With the pressure from getting good grades and studying, thinking about student loans can be stress-inducing. You may want to avoid going to college to prevent being in debt, but you need a college degree to get a decent-paying job nowadays. Sadly, even with a job, there’s no guarantee that you’ll pay back your loans in no time. It’s a stressful reality most students have to face. In this article we shall see How long until I pay off my student loans?
Nothing lasts forever, including the nightmare of paying back student loans. How long it takes to pay back student loans depends, but it’s estimated that it takes around 10 to 30 years to pay off your student loans. To help you reduce the anxiety of dealing with student loans, this article will share tips when considering taking out a student loan.
The fear of student debt
Education is necessary, but the world is making it harder to make high-quality education accessible to everyone. According to The Institute of Education Sciences – National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition and fees at public 4-year institutions were $9,400 in 2019–2020, about 13 percent higher than in 2010–2011, which was $8,300. This percentage can be higher or lower depending on the type of institution.
Due to the fear of being indebted, some students drop out of their four-year college program or choose not to get into college. A survey done by ECMC Group on high school students found that the likelihood of attending a four-year school decreased nearly as much as 20 percent in less than a year, a decrease of 53 percent from 71 percent.
How to deal with student loans?
Student loans can be scary, but there are ways how you can plan to avoid being over in debt! Here are some tips for you before taking out your student loan.
Do plenty of research
Different students may suit different types of loans. Don’t solely listen to recommendations and do plenty of research to see and understand the different types of student loans. Most people believe that federal loans may be best since it is fixed and has lower interest rates than other loans. You also don’t have to have any credit history of being able to take out your loan. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t opt for private loans. Discuss with your family and financial aid consultant to see what’s best for you. Researching goes beyond “what kind of loan is best,” but knowing the laws, regulations, requirements, the fees you need to pay, etc.
Remember that you are taking out this loan for your college education. Don’t use your money to get drunk on weekends or buy Gucci bags or borrow more than you actually need. Understand your financial situation and consult with a professional to have someone help you plan and strategize. Just keep in mind that the more you borrow, the more you have to pay back due to interest.
Know that there are interest rates
Yes, you’ll pay more than how much you first owe. Interest rates also vary depending on what type of loan and the package you choose. According to Nerd Wallet, the interest rates for all new federal direct undergraduate student loans are currently 3.73%. Plenty of calculators are available online that can help you calculate how much money you need to pay, including interest.
It’s annoying to have to work and deal with college life but take this as a chance to gain more work experience that will benefit you when applying for jobs. It’s best to start earning money as soon as possible in college to save up. Multiple remote part-time, freelance, and internship opportunities are available, and they have super flexible working hours, so you don’t have to worry about clashing with your lectures.
Manage your money
To have an easier paying-back loan journey, you have to be smart with your money and be frugal. It’s best to try journaling your expenses to manage and see where your money goes and how you can save. You don’t have to completely cut all the fun off your life but restrain from overspending on unnecessary things like going to Starbucks every week. Prevent from not paying the minimum payment because it can affect your credit score and will cause a lot of trouble for you in the future. It can get as bad as not being able to get jobs.
Pay more than minimum
There are packages when taking loans and a minimum amount of money you can pay back each month. If possible, try to pay more than the minimum amount given so you can pay back all your student loans as soon as possible.
Don’t rely on debt forgiveness
It should be a mental note in everyone’s life to not rely on anyone and expectations of people or things. There are still a lot of uncertainties, requirements, and regulations on student loan forgiveness. It’s okay to hope for the possibility of getting debt forgiveness, but don’t let that make you loosen up and stop attempting to pay off your student loans yourself.
Unless a miracle happens, paying off student loans may take more than a decade, which can be terrifying to think about. I can’t say that the journey will be problem-free, but there are ways to help you have an easier time paying off your student loans and make working hard to pay off your loans worth it. Ensure that you do your research, consult with your family and professionals, and plan your finances before taking out student loans.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is taking out student loans a bad idea?
Yes and no. It’s not a bad idea because you’ll be able to get into college, get a degree, and be open to many job opportunities. But it can be bad if you are not prepared to pay back your student loans.
- Why is student debt high?
The increase in college fees, decrease or insufficient working wage, and increased student loan interest are the causes of high and increased student debt.
- Is there really a “student loan crisis”?
Yes. Many students end up not being able to graduate and have a lot of debt. It is a crisis that requires immediate governmental action.
- What type of loan is the best for students?
Every student may suit different loans, but a subsidized loan is considered the best option as you don’t have to worry about interest while in college.