Managing student loans can feel overwhelming, but just remember – you’re not alone. There are now approximately 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt; collectively owing more than $1.45 trillion. What’s more, there are now a plethora of easy-to-use tools that can help you understand exactly what you owe, stay on top of your payments and potentially reduce your debt.
Ready to achieve a little peace of mind about your post-grad finances? Check out these five tools that can help to manage student loans.
1. Debt Payoff Calculator
For a student loan management tool that’s in your pocket at all times, utilize our loan calculators. Our calculators can show you what your loan payments would be with a different interest rate or term, how long until your loan is paid off and much more.
LearnVest is an online financial planning tool designed for not just students, but anyone looking to improve their spending and saving habits and reach their financial goals. Students wrestling with how to manage their student loans will find an excellent range of tools to track spending. They will also be able to budget for expenses and reach financial aims such as paying off student debt more regularly or at a quicker rate. You can choose a free account, or if you’re interested in a more significant investment in your long-term financial health, choose a monthly subscription for access to a professional financial planner.
3. GreenPath Financial Wellness
Supplement your digital strategies by meeting with a financial counselor in person to talk about managing student loans. For example, as a benefit of belonging to HUECU, all members get access to the GreenPath Financial Wellness Program, which provides expert financial counseling about debt, student loans, financial management plans and more. The key is to find a caring expert who takes the time to understand your individual debt situation and can help you develop a personalized plan to manage your student loans.
If you need a little extra motivation to get excited about saving and paying off student loans, check out Parabola (on iTunes and Google Play). It’s an app that promises to “make personal finance fun again” with a badge rewards system that helps you feel good about even your smallest financial victories. With automatic goal tracking and bank-level security, this app is an enjoyable way to build healthy saving habits and manage your student loans with a little less stress.
Managing student loans is good, but lowering the total amount you owe is even better. Visit studentloans.gov/repay to see if you’re eligible for any kind of alternative repayment plan that might reduce how much you owe. Created by the U.S. Digital Service and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid, the website is particularly useful for anyone who’s having difficulty making monthly student loan payments, as it can offer suggestions on income-driven plans that make student loan payback more affordable.