How To Help Shrink Your Student Loan Debt

American students face a significant financial burden due to student loans. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owed $1.73 trillion in student debt in the second quarter of last year. When you’re a college graduate, large student loan payments can make it difficult to pay your bills and establish financial independence. If you have excessive debt balances, you might have to pay down your loans for decades. However, if you are still in school, you can work on reducing your debt now, so you owe less when you graduate. The following tips can help you reduce your student loan balance while you’re still in school.



It is generally much cheaper to attend a community college than a four-year university. Whether or not you ultimately want a four-year diploma, you can start your education at a community college to earn general education credits or to begin your major. Your college credits can be transferred to a four-year university when you’re ready. To ensure you’re taking the right courses, make sure you understand which credits are transferrable.


Similarly, public universities are typically more affordable than private schools due to their government funding. You may also qualify for a tuition discount if you attend an in-state school. Consider comparing the costs of in-state and out-of-state schools before committing to a college.



Approximately $46 billion in scholarships and grants are awarded each year by the U.S. Department of Education, colleges, and universities. Grants and scholarships can help you pay for your education with free money that you don’t have to repay.


Specific eligibility requirements, including economic need and other factors, determine the eligibility requirements for specific awards. Scholarships and grants can be found on sites like, as well as in your state, county, and community.

If your school offers scholarships, be sure to check for them. Each college has its own programs, and some may be tailored specifically for you.



If you have an overage amount in your student loans, the overage is paid directly to you. You may be tempted to keep that money, but if you don’t need it, you should pay it back toward your student loans. If you keep money, you will have to repay it with interest.


Additionally, you do not have to wait until after graduation to pay off your loans. If you can only pay a bit extra occasionally, making payments now can lower your loan balance and lower your interest payments in the long run. Having a part-time job or budgeting for regular student loan payments can come in handy.



You can reduce the amount of time you spend at school in many ways. Registering for extra classes each semester, enrolling in summer classes, or applying AP high school credits to your college education is possible. Make sure you don’t take too many courses that don’t count toward your major or general education requirements, as those courses may end up extending your college career. The less time you spend in school, the less debt you can incur to pay for things like room and board, living costs, and other expenses.



Tuition assistance and education reimbursement are provided by some employers, including public and private organizations. To reduce your tuition costs, ask your employer what programs they offer. If they do not offer official tuition programs, you might be able to convince them to help pay for your school. This is because the degree you are pursuing is directly related to your career.


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