6 Strategies For Paying Down Student Loan Debt

6 Strategies For Paying Down Student Loan Debt

Average Student Loan Debt After Graduation

Graduating from college is an exciting time for students as they gear up for the next stage of life. However, many students also experience anxiety after graduation due to the burden of significant debt they carry into their professional careers.

The average student graduates with $30,000 in student loan debt for a four-year degree, according to U.S News & World Reports. That creates an enormous amount of stress for an individual just starting an entry level position.

In addition, it takes 20 years on average to pay off educational debt, according to the Educational Data Initiative.

One in five U.S. adults have outstanding student loan debt, any many carry that financial burden well into their forties. With the average monthly payment estimated at $500, it can be difficult to achieve goals such as buying a home, raising a family, and saving for the future.

When Do Student Loans Resume?

The emergency student loan forbearance program provided temporary relief during the pandemic but is set to end in September 2023, compelling borrowers to include student loan payments once again in their monthly budgets.

6 Strategies For Paying Down Student Loan Debt

Navigating the complexities of paying down student loan debt can be overwhelming. Here are 6 strategies that can help you take control of your finances and alleviate the stress of student loan debt

1. Increase Monthly Payments.

If your budget allows, increase the minimum payment of your student loan. Any extra amount will pay down the principal, which means less interest owed in the long run.

2. Sign Up for Automatic Loan Payments.

You can reduce your interest rate by 0.25 percent when you opt for this feature, which allows your student loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly loan payment from your bank account. Just be sure you have the funds to cover the transaction, so you don’t incur fees for insufficient funds from your financial institution.

3. Make Biweekly Payments.

Switching to biweekly payments allows you to make half of your monthly payment every two weeks. This simple adjustment effectively adds an extra payment each year, accelerating your repayment schedule and reducing the overall duration of the loan.

4. Use a Cash Windfall.

If you receive unexpected funds from a tax refund, inheritance, settlement, or work bonus, consider allocating a portion or even the entirety of it towards a lump sum payment on your student loan.

5. Explore Student Loan Forgiveness Programs.

Certain jobs sectors such as public service, teaching or the military offer loan forgiveness programs as part of their employment benefits. Research career opportunities that provide assistance in paying off part or all of your student loans to alleviate your financial burden.

6. Consider Refinancing.

For individuals with good credit and stable employment, loan consolidation and refinancing may be an option worth exploring. Credit unions typically offer lower interest rates on loans, so it may be worth your time to research student loan refinance options in your area.


While the weight of student loan debt can seem overwhelming, implementing effective strategies can help graduates manage and pay off their loans efficiently. With careful planning and dedication, it is possible to overcome the challenges posed by student loan debt and build a solid foundation for a prosperous future.

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