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Millennials are more burdened by student loans and student loan debt than ever before. As the cost of college continues to rise, student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto loan debt. Just behind mortgage debt, student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt category. Graduating students are leaving college with debt that is greater than the average cost of a new car . The average price in 2017 was nearly $35K. Tips for Millennials to manage their student loan debt.
- Understand your loans and loan agreements – It is important to understand the types of student loans you have, your student loan repayment options, and the programs offered to federal and private loan borrowers. Read your promissory note, which is a legal document.
- Make payments on time – Making payments on time is the best way to avoid default and eventually pay off your loan. It’s also an excellent way to build credit. Building good credit helps when it comes time to make a big purchase, such as buying a house.
- Create a budget – create a post-college budget that includes all expenses, from credit card payments to utilities and groceries. By sticking to a budget, you should have enough savings to pay your loans on time.
- Keep good records and track your loans – Track all payment schedules. keep a paper record of every monthly payment. Utilize online tools and platforms to manage your loans and stay up to date.
- Address any financial challenges quickly – If you are having trouble making your monthly payment, don’t wait to address the problem. Research your options and talk to your lender. You may be able to switch repayment plans, consider an income-driven repayment plan, change a payment due date, or secure a deferment or forbearance.