Tech, Now + Beyond

Here’s how to pay off your college loans before you’re 30

It's definitely possible to dodge that life, and have your college debts paid off before you reach the young age of 30.

I’ve heard stories of people who are married, have three children, full time jobs and are still paying off their college debts. They’ve moved on in life, but college still has them by the bootstraps – and that’s hellish, no matter how you slice it.

Can one truly ever be content and breathe if one has student debts lingering on to them forever like a heavy anchor? It’s definitely possible to dodge that life, and have your college debts paid off before you reach the young age of 30.

1. Have a solid plan.

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Having a plan is the first line of action to get in the field and start paying off those damn loans. While there are a lot of strategies out there, the easiest is simply figuring out a repayment strategy. This website has a fantastic repayment planner that will get you through the entire process, and also provide you helpful information regarding private and federal loans.

2. Save smart. Spend wisely.

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This is hard to do when you can’t help losing yourself in a Sephora the moment you enter a a mall.

Really hard.

However, it needs to be done. Getting into the habit of smart saving is crucial if one wants to get rid of student loan debt as early as possible. Carrie Smith did it, and she did it by cutting down expenses on many parts of her social life, including going on holiday or shopping sprees and enjoying movie dates. Read hers and many other successful savers’ stories here.

3. Start paying off early.

Long starbucks shifts, tutoring, boring libary hours you name it

Start the job hunt early on so you know you can start paying off your loan as soon as you graduate from college. It’s never too early to start getting a healthy salary coming in your way every month. Hours add up quickly when you work during summers and winters. The only way to gather money and save up is to give up your wonderful summer and winter plans.

If you are looking into grad schools, start looking for scholarships and stipends early on, preferably by the start of junior year, and make sure you know all the requirements and necessary exams or experiences to have (ex: GREs or research/teaching experience).  If not, there’s always the wonderful world of freelance jobs that can help you earn those wages from the comforts of your own home. Teach yourself some new skills and prove yourself to the freelance job market by pitching your unique ideas.

4. STICK TO YOUR PLAN.

Dictractions distractions
Distractions distractions

This is the most important part. DO NOT waver from your plan. This is crucial because it’s very easy to have it all together and jot things down in your cute little planner or calendar and color code all the little details, but actually following your game plan is the key to success.

Persevere, persevere, and never give up on your plan. It takes time, for sure, but using your time wisely will ensure that you become debt-free before you’re no longer a ‘young’ adult. Many did it before you, and you can too.

I believe in you.