Paying Back Your Student Loans Like A Real Adult

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Paying Back Your Student Loans Like A Real Adult

So your first student loan payment is due.

Welcome to the real world.

Here's what you need to know to crush your student debt. 

Make a budget, and stick to it. 

Check to see if your school offers financial planning services that can help you set financial goals.

Know your options.

The default federal student loan plan is "standard repayment." 

A standard repayment plan means larger payments, but a quicker payoff.

Graduated repayment plans start with low payments that increase over time. 

Both the standard and graduated repayment plans have "extended" options. That means you have 25 years to pay back your loans instead of 10. You'll have even lower monthly payments, but you will end up paying a lot more interest with the extension.

If neither of those options is right for you, think about a plan based on your income and family size. 

There are four income-driven repayment plans to choose from that can lower your monthly payments significantly. 

You can also refinance or consolidate your loans.

Want another way to save money? Enroll in automatic payments. They can lower your interest rate by 0.25 percent. 

Remember, choosing one plan now doesn't lock you in for life. So check in with yourself from time to time and reassess.