If you’ve graduated and are in your first job or still looking for it, your problem is now that you feel saddled with debt. You feel like you’re in a deep hole and that doesn’t have the tools to get out. The path to paying it off may seem endless. But I’m here today to help demystify loans for you.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about how to pay off student loans- how to make it automatic, where to start when choosing which loan to pay off first, how to avoid new debt and when to use credit cards (yes those are a type of loan too). I’m not a financial advisor, so please ask your financial advisor for advice.
- Make it automatic. The best way to be successful with paying down your debts is to set up automatic payments so you don’t even have to think about the money leaving your account.
- Start with the highest interest loans first. One method to taking control of your debt is called a “debt avalanche.”
- Or use the “debt snowball” technique. This is a fun strategy and is slightly different than the strategy above. This method refers to paying off the smallest balance loan first, while still paying the minimum payments on your other loans.
- Don’t compile new debt. Once you are committed to getting out of debt, make every effort to not get into new debt. Only use your credit card when you are absolutely sure you can pay it off at the end of the month.
- Credit cards can help you build up your credit score. This is a number between 300 to 850 that affects your ability to qualify for loans. Paying attention to a credit score early will help you in the long run since it can affect anything from getting a car loan to a home loan.
- Research the card with the best benefits. Offers for new credit cards may flood your mailbox. Every day there’s typically a new offer in the mail waiting for you, gunning for you to jump on it and apply for a new card. Be smart and judicious about which one you choose.
- Pay it off in full and on time—every month. No excuses. Just get in the habit of using a credit card only when you’re able to pay it off in full every month.