the weight of student loans can be until I found myself in this predicament of paying it off. I currently am on a 10 year plan. Ten years of my life will be dedicated to paying back the government for getting a college education for myself. Personally, I think this is crazy, but that’s not what this article is about.
This article is about how to pay off student loans faster. The goal of paying off student loans is to pay more than the minimum payment. Don’t want to dedicate ten years of your life (120 months of payments!)? Then read below for how I shortened the amount of time I’ll be paying off my loans!
EARN EXTRA CASH ON THE SIDE
If you’re looking to pay off student loans faster- or any debt in general- then you’ve heard this one before. Earning extra cash on the side is honestly the number one reason why I’ll be able to pay off my student loans faster. Since I have a full time job, I allow my salary to be my main source of income which goes to bills (including my monthly student loan payment), food, gas, etc. However, my side cash is what goes straight to my student loan throughout the months. Every time I cash out on one of these apps, I put in a payment for that amount on my loan so that it takes away from the principal amount and doesn’t have to go to interest.
There are a few ways I’m earning money on the side and I’ll be listing my favorites below:
I’ve talked about Ebates before, but honestly I’ll say it again because I love it that much.
Ebates works by linking to different clothing websites and offering you a certain percentage in cash back. When you click through their link, you’re automatically set up to get that cash back once you’ve made the purchase. After every few months, Ebates will send you your “big fat check” with all of your cash back rewards! This month, I’ll be receiving $100 back from only a few shopping trips. They have great deals, sometimes up to 15% cash back, which is pretty great when it’s added on top of the discount stores give you!
If you’re interested in checking Ebates out (AND getting $10 when you sign up and make your first purchase of $25 or more), click here!
PoshMark is an app that lets you buy and sell clothing/ accessories. Although PoshMark takes 20% of your purchase, this is so far my favorite app to sell my clothing on. It’s easy (they provide the shipping labels free of cost and you can get the shipping boxes for free from your local Post Office), it’s free to sell (other than the 20% fee), and it’s fun! As long as you continually share and follow fellow Poshers, you’ll be selling in no time! I make a decent amount each month, but some months are slow. No matter the amount I make, I deposit it to my account and it goes straight to my student loan!
If you’re interested in signing up, click here! Type my username (@stephzbk) if you want to receive $5 after your first purchase!
WORK FROM HOME
Depending on if you’re still in college or not, you’ll have to play around with this one. If you do a quick google search of “work from home”, tons of results will show up- but only a few are actually legitimate sites. Once you’ve been scammed once, the internet can be a scary world. So if you decide to do this one- play it safe and make sure to do your research!
I’ve been working with Appen Butler Hill for about a year now. The income isn’t too much, but it’s a good hundred or so a month that can go to my loan!
Here are some ideas to help you get started!
SELL ITEMS YOU NO LONGER NEED
Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m a hoarder.
This step was a hard one to do. I seem to be able to sell my clothes easily without looking back, but once it comes to my old furniture that I have in storage or small knick knacks someone else might treasure that I have in a memory box- I can’t let go. However, once I sucked it up and got to selling, I couldn’t stop! I currently use OfferUp and 5Miles. Similar to PoshMark, you place your items for sale with pictures and a description, and then someone can message you if they are interested. If you choose to meet up with someone- I suggest meeting them somewhere with a lot of people around. Keep it safe when selling!
All of the cash I’ve made from selling items around my house has been into the bank and straight to my loan.
CONSOLIDATE AND REFINANCE
Okay, now we’re going to get a bit technical. When you take out multiple loans, they each come with an interest rate. Some rates will be higher and some will be lower. The lower your interest rate, the less money you’ll be paying in interest, and the less money you’ll be paying overall.
Refinancing your loans is one of the best moves out there for paying off student loans faster. The goal of refinancing is to decrease interest rates, meaning more of your payments go toward paying down the actual student loan. When you refinance multiple student loans, you’ll consolidate those loans into one lump sum with one set interest rate.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I suggest speaking with your loan company or your school’s financial office advisor.
I’m proud to say that my ten year repayment plan has gone down to 7 years! Although 7 years is still a long time, seeing the decrease motivates me even more in findings ways to pay off my student loans faster.
Do you have any loan repayment tips? Leave them in the comments below!