Creating a Plan to Pay Back Your Student Loans

When you leave college you might find that the good times feel like you left them behind. The one thing you didn’t leave behind? Your student loans (if you have them).


Usually you first realize that you need to pay back all of the money you spent around that six-month mark when you have to start paying back your loans. Don’t let it get you down! For many, college is a worthwhile expense that will pay you back in career opportunity and quality of life. Get off on the best foot by planning and creating a plan to pay back your student loans from the very beginning.

Know Exactly How Much You Owe

The first step is to know exactly how much you owe. When it’s for a large amount, sometimes you can receive a bill and not really understand how the all of these costs add up.

When you receive your first student loan bill, make sure you get a itemized bill that lets you know exactly what you need to pay back, when it is due, and how long it will take to pay it off. It’s helpful to know which fees you are owing and create a schedule for yourself.

Get Creative with Your Emotional Pain

When you get discouraged and you are wondering why you even went to college… there’s something you can do. First, try to track down how much each semester college cost you. Then, pay back your loans by semester to give yourself an extra emotional push.

How could this possibly help? Instead of paying back a huge, faceless $15,000 loan, you can instead think of the specific time frame you are paying for. Instead of “College,” it’s “Second semester sophomore year”. Take time to reflect and write about the people you met the things you learned in what you were doing while you were spending that time. This way instead of feeling like you’re just throwing money at the problem, you’re actually paying back an experience that you relate with.

Get Creative With the Ways You Gift

Another way to save money for your student loans is to gift creatively. For birthday presents, Christmas presents and other gifts throughout the year, try using a skill that you learned in college for the gift and include a note that you’re paying back student loans and you appreciate your generosity and accepting this gift.

For a writer, this could mean writing a very kind letter or offering your editing services for free. If you’re an architect, you could make a fun doodle of the person’s dream home with cute ideas about where they can put their things (frame it and give it to them as a gift – why not). Whoever you’re gifting will surely appreciate this touching gift and the process will help you put that money towards your student loans.

Have you started paying back your student loans yet? How is it going?



Creating a Plan to Pay Back Your Student Loans — 17 Comments

  1. It is definitely ideal to have a plan. Debt experiences are common just as it is common to read stories about people who successfully managed to pay them off and become debt-free. That said, the tips you shared are creatively said: simple and very “doable”.

  2. I’ve been paying on mine for a while. I consolidated to 2.5% interest, so I’m not too worried. I saved enough to pay them back but ended up putting it down on a house since if I die the student loans do too and the interest rate was lower than the mortgage. I’m not in a huge rush, but will come up with a plan later in 2014. (The first half of 2014 is focused on growing my online businesses)

  3. Lots to talk about on this subject, so I’ll just offer a couple tips…
    1) Don’t just wait for the bill to arrive, use your credit report to find out exactly who owns all of your student loans. You can’t plan if you don’t know the grand total
    2) Have a long term plan. The graduated payment plan may seem nice now, but in 5 years are you going to be able to afford it? Find something that works in the long term.

    • That’s helpful, unfortunately though it’s more of a debt transfer. I can only assume that your interest rate is lower for the refinance.

  4. We paid off our student loans a few years ago, when we were in our twenties. I thought it would take forever to pay them off, but once we put together a plan and stuck to it, it happened so fast. Now we are working on having our mortgage payed off in the next four years!

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  7. I paid off my student loans a few years ago. Knowing what you owe and to who is really important. When I started paying down my loans I had no idea how much I actually owed or what the monthly payment would be. Once I figured it out it was much easier to make a plan for paying them off.

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