Top 5 Best Student Loan Tips From Reddit Everyone Should Read
Figuring out your student loans can be a tough and confusing process. We've compiled a list of 5 best reddit student loans tips that we hope can help you through it. Read here to learn more about budgeting, refinancing, and more!
Figuring out your student loans can be a tough and confusing process. Millions of students and families apply for loans each year, often not knowing what their best options are or how exactly to go about applying for them.
We’ve compiled a list of five reddit student loans tips that we hope can help you throughout this process. Read on to learn more about the steps that different reddit users have taken to make the best financial decisions for themselves.
1. Look at all your options
There are alternatives to taking out student loans, and it’s good to look at these options first before applying for one. In this student loans reddit post, user Betsy514 outlines some of these alternatives, including choosing a cheaper school, taking a gap year, and applying to scholarships.
We here at Juno created our own scholarship database with over thousands of options that you can apply to to help finance your education. Come take a look here!
However, if you do need to take out a student loan, which, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, around 60% of college students do, you should start by looking at all your federal and private options.
Juno has multiple student loan guides that help explain your options, and breaks down the interest rates and costs of these options:
Researching your options is an important step in ensuring that you are making wise financial decisions. These options vary for different schools and programs. For instance, we here at Juno, along with this student loans reddit comment thread, recommend that undergraduate students should always look at their federal options before their private ones. If an undergraduate student meets the federal lending limit for direct loans, they then can turn to private lenders or parent PLUS loans and explore their options there. Look to our guides linked above to determine which options are best for your program.
2. Create a budget to cut down on spending
If you have taken out student loans and are working to repay them, creating a budget can be helpful. Budgeting allows you to be more organized with your repayment plan and helps in setting you up for financial success.
This comment on a student loans reddit advice post breaks down where to start: “First you need to sit down and totally understand your income and your debt and create a budget based on your goals. This is going to take a lot of time. Here’s what you need to know:
- What is your household income?
- List all debts smallest to largest and their interest rates. Student loans and everything else except mortgage.
- List monthly expenses.
- Do you have an emergency fund/how much savings?”
A key part of budgeting is to try and cut down your spending on luxury items.
In this student loans reddit post, user TheChilledPixel details how they paid off $115,000 in student loans.
“(I) used to pay large chunks (think $2.5k - 3k) of my paycheck right after it hits my bank account. Didn't go out to eat (or get takeout in COVID times) often when my friends pressured me - opted to make home cooked meal and have a cookout at home instead. Got super aggressive with repayment in the past year. I mean like lean lean spending. Only spent money on the rent, phone, utilities, gas and groceries.”
It can be difficult to create a budget and cut down on spending, but if you have outstanding student loan debt it is definitely something to prioritize. User TheChilledPixel is now completely debt free! Budgeting and spending your money wisely is effective, and can help make your student loan expenses much more manageable.
3. Make your payments on time
Interest accrues on your student loan payments, so make your payments sooner rather than later to avoid having to pay extra costs. To make these payments in a timely fashion, try cutting down on your spending -- especially when it comes to luxury items.
Reddit user yes_its_him’s reddit post on personal finance emphasizes the importance of staying on top of your payments: “Pay them back on schedule. It sounds crazy, but it just might work! If your income supports it, pay the minimum on low-interest (<~4%) loans. If you have even more income, repay them faster with extra payments, especially on higher interest loans, and save by paying less interest than you would over time.”
Don’t rely on student loan forgiveness and postpone your loan payments. Make sure to pay them back on schedule so you don’t have to pay more than anticipated.
4. Pick up a side hustle or part-time job
If you’re having trouble paying off your student loans with just your primary source of income, consider picking up a side hustle or part-time job.
This student loans reddit thread details various jobs and activities people have picked up to help pay off their loans, including pet sitting, bartending, officiating, and miscellaneous online jobs. These online jobs have flexible hours and you can work in the comfort of your own home!
If you have the time and can make the commitment, a side hustle or part-time job can prove to be very useful, providing you with more flexibility in managing your money.
5. Consider refinancing your private student loans
Refinancing your student loans isn’t always the best option for everyone, but can be very helpful in some cases. Currently, federal student loans are not collecting any interest until October 1, 2021 as part of COVID-19 relief. However, if you are currently repaying a private loan with a high interest rate, refinancing may be your best option, allowing you to lower your monthly payments and save more money.
In this reddit post on student loans, user Zaerth talks about their experience with refinancing their private loan. “I'm going from paying nearly $900/month toward my private loans to $515/month. I extended the life of the loan by a few years in order to get that rate, but I'm planning on refinancing again in a couple years. And I can always pay more than the minimum payment. But for now, it's a huge relief.” Zaerth said they wished they refinanced years ago.
Juno can help you to find a student loan or refinance a loan at the most competitive possible rate. We get groups of buyers together and negotiate on their behalf with lenders to save them money on private student loans and private student loan refinance loans.
SmarterCollege came into existence to help students and families save money through scholarships, student loans and other financial products. The SmarterCollege Team has worked with tens of thousands of students and families to help them save money.
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