You’ve heard it dozens of times – give up your Starbucks and lunches out to ease your debt. And true enough, that’s sound advice to follow and it could get you an extra $100 or more to devote to your student loans, but how about some more drastic shake-ups to your lifestyle? Why not put that college degree of yours to work and come up with some creative ideas to tackle your student loan debt and have done with it once and for all?
Here are a few radical suggestions we’ve come up with beyond the whole brown-bag-it scheme to come up with some serious dough to dedicate to your debt. With most students owing around $27,000 in student loans, this equates to a monthly payment of $260-$310 if you have federal student loans. But as we’ve written before, the faster you pay your debt, the lower your total interest will be!
If you want to decrease your debt, of course, the best way to do so is by being employed. Pair any of these steps with a good job, and you can watch your debt melt away. If you are looking for a job, make sure that you have a solid, up-to-date resume. If it has been a while since you have been on a job hunt, remember that resumes have changed a bit. Christopher Fields at the super-helpful new site The Resume Crusade reminds us that employers are looking for things like a solid presence on LinkdIn and about other things that have changed. So don’t be shy when looking for a job, and don’t be shy about any of these tips.
Radical Notion #1 Get Greedy at Graduation
If you’re getting ready to graduate, instead of asking for a nice watch or a gift card, send out a mass appeal to all of your loved ones along with your graduation announcement and ask them to all pitch in and help you put a large down payment on your debt. Consider registering with Deposit a Gift or GoEnnounce!
Take whatever lump sum your loved ones pony up and plunk the lot down on your highest interest loan – don’t spread it out between the loans! And be sure to tell your lender that you want it applied to principal so that you get the biggest bang for your bucks!
Radical Notion #2 Forget White – Ask for Green at Your Wedding
If you’re getting married, consider ditching the registry for a fancy cappuccino machine and cute his and hers towels and appeal to your guests for a “student loan registry.” Write a nice card or announcement or perhaps even set up a website that explains why it will be better for your marriage if you start out with less debt.
You can also use DepositAGift.com or PayPal either one! And again, take the lump sum you get and apply it to your highest interest loan and tell the lender to apply it to principal.
This can take a big bite out of your debt. And one more thought on weddings – consider cutting corners on your wedding ceremony costs and asking your folks to pitch in the difference toward your debt!
Radical Notion #3 Host a “Kegger for a Kause”
Forget skipping a latte to save up money to address your student loan debt – one of the biggest expenses young adults just getting out of school indulge in is alcohol consumption. Hitting the bar after work and on weekends is a standard activity and a huge out of pocket expense that would be better spent on student loans.
Consider throwing your own kegger two or three times per year. Invite everyone, charge a cover, get a buddy to bartend and sell beer and cocktails and you should rake in some major cash to dedicate to the principal on your highest interest loan. You’ll rack up some $$$, get to hang with friends and have a good time while dealing with your debt!
Radical Notion #4 Put Yourself to the Test (the medical test anyway…)
If you don’t want to get stuck with student debt for overlong and are willing to offer your body to science…consider a clinical trial. These can pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but there’s no telling if you’ll get a placebo or something that can turn you into the Hulk… But if losing a few chunks of hair or getting scaly isn’t an issue, for you, this can be a great way to tackle your student loan debt!
Radical Notion #5 Go Crawling Back Home
If a wedding isn’t in your future and you’re not into partying, here’s a last ditch option to extinguish a big slice of your student loans. Call up your folks and beg (really beg – maybe even tear up a little) and ask if you can come back home for just 12 months. Rent on an apartment will cost you $800 or more. Tack on utilities, washer, dryer, cable, WiFi, groceries and you can easily save $1,000 per month.
If you fall back on Mom and Dad for a year and devote all of your savings towards principal every month. Don’t blow it – send it in like clockwork. If you owe $27,000 and can pay in $12,000 in your year back home, your balance would be $15,000 which would give you a payment of around $150. And if you owe less or can save up more, you could eradicate the lion’s share of your debt!
Get Radical with Your Debt!
Here’s the thing – you can drag out your debt for years or you can get radical and try to eradicate it as rapidly as possible. As we’ve written before, paying the most that you can as soon as you can is the best course to get debt free and get on with your life. If you’re not sure how much debt you owe, a great place to start is with our free student loan management tool. Tuition.io’s award-winning app has helped tons of student loan borrowers get a grip on their debt and it can help you too!
Also be sure to check out these other recent blogs on paying down your student debt: