Last updated Apr. 18, 2023 by Peter Jakes
Have you been thinking of ways to get rid of student loan debt fast? Are you bothered about the increasing interest rate incurred on your loan? Are your pending debts distracting you from focusing? Is it affecting your overall well-being?
Understandably, everyone prefers a debt-free life. But certain situations led most people to apply for student loans during their academic program.
Many people have attempted to pay off their debts, but their plan keeps failing due to limited knowledge.
I might be unaware of how much struggle you’ve had trying to repay your student loan debt. But I assure you that many like you have come out of similar situations and are now debt-free. The difference between you and them is access to information.
With these nineteen loan repayment plans, you will quickly eliminate your student loan debt. We have everything you need to make your loan repayment journey smooth and hassle-free.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan
This kind of repayment plan considers your monthly income and family size. It aims to make loan repayment affordable and flexible for debtors.
An income-driven repayment plan should be your ideal choice if you look forward to paying off your federal student loan. They are also great for debtors who are unemployed or earn very little but have a high student loan debt.
The federal government offers four repayment options in this plan. By choosing any repayment plan, the debtor pays about 10% to 20% of their discretionary income and gets debt forgiveness if the loan is not repayable after 20 or 25 years of payment.
The four plans include the following:
- Income-Based Repayment.
- Pay As You Earn.
- Income-Contingent Repayment.
- Revised Pay As You Earn.
To know the income-driven repayment that’s great for you, you must consider your student loan type and financial situation.
For instance, an income-based repayment plan is suitable for people who want to repay their Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL).
However, to avoid confusion, you should consult a financial advisor to choose the best option. Alternatively, you can visit the US Department of Education’s Loan Stimulator to see the best plan for your needs.
Apply For Loan Forgiveness
There are specific criteria that qualify one for loan forgiveness. If you meet these criteria, you don’t need to repay any of your debt, or you will pay just part of the loan.
Often time, loan forgiveness, discharge, and cancellation are used interchangeably. While all might mean the same thing for debtors, the Federal Government uses them in different situations.
When the federal government forgives or cancels your loan, it is done based on your occupation, e.g., a teacher loan forgiveness. On the other hand, you can be discharged of your loans when you cannot repay your loan due to a physical disability, financial status, or school closure.
Pay More Than Minimum Each Month
For this to be possible, you need to make an excellent monthly income and engage in other side hustles. This way, your loan repayment will not be much of a financial burden, and you will be able to meet other financial needs.
The extra amount you add to your minimum payment can vary based on how much you make for that month. You should also reduce the amount you spend on non-essentials to the bare minimum so you can have enough extra payment for your loan debt.
Paying an additional amount on your loan repayment will help decrease your loan repayment duration and, subsequently, the interest accrued on loan. It is an innovative and straightforward way of repaying your debt fast, although not always affordable.
Make Biweekly Payments
For this loan repayment option, you will be paying your loan bi-weekly rather than every month. Although paying your loan on a biweekly basis can be financially strenuous- as it will eat into your budget – it will help you pay off your debt fast.
Making biweekly payments requires a level of discipline and commitment. To succeed, you must sacrifice certain luxuries and prepare to live a frugal lifestyle.
Signup For Automatic Payment
Most people fail to meet their loan repayment plan because of indiscipline. Such people find it challenging to commit if someone doesn’t compel them. Other times, some people forget to meet up with their loan repayment plan due to their busy schedules.
However, you can avoid such scenarios by signing up for automatic payment. You can do this on your banking app or any other fintech platform. This way, a particular amount of money will be deducted from your account each month or week, thus saving you from the trouble of defaulting on your loan repayment plan.
Snowball is the right method if you have multiple student loans to settle. This method aims to give the implementers a sense of achievement after paying off their smallest loan.
Here, you dedicate extra cash to paying the least student loan while making minimum payments on other loans. This way, you will quickly pay off your least debt while getting the motivation to move on to your next debt.
Pay Off High-Interest Loan First
Committing to paying your student loans with a higher interest rate first will reduce the total amount you pay as interest on your loan. This method is called the debt avalanche method. It is ideal for people who prioritize interest on loans.
Such people can dedicate extra cash to pay loans with higher interest rates while making minimum payments on other loans. The method differs from the debt snowball method, where you prioritize the lowest student loan regardless of the interest.
Make Extra Lump Payment When Available
You don’t get to have the opportunity to pay part of your loan debt from this option every time, but it could help speed up your payment if maximized.
Such opportunities can come when you make significant profits from your business at a particular time, are awarded a cash bonus from work, or are gifted cash by an old friend.
In moments like this, you might want to squander the money for pleasure, but it will benefit you more if you invest them in repaying your loan debt.
Get A Side Hustle
If your current income is insufficient to help you meet up to your debt repayment plan, then you have to look into getting an extra income. This could be a flexible remote job that will not impede your commitment to your main job.
There are thousands of remote jobs you can engage in today that can earn you passive income. Some are blogging, affiliate marketing, social media influencing, drop shipping, and more. You can channel the extra income to repay your debt as quickly as possible.
Seek For Help From A Relative Or Friend
Many of us are familiar with the famous quote that a problem shared is a problem solved, but seeking help when we need it is usually the problem. As a result, many fear our cry for help might be ignored and keep quiet instead.
Nevertheless, that shouldn’t discourage you from seeking help, especially when necessary. It could be from a wealthy friend or close relative who wouldn’t mind assisting. Even if the person volunteers to pay only a part of your loan debt, it will go a long way in helping you repay your loan fast.
While implementing this debt repayment method helps you focus on clearing all your debts, it also results in you paying more interest rates over time. Nevertheless, you should attempt this loan repayment method, mainly when you need the motivation to pay off your multiple loans.
Another way to get rid of your student loan debts is by refinancing. With this method, you are changing the terms of your contract for another favorable one – mainly to get a lower interest rate and a shorter loan term.
Before choosing to refinance your loan term, you should consider if you will be losing out on certain benefits in the long run. For instance, with some federal student loans, you qualify for possible loan forgiveness and income-driven loan repayment plans. However, refinancing such federal loans makes them private, thus limiting you from associated benefits.
On the other hand, it is safer to refinance a private student loan, especially if you don’t have a fixed interest rate. You will save money from your new contract and pay your debt faster.
Get A Part Time Job In College
It is one thing to get a student loan, and it is another thing to prepare to pay back your loan. However, adequate and prompt planning regarding your loan repayment will make your loan much more effortless.
Preparing to pay your debts a few weeks before the end of your loan term is an unwise choice. It is like a farmer preparing his farmland for the rainy season when the cloud is gathering. The result of such hasty preparation is often unpleasant.
The best time to plan to repay your student loan is immediately after you receive the loan. One way to do this is by getting a part-time job as a student and saving up. This way, you will find repaying your loan seamless and quick.
Use A Budget
Budgeting helps reduce your debt and focus your spending on essentials. Having a workable budget should be one of your priorities when you have started earning an income. You should be more serious about it when you are committed to paying off your student loans quickly.
When creating a budget, you must dedicate a good percentage of your earnings to paying for essential expenses, after which you consider a budget for your loan repayment and other miscellaneous expenses.
Sometimes, you might need to dedicate extra cash to repay your student loan fast. However, this is only possible if you reduce your budget on miscellaneous expenses and instead channel it to your loan repayment plan.
Live In A State With No Income Tax
Each state in the US has its way of taxing its residents. While some states demand a higher tax, some demand less from their citizens.
Interestingly, about nine states in the United States don’t require income tax. Instead, they make up for the tax deficits by getting a higher sales tax.
Living in a state with no income tax as a high salary earner will be a huge money-saving opportunity. This way, you will have enough funds to meet your loan repayment plan.
Maximize Student Loan Tax Deductions
A student loan tax deduction can be legit money safer if you know what they are and how you can benefit from it. Taking advantage of your tax deduction reduces your taxable income and, subsequently, your tax liability.
Both federal and private loan undertakers can get tax deductions on their student loans as long as they are eligible for the opportunity. With the tax deduction, you will get up to $2500 of the interest paid on your student loan during the year.
You are taking advantage of your tax deduction by diverting all or part of your tax refunds yearly to clear your student loan debt. However, you should consult your tax advisor to learn how to take advantage of your tax benefits.
Cut Down On Your Spending
When you have an excellent budget, you will find cutting down on your spending more manageable. Moreso, you will be critical of what you spend your money on and cut down on financially draining leisures. You can channel the funds to repay your student loans instead.
Work For An Employment With Repayment Assistance
Some organizations assist their employees in repaying their student loans. Some even provide tuition reimbursement for their employees. You will save money when you do your due diligence and find out from the human resource department if such an opportunity exists.
The good thing about this opportunity is that the repayment assistance is not taxable. This way, employees will have adequate funds to sort out their loans quickly.
Join The Military
As military personnel, you may be able to pay off your student loan quickly. You can do this by taking advantage of their loan forgiveness programs, such as military student loan forgiveness, or using the GI bill.
However, to qualify for any of their loan repayment benefits, you must have spent a required number of years in active service.
In addition, as military personnel, you will be exempted from paying specific bills as you will get some services free. This way, you will have more funds from your salary to settle your student loan debt.
Discharging student loans in bankruptcy has a strict approval standard. It is pretty challenging and requires that you prove before a court that paying your student loan will incur undue hardship on you and your dependent.
Although this loan repayment method is complicated and tedious, it is doable. However, you need to take an extra step by filing an adversary proceeding before the court considers you for a discharge.
Every borrower knows their financial situation better and should understand the repayment plan that best suits them. That one repayment plan works for borrower A doesn’t mean it will work for you.
The best thing to do is conduct proper research and explore all your options before choosing any plan. At any point you need professional help, endeavor to ask for it.
Frequently Asked Questions related to Student loan forgiveness
How Can I Get Rid Of Student Loans Legally?
You can get rid of student loans legally by exploring such debt repayment programs as income-driven repayment plans, teacher loan forgiveness, bankruptcy discharge, disability discharge, and more.
Can A Student Loan Be Forgiven?
Yes, a student loan can be forgiven. However, you need to meet specific eligibility requirements to enjoy this benefit.
Which Student Loans Are Not Eligible For Forgiveness?
Private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness because borrowers owe the loan to private lenders and not the federal government.