Student Loans Guide: How To Crunch Your Loans Down To Zero

white ceramic piggy bank student loans guide
Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Student loans can be a stressful burden. Even after working for a long time and saving money, you may need student loans to help fund your education. This is a common situation among undergraduate and graduate students. If you take a student loan or plan on doing so, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the balance owed. And pay this amount back ASAP. This guide aims to provide useful tips on staying organized when it comes to paying off pesky student loans.

Have a stream of income throughout each year.

Whether you choose to work for yourself or somebody else, you should ensure that you have employment during the school year. Of course, a full-time position is likely not possible due to the work you have for university and the time you’ll need to study. You must work part-time, on weekends or after your weekly courses. Find a job on campus that is easily accessible to you and your schedule. Maybe find a job that involves walking a short distance from one of your classes.

Alternatively, if you do not live on campus, there are various part-time positions that hire students — provided that you give your availability throughout the week and weekends. Be as specific as possible and be persistent when applying. At the end of the week, allocate most of the money you earned towards paying off your loans.

Next, make sure your method of payment is verified and set up with the loan lender.

For example, if you are dealing with OSAP student loans, set up your method of payment using the information on your National Student Loan Service Centre account. If you want to make payments using a bank account assigned to you, bring the appropriate account information to your bank and they will set up your loan account as a payee on your bank account. Now, you can easily use your online banking to pay off your student loans. Please note that enrolled full-time students are not required to make payments during their period of study. However, it is possible to make payments to crunch those loans down to zero. For further information on how payments work during your period of study, as well as what to do once you complete your studies, visit the NSLSC website.

No matter what year of study you’re in (even if the balance you owe is low), aim to pay off the entire loan received for that year.

It is easy to become emotionally detached from your student loans. specially when payment is not yet required (a grace period). You may be so thrilled about finishing another semester, that you may put any thoughts of dreadful student loans aside — this is not recommended. Here is an example. If you accumulate about five thousand dollars from working, you should immediately put that money towards the loan. Do not wait if you do not have to wait. Remember, there is an interest rate that will accumulate on your loans. Therefore, it’s wise to make big chunks of payment as soon as possible. Additionally, check your balance owed every few weeks. And get used to the telephone or online methods of checking your loan status. It will help you to stay organized.

Apply for student grants.

These can be internally specific to your university or externally specific. A student grant is an amount of money given to a student, which the student does not need to pay back. It may be used towards anything the student needs. Tuition fees are high, so you may choose to apply for grants to help pay off your student loans!

Start small. Even the $500-$1,000 range of grants are something you should look out for. Begin your search for grants internally within your university domain. For example, the University of Toronto has a website where you can easily search for student grants and ones you may qualify for.

Best of luck as you pay off that balance!