Posted by: Brian Musser | November 12, 2012

Student Loan Debt – Some Things To Do

I’ve posted twice on this topic.  I wanted to set the stage.  The first post Starting A Discussion on Student Loans was an attempt to get us thinking about how seriously this issue will affect all of us using some general statistics.  The second Student Loan Debt affecting Recent Graduates brought a much more personal side to the issue.  Some individuals that you know may be making significant alterations to their lives based on their student loan debt.  If you have not taken the poll please do so.  Today I want to give a few brief points about how to handle you this kind of debt.  Some of them will be generic.  Some of them will be very specific.

1.  Take your student loan debt seriously.

 

2.  Communicate with others about your debt.

  • Talk to your lender.  Be proactive and ask them about your options.  Get the name of the person who you talk to and try to call them specifically in the future so that there is one person dealing with your account.  Your lender does not want you to default on your loan.
  • Don’t be ashamed to talk about it with others at your church and/or job.  Your peers will probably be in the same situation and you may be able to share advice.  Older individuals in your church may be extremely helpful in talking you through how to pay off debt in general.  People at you work may know of company and/or career specific programs to help with student loan debt.
  • Talk openly about your student loan debt with those considering college.  Allow others to see the true impact of the price of a college education.

3.  Have a plan.

  • You student loan debt will not disappear on its own (at least not quickly).
  • Have a plan to pay it off before you think about anymore major borrowing (i.e. new car loan, mortgage, more education, etc.)  This may not be possible but seriously consider it.
  • Have a plan to pay it off in a specific amount of time with specific payments.  Don’t assume the minimum monthly payment is the best amount for you to pay.
  • Check out as many options as possible. Definitely research any tax breaks you may receive because of student loan payments.  Definitely consider volunteer and professional opportunities for student loan forgiveness.

4.  See it as an opportunity to grow.

  • Talk to God in prayer about your debt.
  • Allow God to show Himself mighty in your dependence on Him to alleviate your debt.
  • Allow God the opportunity to develop Biblical principles into your life as you responsibly handle you finances.
  • If you handle your student loan debt successfully you may find an avenue to help many others do the same.

These are the ideas that I have had when researching student loan debt.  Please feel free to comment on any or all of them.  Please feel free to suggest your own.  If you have learned anything through this process I would love to hear about it.  If you have discovered any resources please let us know.

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