Friends, it’s time. We’ve got to talk about student loan debt. Every once in a while, you’ll hear about that rare person who came up with an incredibly impressive way to tackle their college debt or avoid taking out more loans—living in their car for a year, working 18-hour days, faking their own death…
You get it.
For the vast majority of us however, paying back student loan debt is a long, daunting, and stress-inducing process. If you’ve just graduated, you’re probably still sitting pretty in that magical grace period where your repayment is still on hold. Be aware, however, that in just a few months, reality is going to come knocking in a big way.
Will you be prepared when it does?
ReadyForZero has a great article, “How to Handle Your First Summer with Student Loans.” They stress the importance of not waiting until the end of your grace period to start your repayment and reaching out to student resources that are still available to you as a recent grad. Be proactive about your debts and start preparing now!
Also, be sure to check out their fabulous free software for budgeting and organizing debt of any kind.
If you don’t want to or can’t afford to start paying back your debts right away, that’s okay. Just make sure that you’re doing your homework in the meantime. Start by reading LifeHacker’s “How to Tackle Student Loan Debt When Your Grace Period Ends” as a guide and then make your own unique game plan to best resolve your personal situation.
Go Girl Finance has a quick and simple guide—”How to Tackle Student Loans on Your Terms.”
Even when you have a solid plan for tackling student debt, life doesn’t always go exactly according to plan. Did you take on thousands of dollars of debt only to not complete your degree program? You’re not alone. Read about tips for paying off your debt anyway with this article from Tuition.io “Dropped Out But Stuck with Student Loans? 4 Tips to Tackle Debt with No Degree.”
Are you past your grace period and still haven’t figured out how to manage your student loan repayments? Have you just been completely ignoring your debts and hoping that they go away? This type of wishful thinking can really destroy your credit and haunt you for years to come.
If you’ve completely given up on making consistent monthly payments or even defaulted on your loans, there is such a thing as coming back from the dark, dank depths of student debt purgatory! Read one woman’s story about how she defaulted on her student loans and then got back on track here.
If you’re engaged or married, student loan debt becomes a whole different ball game. It’s really important to sit down and talk with your partner while you’re discussing your upcoming nuptials. Be open and honest about your loan debt situation. It’s a great idea to come up with a plan for before and after your vows like this couple who paid off $80,000+ of student loan debt in under 3 years.
Now, if you seriously feel like you have no way to afford your repayments and you’re starting to feel hopeless, read LearnVest’s “What to Do if You’re Struggling With Student Loan Payments” before you start considering defaulting. Exhaust all possible scenarios before you do anything rash—minimize your loan debt regrets by being well-versed in all of your options.
Are you struggling with other aspects of recent grad life? Check out our “recent graduates” tag for more helpful stories, tips, and tricks to navigating your new world!
Also check out our very own Kellen McKillop’s post “How to Keep More Money in Your Pocket as a Recent Grad” to learn about how you can budget effectively in your new role as a college grad.