Tips for Paying Back Student Loans

“You’re in debt, but you’re still alive. Now what?” — Horace
This is an article on the best ways to pay back student loans with a minimal burden and possibly get some good tax benefits along the way. It’s not an easy task considering student loan debt has been increasing at alarming rates over recent years.,

The “how to pay off $40,000 in student loans” is a blog post that offers tips for paying back student loans. The article includes information on how to set up an emergency fund, and how to make the most of your monthly income.

Vintage man on desk with stack of paperwork.

We spoke about the fundamentals of student loans earlier this week, and what every young guy should know before taking out one.

For many of you, it’s advice you wish you’d received a decade ago when you first began college. You’re now saddled with a mountain of student debt and overwhelmed by the thought of repaying it all.

If you’re in that situation, we’ve put up a guide on repaying your student loans, complete with advice on how to pay off your debt quicker and more successfully.

Repayment Plans for Student Loans

So you’ve completed your college education. Congratulations! Your diploma and student loan statement may be found here. Looking at a $30,000 payment (the average for student debtors) might be stressful when you’re just starting out at the bottom of the corporate ladder and not earning much money.

Thankfully, the federal government has set up a number of payment options that might help you pay off your student loans more easily. We’ve highlighted some of them below:

Repayment Plan Standard. Payments are a set monthly sum of at least $50 for up to ten years. The advantage of this plan is that you will pay less interest in the long run than with other options.

Repayment Plan with Graduation Payments start off modest and gradually climb every two years or so. With a progressive payment plan, you have 10 years to pay off your debt. This plan considers that you will earn less money in the beginning of your career, thus the payments will be lower. You just pay the monthly interest on your loan for the first several years. While the lower payments at the start of the payment period might assist with monthly budgeting, you will pay more in interest with this plan than with the normal plan.

Plan for a Longer Repayment This is a payment plan for borrowers with direct and FFEL loans totaling more than $30,000. You now have 25 years to repay your debts, rather than the usual 10. The extended payment plan has fewer installments, but you’ll pay more interest in the long run than the 10-year conventional plan.

The Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBRP) is a repayment plan that is based An income-based repayment plan is for you if you are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty. Your maximum monthly payment will be 15% of your discretionary income, which is defined as the gap between your adjusted gross income and the poverty line for your family size. On this plan, you’ll have 25 years to pay off the debt. If you’ve made qualifying monthly payments for the whole 25-year period but still haven’t paid off your loans, the remaining balance will be forgiven. Keep in mind that the amount forgiven can be subject to income tax.

While the income-based repayment plan might make your monthly loan payments much more reasonable, you will end up paying more in interest than if you had chosen the normal repayment plan.


There are a few more options besides this income–based repayment plan to consider. They operate in a similar manner to the previously stated plans, but they vary in terms of eligibility and monthly payment amount. Visit for additional information.

What Happens If I Can’t Pay Back My Loan?

Failure to pay your student loan obligations has serious repercussions. Declaring bankruptcy, unlike other forms of financing, makes it exceedingly difficult to discharge or decrease your student loan debt. You’re stuck with it for the rest of your life. So there’s no getting around that. If you don’t make a payment on a federal student loan within 270 days, the government will consider the debt to be in default, and it will use its vast ability to make your life a living hell until you start paying them back.

Here are just a handful of the consequences of failing to repay your student loans:

Your credit score will suffer as a result of this. A low credit score makes it difficult to purchase a vehicle, a house, or even rent an apartment.

You’ll end yourself in much more debt. Even if you don’t pay your debt, interest continues to accrue. If you believe your student loan cost is too high right now, wait a year before making a payment.

There will be no more tax refunds. If you owe money on a federal student loan, the government will take your tax return and use it to pay down your debt. Furthermore, the government may take your spouse’s half of the return to pay down your debt.

Wages are subject to garnishment. The government may garnish up to 15% of your disposable income if you fail on a federal student loan. Not only will you be missing a portion of your salary, but your employer will also be aware that you are having financial difficulties.

Co-borrowers may also be in jeopardy. If your federal student loan was co-signed by your parents, they are responsible for the defaulted debt. Expect to hear from collection agencies as well.

Bottom line: Always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always,

Deferment and Forbearance of Loans

You shouldn’t have to worry about defaulting if you do some careful financial preparation. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the federal government provides many graded repayment options that may help you pay off your student loans on a monthly basis.

If you still can’t make your monthly payment after using one of the graded repayment plans, you might consider loan deferral or forbearance.

Deferment of a loan. A loan deferral is a time during which your student loan payments are suspended. The federal government will pay the interest on your Direct Subsidized and Perkins Loans throughout the deferral period.

Loan deferral requirements alter every few years, although most persons who are jobless, a professional intern or resident, a full-time unpaid volunteer, or a winner of an accepted graduate fellowship are eligible.


You may be eligible for a three-year debt deferral if you work full-time as a teacher in a “teacher-poor region.”

Forbearance on a loan. Loan forbearance is an option to consider if you can’t make your payments and don’t qualify for deferment. You may be able to cease paying payments on your loan entirely, or you may be able to lower your monthly amount.

Discretionary and forced forbearance are the two forms of forbearance.

Discretionary forbearance is for those who are experiencing financial difficulties or are unable to work due to illness. It is up to the lender to determine whether or not you qualify.

If you satisfy specific qualifications, such as working in a medical or dental internship or serving in the National Guard, the lender is compelled to provide you forbearance.

You’ll need to speak with your loan provider to obtain a loan forbearance.

Repaying Your Student Loan Debt: Some Pointers

If you just graduated from college and are searching for a strategy to pay off your student debts as quickly as possible, we recommend the following:

Add up all of your debts. It’s easy to lose track of how much you owe if you’ve taken out many student loans. Fortunately, the government has established a single database where you can search for all of your student loans. To get the information, go to the National Student Loan Data System.

You’ll have to do more investigation on your own for private loans, but that shouldn’t be too difficult given you’ll presumably already be getting payments from them while you’re in school.

Consolidate all of your debts. When you consolidate your debts, all of your individual loans are combined into one large one. Look into debt consolidation if you have federal student loans that were issued before to July 1, 2006. Federal loans did not have set interest rates prior to July 1, 2006, which meant that the rates on these loans might change over time. Consolidating your loans will lock in your interest rate, which is likely to be lower than the rates you’re now paying. If your loans were granted after 2006, there’s no need to combine since their interest rates are likely to be the same, and that rate is normally rather low. However, if the federal government raises the interest rate on those loans, you may want to explore debt consolidation.

Visit the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Program for more information about loan consolidation.

First and foremost, pay off your personal debts. If you have any personal loans, you should pay them off first. Because the interest rates on private loans are often higher than on government loans, the sooner you pay them off, the less money you’ll have to pay over the life of the loan. Another incentive to pay off your private loans first is that their interest rates are frequently variable and may rise at any time. As a result, you’ll have to spend extra.

Remember to subtract your interest payments as well. Deduct the interest you pay on student loans to lower your tax payment. You can deduct up to $2,500 per year from your taxes, according to the IRS. So, if you pay $1,000 in interest and are in the 25% tax bracket, you may save $250 on your tax payment. Sure, it’s a little gesture, but every little bit counts.


Ideas for Paying Off Your Student Loans More Effortlessly

Loan forgiveness programs are available. There are a few programs that will forgive all or part of your school debt if you participate in national service for a certain length of time. Listed below are a handful of the programs that are available:

  • Forgiveness of Teacher Loans Teachers who teach in “low-income” schools may have their debts partly forgiven after five years.
  • Forgiveness of Public Service Loans The remaining debt on your loan will be forgiven if you work in specific public service occupations (such as government or non-profit employment) and have made at least 120 payments on your loan.
  • Loan forgiveness for volunteers. You may be eligible for a partial cancellation of your Perkins Loans if you join AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps (15 percent for each year of service). If you’re a doctor or nurse, you may have a portion of your federal debts forgiven if you agree to work for two years in places that are distant (rural communities) or economically suffering.
  • Repayment of Military Enlistment Loans Although not exactly a loan cancellation, enlisting in one of the military branches may entitle you to have up to $65,000 of your student loan debt forgiven ($20,000 for reservists). The quantity varies according on the branch. More information may be found here.


Be thrifty. Spending less money on other things is one of the simplest methods to boost money available for student loan repayment. See our post with 80 recommendations on how to be a better penny pincher for ideas on how to win the fight on student debt.

Increase your earnings. Obviously, the more money you earn, the more money you have available to pay down your student debts. The two most effective strategies to boost your income are to 1) ask for a raise from your job and 2) establish a side business. Any additional cash you make each month is used to pay off your debt.

Paying back your college debts isn’t nearly as enjoyable as being a student. However, once the monkey is off your back, you’ll regain some of the freedom and vigor you experienced as a young buck. Finally, you can quit eating ramen for supper.



The “how to pay off student loans” is a guide for people who are struggling to pay back their student loans. The article has tips on how to get out of debt and what steps you should take.

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