Control Your Student Loan with These Practical Tips
Unless you are one of the lucky handful of students who can get a college education for free, chances are that you have a significant student loan to look forward to once you graduate. Most students are able to pay their loans on time, and without much difficulty, but it makes life harder because you’ll probably be paying it off until you’re in your 30s. The student loan business is a thriving one, and banks are making a killing (especially in America). There are some smart things that you can do to pay off your debt in about a year or two without sacrificing much.
Average Student Debt
Canadian and American students are similar in one way: they both graduate with a nearly identical level of debt. The typical student graduates with a debt in the mid $20.000 range, but the surprising thing is that Canadian students actually graduates with slightly more debt. The average Canadian graduates with $26,297 of debt, but the average American graduates with $24,301 worth of debt. That’s enough money to buy a new car, like a Ford F-150 XL or Toyota Camry, and still have money left over. You might expect the debt problem to be worse in Canada due to the difference, but you would be very mistaken.
There’s only about $15.1 million worth of outstanding student loans in Canada. But, the overall outstanding debt is almost 1.000X higher in America at around $1.2 trillion. One significant reason for this is that there are significantly more American college students, which contributes to the pool of outstanding debts. Another major reason for this huge difference is that Canadians are able to pay their student loans almost four years earlier than Americans.
Most Canadians are able to pay their student loans in full within 6.4 years, but Americans take close to 10 years to pay their loans back. This is because most student loans in America come with a standard 10-year repayment plan, but there are many things that you can do to pay the debt back in as little. You should also know that there are currently 37.000.000 American students that have student loans. This is enough people to fill the campuses at Arizona State University about 512 times. Debt can be a major problem, but there are a few easy ways to fix it.
Trimming the Debt
You’ll have to tighten your belt a little to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible. However if you know what to focus on, then you may not even notice the difference. First of all, try staying home with your parents as you establish yourself. Rent typically costs around $900 a month for Canadians and $800 for Americans. If you set this aside every month for your debt, then you’ll save nearly $10,000. Another significant area is transportation. Public transportation is sometimes inconvenient, but it’s a lot cheaper than owning a car. In fact, most people are able to save about $10,181 just by taking the bus. Why? Because you don’t have to worry about maintenance, gas, insurance or any random repairs. If you pay the cable bill, then you might want to rethink how you watch TV. Most people pay around $1,000 for a two-year contract with the cable company, but it would only cost about $200 if you used Netflix or Hulu Plus ($400 for both). That adds up to savings of around $600 to $800, and you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite shows and movies.
Using student deals can help you save a little over a $100 a year. For example, Bank of America offers a student checking account with a small $12 monthly maintenance fee, which is much cheaper than their other accounts.
Believe it or not, coffee can be your worst enemy. Many people love buying a cup of coffee, but did you know that having a single cup a day will cost around $500 a year? Consider kicking the coffee habit or just making it at home.
Lastly, it’s time to get rid of your landline phone and use free online phone services for your phone needs. You can make calls to cell phones and landlines for absolutely nothing. You just have to use your computer as the phone. This will save you about $400 a year.
Everyone thinks that students loans are hard to pay, but you could get rid of the looming debt in a little over a year if you follow all of the above tips. You need an education to get a great job, but you also need financial freedom. It will take some discipline, but you can easily free yourself from these debts so that you can move on with your life.