When you’re in high school filing out loan applications you’re most likely not thinking anything of it for two reasons. One, your parents are usually the one’s filing them out and two, you’re still a kid. You don’t realize the responsibility that comes with taking on loans so it’s smooth sailing for about 4 years, or however long it takes you to get your degree. Then, boom. Six months have gone by since you’ve graduated and it’s time to pay your dues. So, what now? Your loans aren’t going to magically disappear overnight, but here are some tips that’ll help speed up the process.
1. Ditch the “It’s my money, I can do what I want with it” mentality.
We get it. You work hard for your money so it’s only right that you spend it how you please but think about it. If it weren’t for those student loans helping you to afford college you might not be making as much as you are. Therefore, get rid of that sense of entitlement and make your loans a priority.
2. Put Work Bonuses Towards Debt
Most of us get our work bonuses towards the end of year, just in time for the holidays. As tempting as it can be to spend this money on a bunch of luxury items such as a new purse or that new Mac Air (although nothing is wrong with current laptop) you have to fight it! It’s more important to be financially secure then fashionably up-to-date.
3. Sell Unwanted Items
We all have those weird sweaters that our aunts bought for Christmas, hidden in the back of our closets, or that awkward gift you got from one of your coworkers that kind of just sits around the house. Create an eBay or craigslist account, do some research on how much each item is worth, take quality photos with catchy headlines and get paid! It’s so cliché but one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure! Put the money you’ve earned from these sales toward your debt.
4. Think Before You Swipe
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve went on 400$ hauls at TJ Maxx, came home and literally questioned about 45% of my purchases. Next time you’re shopping and you see something that’s a little out of your budget ask yourself, is this something that I really need or something that I really want? Most of the time, it’s a want.
5. Delete Your Credit Card Information from Online Stores
Online shopping is becoming the norm, and to speed up the process you probably already have your credit card information saved to your favorite store’s website. Having your information saved on these sites not only makes it easier to charge but also easier to rack up on unnecessary items so clear that information as soon as possible.
6. Create a Personal Reward System
Did you just reduce you’re student loan debt from $25,000 to $20,000 within the past four months? Congrats! That’s a huge accomplishment, so go ahead and reward yourself – within reason. Instead of taking a weeklong trip across the country how about a weekend camping trip? Creating small incentives for reaching milestones is a form of self-encouragement and motivation.
Hope these tips help!