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Tackling Student Debt

January 4th, 2013 Personal Finance

Do you or a loved one have a lot of student debt to contend with? It can be a daunting prospect, depending on how much money you owe. However, bringing your debts down to zero doesn't have to be such a difficult task. With the right know-how and efficient financial planning, you could be well on your way to a debt-free life!

First, you'll need to find out exactly how much money you owe and from what lenders. The sooner you have a fixed dollar amount, the better you'll be able to get started paying it off.

Choosing the right repayment option is also important. Take a good look at your financial situation and where you expect it to be within the next few years. In general, you'll want to pay as much as possible to your debt with the highest interest every month.

If you can't afford payments, explore options that will alleviate some of the pressure. It's important that you not reduce or skip payments without explicit permission or you could be reported as a delinquent or default, which is going to be a hassle to deal with later on.

Loan consolidation may be worth exploring - this won't save you very much money, but if you're able to gather all of your debts into one payment, it's definitely more convenient than having to deal with several. Your ability to do so depends largely on what type of debt you have. For instance, private loans usually can't be consolidated with federal ones.

The firmer grip you have on your debts, the easier it will be for you to repay them down the line.