A quick guide to clearing student debt fast

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How to get debt free quickly.

Graduating with five figure debts has become the norm for most students. The challenges of working life begin, not only with the need to adapt to the workplace and start creating a career, but also to handle substantial debts. If you’re not exactly over the moon about the debt that you have and you want to be debt free as quickly as possible then there are some ways that you can speed up the process.

Adjust your credit mindset

As students, we tend to get used to not having a lot of cash and using debt as a safety net. Once you’re out in the working world you need to readjust this mindset. Being able to live within your means is the single most positive step you can take as a graduate. This will give you control over your finances and the necessary discipline you’ll need to ensure you don’t run up any more debt.

Get used to setting financial goals

Like any other money objective, paying off debt requires planning. Many people shy away from the debt that they have acquired and prefer to ignore it for as long as possible but this can lean to a bad credit score limiting your loan options for the future. However, you’ll do better with your debt repayment if you factor it in to your financial goals instead. Turn debt repayment into a positive goal setting exercise and you’ll be far more motivated to get there.

Get used to overpaying

The fastest way to clear a student debt is to make more than the minimum repayment each month. Although this might bite a little for the first month that you do it you’ll soon get used to having less disposable income on a regular basis. It may seem more exciting to spend the cash you have right now on something more instantly gratifying than debt repayment but if you want to repay student debts early it’s the fastest way to do it. Better still it will set the course for a healthy financial future that doesn’t depend on credit cards and secured loans to buy those special items we all need from time to time.

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Get clever with your cash

Small adjustments here and there can help to create the extra cash you need to pay off student debt more quickly. For example, try adjusting the way you spend on food and other essentials. Look for cheaper prices on utilities to cut down your monthly costs and get a smart meter installed so that you have more control over what you’re spending on energy. Try becoming vegetarian for a week or so – or experiment with a dry month and see how much cash you save. Sometimes it’s the smaller adjustments that add up to enough to make a big overall difference.

Generate more from your capacity to earn

If you’ve run up debts to get a degree or qualification then make sure you’re using that qualification to get the best possible salary. If you now have skills and experience others don’t consider tutoring or teaching on the side to generate extra income to put towards your debt repayment. And if you’ve got a qualification that others haven’t, get used to asking for pay rises and bonuses that reflect that – all of this will enable you to clear your student debt more quickly.

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Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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