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Are you wondering if you can pay off student loans all at once in full, in a faster and creative way? Well, here’s how to pay off student debt in 6 months with four easy steps that you can start today.
Why is it hard to pay off debt?
Student loans have been deemed a blessing when we are in dire need, but immediately turns into a curse when we have to pay them back. It is heavy baggage we all try to ignore and place nicely in the back of our minds. I can definitely attest to this haha!
For many of us, our story goes like this…
We take student loans to help us cover the cost of school. After all the sweat and tears, we finally graduate out of college and land ourselves a good-paying job. Thank God, right? However, we fall into the cycle of either:
- Paying the minimum payments that never seem to end.
- The temptation of loan forbearance, where we temporarily stop making payments and push them to a later date.
What we also tend to forget about is the devil called interest, which makes sure to keep us in the cycle of debt year after year. It is basically the additional cost of not paying off all your debt immediately after college.
Why do people stay in debt?
There are a million different reasons why we all stay in debt. Personally speaking, I stayed in debt because of unnecessary expenses, misallocation of funds, and sending remittances back home. (Many people in the diaspora can relate).
In addition, sometimes believers tend to put their money problems aside and expect God to miraculously save them from their student loans through faith. Well, I am sure you have heard the saying, “Faith without Action is dead.” I am not saying that miracles don’t happen. But you have to work your behind off, set a plan, reduce expenses, and take action to end the cycle of debt.
Like many of you, I had a job right after college. After the first year of working, I received my W2 for tax purposes. I was in utter shock when I compared my earnings to my bank account balance. It was a sad realization that I had not saved even a dime. On top of that, I had a huge liability called the student loans that I had purposely chosen to ignore. Can you relate?
It was not until January of 2020 that I decided to sit down and seriously create a budget/ savings plan. In short, I was absolutely tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
In my case, I was able to pay off approximately $10,000 in student loans plus credit card debt ($2,000) in full within 6 months using a really creative repayment strategy. I know my loans might be a fraction of what some of you have, but everything starts with just the first step.
4 Easy Steps How To Pay off Student Debt in 6 months
Don’t have time to read the “how to pay off student debt in 6 months” blog post right now? No problem! Pin and save it on Pinterest for later reading. Because these girl boss tips are that good. Trust Me!
This creative 6 months repayment method is best for you if you have a good-paying job and have less than $20,000 student debt loans. If you have more than $20,000 in debt, don’t worry, this strategy will definitely work for you too but will take longer, depending on your income. Regardless, I’m here to CHEER YOU ON!!!
Friend, get yourself a coffee, a notebook, and a pen because this is about to be good. 🙂
1: How Much Do You Owe In Student Loans?
Girrrl!! This is the most important step in starting a payoff plan. Most people don’t know how much they owe in loans. As much as it is uncomfortable to face the truth, you should pick up your phone ASAP and call your school and/or loan company. Also, ask these 5 questions and write the answers down like a boss:
- How much do I currently owe in loans? (the principal amount)
- How much will I owe including interest if I decided to pay it all off within 1 year, 2 years, 10 years? (just for comparison)
- What platform can I track and access my loan payment information on?
- What forms of payment do you accept? Does it have additional charges? (sometimes they charge an extra fee if you use your credit card)
- What is my minimum monthly payment?
Nevertheless, please make sure that you receive monthly statements to your physical or email address. One problem I had, was that my student loan statements were being sent to my mom’s address instead of mine. On top of that, I couldn’t access their website to track my loan information. My repayment record was really bad to the point they threatened to send a loan collector. This was totally my fault for being irresponsible.
2: How Can You Reduce Unnecessary Expenses To Pay Off Your Student Loans?
I know I can get in trouble for this, but if I don’t tell you the truth, who will sis?
Well straight to the point right? YOU DON’T NEED TO GET YOUR NAILS DONE, YOU DON’T NEED THAT NEW OUTFIT FOR A PARTY, YOU DON’T NEED TO EAT OUT, YOU DON’T NEED THAT EXPENSIVE WEAVE, YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY THAT EXPENSIVE ONE-TIME GIFT. I could go on for days, but the bottom line is, as long as it is not a basic need, YOU DON’T NEED IT.
Remember Money you owe is not money you own. I am not saying that you shouldn’t treat yourself. But my point is that just make temporary sacrifices, for now, to enjoy your freedom later.
Nevertheless, if you’re smart with your money now, luxury will follow. Just create a reasonable monthly money allocation strategy. (Budget)
For example: When you receive your paycheck, allocate money to rent, bills, food, tithe, savings, personal items, and health first. In addition, make sure you treat your savings as an expense. Like you freaking owe money to the mob or something. Those movie scenes, you know what I mean haha.
Put money away before you choose to pointlessly “treat yourself.”
Related Blog: 5 Budgeting Tips to Become a Financially Savvy Woman
3: How Can You Save More Money Towards Paying Your Student Loans?
Honestly, one of the main problems I had that made me stay in debt, was:
- Investing a lot money in my fashion business. (Misallocation of funds – Thinking back, I should have paid my debt before starting a business).
- Sending money to a lot of requests and fundraisers. This is because my mind thought that other people’s problems were bigger than mine.
- Spending on new clothes for every party I went to, travel, etc.
Well, the only solution to my problem was to find an option where I could secretly save money without personally having access to it for a short period of time. Even if someone needed something immediately from me, I personally did not have the cash in hand.
This account not only helps you avoid other people’s money requests but also your own. It simply keeps you in check with your spending/savings goals. Well, drum roll, please!!! The secret is out my people…
CD – Certificate Of Deposit
Yes, opening a CD account with the bank enabled me to strategically save and pay off my student loans in full within 6 months in a creative and faster way.
How Does It Work?
A CD is a savings option where you give the bank a certain minimum deposit amount, which will be inaccessible for a certain period of time, in exchange for a little interest gain. At maturity, you can decide to either add more cash to the CD or withdraw your cash plus the gained interest.
In addition, the interest, time period, and minimum deposit terms vary from bank to bank.
This meant that I would initially deposit $1,000 or more to an account. Then, I would have to wait for 45 days for it to mature (be accessible). During those 45 days, I could not touch the funds even if I wanted to. After 45 days, I could then choose to add or withdraw my funds plus the gained interest.
At maturity, MidWestOne bank particularly gave me a 10 day grace period to make a decision on what to do with the funds. If I didn’t respond, it automatically renewed for another 45 days.
How Can You Open a CD Account?
Personally, I went to the bank location and spoke to a specialist. But due to the pandemic, things might be different. I suggest calling the bank to see if you can open one in person or online.
Which Bank Should You Choose?
For the CD Method student loans payment plan, I suggest choosing a bank that offers:
- Low minimum deposit – Basically, you don’t have to save a lot of money before you can open a CD.
- Fewer maturity days – Basically, you don’t have to wait for a long time before you can throw in some more money in your secret hiding place. For example, getting a 1 year CD defeats the purpose of constant deposits/savings.
- High-interest rate – As much as it doesn’t matter too much for a one-year loan payment plan, who doesn’t want to gain more money?
4: How Can You Pay off Your Student Loans in full using The CD Method?
This is the step-by-step process that absolutely worked for me because I had other financial responsibilities. I could not afford to throw all my money into paying the student loans just in case I needed cash for something else.
- Save at least $1,000 in emergency fund savings – Accessible at any moment.
- Use any extra money to pay off all your credit card debt – They have ridiculously high interest rates. Just get this out of the way first.
- In the meantime, auto-pay the minimum payments on your student loans.
- Deposit a set amount in your CD at every renewal date that progressively leads you to your 6 months savings goal.
- Finally, at the end of 6 months, or when you’ve raised enough money, withdraw adequate money from your CD to pay off the rest of your student loans all at once.
This process also allowed me to smartly save towards paying my student loan, without feeling overwhelmed and broke.
Bonus! Student loan payoff calculator
Just because I am so passionate about helping you achieve financial freedom, I have created easy-to-fill savings tracking excel spreadsheet for you. The spreadsheet also includes a realistic example to see how the CD Method works.
Last thoughts on how to pay off student debt in 6 months
Lastly, I have laid it all down for you. These are the exact steps I took to pay off all my student loans in full in a creative way. On the contrary, I am not by any means a financial consultant, but I’m just giving tips on what worked out for me.
In summary, I hope this post helps you achieve your financial freedom. It is all possible through hard work, planning, and dedication.
Lastly, if you have read this far, it is not by coincidence. I strongly believe we have been brought together for a reason. Therefore, if these success tips resonate with you, feel free to leave a comment. Aaaand! Let’s be friends because I can’t wait to chat with you more.