If exam stress isn’t enough, there is the lingering thought of paying back student loans. This may feel a bit unfair because you are basically paying fees to contribute to the economy. But unfortunately that’s how life works, and all you can do is pay off your loans faster so that you can have a debt free career ahead of you.

Make payments while you’re still studying

Paying off your loans before you graduate will certainly help you pay them off faster. In some cases the interest rates continues to run the entire time you’re at varsity. Any payments you make will lessen the interest capitalisation and can save you money.

Pay more than the required amount

First decide how much more you want to put down each month. If you pay more than required, you’re usually given the option of having that extra money lower your next payment or continuing on the same payment schedule as planned. The extra amount of money will in turn lower your loan amount. Be sure to tell your servicer that you plan to pay your loan as usual the following month – that’s how you pay off the loan in a quicker amount of time. The basic ways of paying of a loan is to, earn more and spend less.

Swap gifts for loan repayments

Instead of getting gifts, celebrating birthdays, going on holiday, or having a graduation party, ask family members to contribute toward paying your student loan. Write a letter to everyone to this effect, and explain the value of your education and how important it is to you. This will not only show good character, but will allow your family to see that you know how take care of your responsibilities.

Work on the side

If you study an events management course, you can apply for a job beforehand as an assistant. Not only will you gain insight to the working environment you will also be earning a few rands that can go toward your loan. The work you do on the side should be beneficial to your study course. The more work experience you gain, the better your chances of walking straight into employment after you graduate. Experience is the necessary key to employment.

Pull in your co-signer

If you are struggling to pay back your loan, reach out to your co-signer and ask for their help. Suggest if they would prefer to pay back the loan, and then you owe the money directly to them. You can set up a deal about how you are going to pay back the money, but at least you’ll know that the interest won’t hike each year. Always keep the lines of communication open with your co-signer, so you can figure out a plan together.

A student loan doesn’t need to be headache. At the end of the day it’s the decisions you make in the present that will determine your future. Yes, it’s an old cliché. But if it wasn’t true, no one would be saying it. Set yourself up for financial freedom and live a debt free life.

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