Managing Graduate School Loan Repayment
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios
Graduating from a graduate school program is a tremendous achievement. Those with advanced degrees can usually command higher salaries in the marketplace. However, that does not erase the debt load that a graduate school loan places on you. Here are some considerations when trying to repay graduate school loans.
The first step to navigate the graduate school loan debt load is to review your personal financial situation. Hopefully, your graduate education will have taught you simple economics – you can’t spend more money than you take in. Analyze your outgoing expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, cleaning bills, insurance, auto payments, and café lattes. The first step to eliminating debt, including graduate school loans, is to know your spending habits. Young professionals can spend hundreds of dollars per month on entertainment and meal expenses without realizing it. This is especially the case for those who are earning much more than their after-school bartending jobs. The paycheck seems so large that a lot of it can be spent without impacting your ability to repay graduate school loans.
It might be difficult, but you must resist the temptation to indulge in the luxuries associated with, for example, being a lawyer if you’re fresh out of law school. That Mercedes Benz, Armani suit, and Park Avenue address can wait until you’ve established yourself and have paid down most of the graduate school loan debt. Even if you manage to earn six-figures after graduation, this is the perfect time to exercise financial prudence and restraint. Get into the habit of writing your monthly graduate school loan payment checks. The rewards will be there.
When you save money from living a frugal lifestyle, you can apply your savings towards the principal of your student loans. This will enable you to pay them off faster. Not only will you eliminate the monthly payment sooner, but you’ll also save a lot of money in interest over the life of the loan. Some law students, for example, will get high-paying jobs with a big law firm, working long hours under undesirable conditions. Combining the high salary with wise financial decisions allow them to ditch the undesirable job within a couple of years to pursue their true passions without the burden of debt. Most student loan lenders will let you pay off your student loans early without any pre-payment penalties.
Even if you pay large chunks of money to pay off student loans, you’ll still have to make the monthly payment until it is completely paid off. It is a good idea to sign up for an automatic repayment program that takes your monthly payment out of your bank account. Many lenders will reward your participation by reducing your interest rates.
BIG Mike is a well known author, developer and Adsense expert as well as the owner of Niche Maniacs - a unique Adsense Marketing System designed to build long-term passive income streams from Adsense, YPN, Chitika and other PPC services.