June 26, 2019

How to Pay Off Student Loans Fast in 2017

The problem of student debt is worse than people assume. Five years ago, total debts have exceeded $1 trillion and with tuition fees continuously rising – it’s safe to say this burning issue isn’t going away. In addition to the devastating fact that high costs are turning education into a privilege, student loans are also taking the mental and physical toll on those pursuing a degree.

But when people are forced to participate in a certain system, there’s nothing else to do than to find a way to adapt. Last year was marked by Elizabeth Greenwood faking her death to escape over $100.000 in student loans. While these extreme measures might not be the best option, there are ways you can pay off student loans fast in 2017.

Pay More Than the Minimum, Starting From Variable Private Loans

 

By paying more than the minimum monthly payment, you’re reducing your loan’s principle which prevents interests from accumulating. The more balance you take off, the lower your interests get. In addition, you should prioritize settling variable private loans first. Interest rates of this type of loans are expected to rise up to 6% in the next four years, putting more financial burden on students. Commit to eliminating this debt – you can do so by segmenting your payments. Divide payments and make one per every two weeks and you’ll end up paying off more per year. There are 52 weeks in a year: by making a payment every other week, you’ll pay off 26 payment, i.e. 13 full monthly payments.

Check Refinancing Options

 

Even though rates in the case of variable private loans are less predictable, they typically start out lower than in cases of fixed-rate loans, which is why students choose them. Lenders are not held responsible for the rates increasing. Here’s why you should think about student loan refinance options: you can switch to a fixed rate and get a lower interest, benefit from a more flexible repayment plan, and consolidate all debts into one. It could be a smart strategic move, although caution is advisable. Many make the mistake of locking themselves in a plan that implies small monthly payments, but also a large loan’s lifespan and increasing interest over an extensive period of time, for example, 25 years.

Turn to Your Employer

 

Employer student loan repayment is getting more popular for eliminating debt. Basically, employers who offer this type of help provide monthly financial aid that’s somewhere between $100 and $300 on average. So, how beneficial is this to you in real life? A little bit of math: an average student loan debt in 2016 was around $37.000, so if you have a ten-year plan and an interest rate of 6%, you’re expected to pay a little more than $410 per month. After a decade, you will have paid around $12.300 in interests. But with the monthly help of your employer in the amount of $200, you’ll be able to pay off your loan in just 6 years and with around $7150 interest. Negotiate these options when discussing salary.

Ask Around About Tax Deductions

 

Did you know you may be entitled to tax deductions regarding student loans? A person who is eligible to apply for the tax deduction can expect to save up to $2.500 on student loan interest in a year. However, your income has to be lower than $80.000 and if you earn between $65.000 and $80.000, the deduction is reduced. Needless to say, you can only deduct loans if they come from qualified sources. Loans from friends, family, or your employer don’t count. Most of the U.S. colleges are part of this system, so take advantage of what IRS has to offer if you’re eligible to apply.

In addition to these tips, always have a budget plan in mind. Remember: consistency is the key to paying off your student loans.

 

 

 

 

Sanders and Clinton battle for youth vote with college plans

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are fighting to be best in class on an issue that resonates loudly with young Americans – runaway student debt.

Days ahead of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary election that kick off the party nomination process, the White House contenders are shopping rival plans that would make college more affordable.

Sanders is pitching a scheme to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, and Clinton is promoting one that would ensure students pay what they can without taking on crippling loans.

“It's important (to address student debt), so I can actually do something with my life,” said Selena Alcantara, a 17-year-old freshman at Southern New Hampshire University, who estimates she will graduate $70,000 in the red.

U.S. student debt has surged about 24 percent to around $1.2 trillion since 2012, according to the latest figures from the New York Federal Reserve, leaving many graduates with mortgage-sized tabs before they enter the workforce.

The problem is acute in New Hampshire – which stages its primary on Feb. 9. There, college debt runs about $33,410 per student, 15 percent above the U.S. average, according to The Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit advocacy group. Only Delaware has a higher figure, at $33,808.

While Sanders is leading Clinton in New Hampshire polls, they are in a dead heat in Iowa.

Nationwide, Clinton has an edge with support from 55 percent of her party compared to 36 percent for Sanders, in the fight to win the party nomination for the November election. But voters aged 18-49, most likely to be affected by student debt, are nearly evenly split between the two, according to recent polls.

Democratic candidates have targeted the issue of student debt more aggressively than their Republican counterparts. Donald Trump and rival Ted Cruz, for example have not issued formal proposals on the subject.

TUITION-FREE VS DEBT-FREE  

Sanders, who polls show is the favorite to win New Hampshire, has a plan that would make all state colleges and universities tuition-free, a $75 billion per year project that his campaign says would be funded by a tax on Wall Street speculation.

“This country made a commitment a very long time ago to provide tuition free education from kindergarten to the 12th grade,” said Warren Gunnels, a policy adviser to Sanders. “And right now a college education is just as important as a high school degree was 50 years ago.”

Critics have questioned whether the estimates for both the costs and financing are realistic.

When Sanders outlined the plan at Southern New Hampshire University this month, the crowd of several hundred clapped and cheered loudly, even though SNHU is private and not under the purview of Sanders’ proposal.

In contrast, Clinton has pushed a more cautious plan targeting “debt-free” college education, with proposals to increase access to tuition grants, push for income-based repayments, and – like Sanders – to allow graduates to refinance student loans at lower interest rates.

Addressing a crowd of around 1,000 people in Manchester, New Hampshire last week, Clinton asked how many people carried student debt. “Oh my goodness. Yeah, me too, me too,” she said as hands shot up around the room.

Her plan would require students to work about 10 hours a week and would require higher-income families to contribute. Her campaign estimates it would cost $350 billion over 10 years – less than half of Sanders' price tag.

“I’m a big proponent personally that the kids should have to have some skin in the game,” said Scott McGilvray, the president of the New Hampshire branch of the National Education Association, which has endorsed Clinton.

Jennifer and David Speidel, an adult couple from New Hampshire, worry their children’s student loans will hit shortly after they pay off their own.

“There’s no break,” Jennifer said.

They are not the only adults who, for one reason or another, are dealing with student debts. About a fifth of households headed by people 45 to 54 years old have them, according to a 2014 study from the Government Accountability Office.

For students already enrolled in college, though, the debts are mounting even as the candidates campaign.

“I try not to think about that too much,” said May Mullen, 19, another freshman at SNHU.