If you are like most college graduates with student loans, you probably have two goals that seem to cancel each other out: pay off your student loans and save money.
Ready to get both those goals in gear and breathe a whole lot easier? Here’s how:
First Step: Start With a Plan
Just like you tackled projects in college, getting rid of student loan debt and saving money both start with a simple plan you can commit to. If you are deadline oriented, try a short-term calendar goal for saving money and paying your student loans. For example, over the next four months, save $20 per month and pay $20 extra a month on your student loan balance. Once you achieve that goal, set a new deadline.
If deadlines don’t typically work as a goal strategy for you, consider taking a carrot-and-stick approach. Commit to saving a specific but attainable amount – like $100 – by cutting out little extras like drive-through meals or fancy coffee drinks. Once the dollar goal is achieved, use half to make an extra payment on your student loan and buy yourself one of those small treats. Then set a new goal.
Second Step: Feed the Pig
A feed-the-pig (as in piggy bank) strategy that really increases cash flow is uncomplicated, easy to accomplish and short term. Four of those strategies that will add to your savings and deliver funds to help you pay off student loan debt faster include:
- Modify your living situation: If you are living alone, get a roommate to defray expenses and help you save money. Or, if possible, move back home and save rent. It’s a short-term move to help you meet your saving and debt-busting plan.
- Set up a side hustle: You’ve got this! If you have a car, sign up to be a ride service driver or a food-delivery service driver in your spare time. Use some screen time to make a profit by taking surveys or watching videos and sharing your opinion. Or offer your services as a pet sitter or dog walker.
- Sell your stuff: You have endless opportunities to sell your unused stuff online to pad your savings. Gather your electronics, musical instruments, books or clothes that are collecting dust and search out the best online sites to cash in.
- Refinance your student loans: It’s likely no one ever told you that you can refinance your federal and private student loans through a credit union. A student loan refinance is a great way to gather all your loans into one for one monthly payment. By refinancing to a lower interest rate on your student loans, you’ll save money on each payment. Plus, the lower rate may make it easier for you to pay off your student loans faster.
Refinancing to consolidate all your college loans into one is an easy win for your budget. Members who refinance their student loans with USC Credit Union save an average of $14,752.
Find out how easy and fast it is to refinance your student loans at USC Credit Union. Not a member? Not a problem. If you live, work, worship or go to school in the city of Los Angeles or Orange County, you are eligible for membership. Learn more here.