The opportunity to go to college and get an education is one that many people take advantage of, but with the high cost of tuition, many Americans take out loans and become burdened with student loan debt.

According to Student Loan Hero, there are over 40 million Americans with student loan debt, totaling over $1.46 trillion. The class of 2018 graduated with an average of $29,800 to pay back.  While you could pay your student loans regularly throughout the life of the loan, you could be spending thousands more in interest than is necessary. By paying off your student loans faster, you can save money on interest and be worry free about this debt.

Take a look at these 5 ways you can start paying off your student loans at a faster rate.

1)  Pay more than the minimum payment each month
Did you know that there is no penalty for paying more than the minimum amount?  Pay more than the minimum payment each month, and you will really be on your way to paying off your student loans fast. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be an extreme amount more than your minimum payment. Even if you pay an extra $20 or $50 towards them each time, it can shorten the life of the loan significantly.

2) Put any significant bonus income towards repayments
Many people get bonus income at least once a year through either tax refunds, a raise in pay, or a yearly bonus at your job. If possible, try to put this extra income towards your student loans. Even a couple of hundred dollars more towards your student loans can help shorten the length of the loan, saving you money on interest.

3) Make extra payments when possible
Whether you can afford an additional payment once a month, once every three months, or only when you have some extra cash, make extra payments when possible. This will not only help you to pay off your student loans faster, but it can also encourage you to make smarter decisions with that extra cash instead of making an impulse purchase.

4) Follow a budget for extra savings
When you create a budget and see where your money is going, you might notice you’re spending more money on unnecessary things than you initially thought. By reworking where you spend your money and following a budget, you can come up with some extra savings to put towards your student loans.

5) Earn extra money with a side gig
If you have some spare time on your hands, consider working at a side gig. This could be anything including selling back your textbooks, working a weekend job, or even babysitting, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, etc. to get a little bit of extra cash. Any money that you’re able to make from this side gig put towards your student loans.

While some of these suggestions might not be an option for you to do, know that there are ways that you can make your student loan debt not be as much as a financial burden.

Sources:

Student Loan Hero. (2019). U.S. Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2019 | Student Loan Hero. [online] Available at: https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/ [Accessed 17 Mar. 2019].