By the time you have been in college for a few years, you will have quite a bit of student loan debt. It can really pile up on you, and as you have to start making payments on all of those student loans it will really hit you for the first time how much debt you really have. The whole thing can be rather overwhelming, unless you know how to successfully manage student loan debt without losing your mind or your wallet.
1. Consolidate your student loan debt into one, simple, easy to manage debt. It is much easier to budget for one loan than up to a dozen. It also makes it easier to negotiate payment terms to avoid default. This may save you money in interest and finance charges as well.
2. Negotiate payment terms with your lenders or your new consolidated lender. You may be able to extend the time granted to repay your loans, which will in turn lower your monthly payment amounts. You may also be able to negotiate a lower interest rate, or a deferment period to help you get on your financial feet before making payments.
3. Even if you are able to have your loan put on deferment or you are still in school, and you are not being forced to pay on your loans currently, you are likely still racking up interest. Paying that interest each month will help you keep your student debt to a minimum.
4. Budget your interest or minimum payment amounts into your regular monthly budget. Make sure you have the funds to cover that bill just like you would any other bill, like your electricity. If possible, schedule to pay above and beyond your minimum monthly agreement so that you can knock down your student loan debt quickly and save money on interest later.