How to clear your student debts

How to clear your student debts
21 June 2012

JUST graduated from college or university? Chances are, you’ve left in debt.

It’s not just sovereign nations that have a tendency to get themselves into debt-related problems; students are known to suffer from this particular kind of fiscal malady, too.

Though cashy can’t offer any assistance to Greece or Spain, we can help students to rid themselves of this always unwanted, but frequently necessary, burden. Let’s take a look...

Make a plan and stick to it

Be aware of how much money you can feasibly pay off every month and budget accordingly. Better still keep track of your payments by making up a spreadsheet that clearly illustrates the extent of your debt.

In this way you will have a visual idea of how much you still owe, and how long it will take to pay it off. This should help you psychologically, and will certainly keep you organised.

Understand your worth

As a fresh graduate, you’re literally bubbling over with enthusiasm and can’t wait to demonstrate your diligent work ethic and various other uncanny abilities. Employers love graduates for this reason, and also because they represent a cheap source of labour.

During your first few years, as you build your experience, you’re likely to be over-worked and under-paid, but things needn’t be quite so bad.

The thrill of receiving your first job offer might leave you in a giddy and pliable mood, but make it clear what you can offer to the company and build a case for receiving a bit extra. In the final estimation, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, and any extra income you receive from the get go will help tremendously down the line.

Keep living like a student

This is something you should be quite used to, and hopefully it will have endeared you with the ability to get by spending very little.

If you’re committed you will be able to save a considerable amount of money through adopting the kind of survival strategies that taught you to make full use of public transport, and look out for deals in the supermarket.

Of course, it’s tempting once you start earning money to blow the larger part of it on useless, ostentatious rubbish, but through discipline and adopting the mindset of delayed gratification, you can make the best use of your capital to reduce your debt.

Consolidate

If you have multiple debts from different sources, you may be in a good position to consolidate your debts at a lower rate.

Banks generally realise that new graduates (especially those with professional qualifications) experience significant income growth in their early years and make excellent long-term customers, so many will be willing to offer attractive consolidation packages to secure your custom.

Don’t neglect your savings

It may be tempting to employ all the funds at your disposal in an attempt to wipe out a large amount of debt in one go. However, you may find yourself in the financial equivalent of a general, who having caused the slaughter of all his men in a charge against the enemy, now finds himself without any reserves, and perhaps wishing that he had become an accountant.

In short, it’s important to maintain the availability of some of your savings as they might be required to deal with the myriad unexpected events that life tends to throw at us from time to time.

Treat yourself once in a while

Few people will need any encouragement in this regard. Debt has wormed itself into the fabric of modern society, and is a part of modern life. So make time to let loose once in a while, as long it has been sufficiently budgeted for, of course…

Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Have you repaid your student debts? How did you do it? Share with cashy...

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