How To Fit Student Loan Payments With Your Financial Goals

Sep 05, 2023 Paying For College

Don’t let student loan payments overwhelm your budget. Reach your financial goals with these tips.

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Many college students find themselves responsible for making student loan payments within six months of graduating. U.S. News reports the average student loan debt was $30,000 in 2021 – representing a 20% increase from 2010. This can be a significant amount, especially for a recent graduate.

Keep reading to find out how to manage your finances and decide which of these expenses should take precedence in repayment.

Reach Your Financial Goals


Budgeting is the tried-and-true method to getting an overall picture of your finances and is critical to building an effective repayment strategy. When building your budget, it’s important to create a detailed list of income and expenses in order to identify priorities and ways to cut costs.

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Ready to take control of your finances? See what steps to follow to develop a spending and saving plan and follow through on it.

Start With Your Student Loan Debt

Most graduates earn entry-level salaries right out of college. If you have government loans, choose a repayment plan that works best with your income. In addition, you can apply for forbearance or deferment if you’re unable to make payments and meet the qualifications.

It may also be a good idea to consider consolidating your student loans. This’ll make it easier to see your total balance and might even give you a lower interest rate or payment – plus, you’ll be able to factor one payment into your budget much easier than multiple payments.

Organize Credit Cards By Their Balances

Create a plan for paying off your credit cards – start by listing them from the lowest to highest balance while notating their interest rates.

Next, chose a repayment strategy. There are a few tried-and-true methods for paying down debt, the two most common are the snowball and debt avalanche methods. If seeing small consistent victories is what you need, then the snowball strategy is for you. However, if saving hundreds in interest is your goal then the debt avalanche method may suit you better.

Prioritize Your Financial Goals

If you’ve just graduated college, you’re likely not thinking about saving for a car, a down payment for a house, or your retirement. Take a moment to write down both short-term and long-term goals to help motivate you. Consider what it might take to accomplish the goals. Feeling overwhelmed or a bit lost? Schedule a free consultation with a financial coach to figure out what your next steps should be.

Saving Is Still A Priority

It’s sometimes assumed that all money needs to go towards debt, but building an emergency savings is definitely necessary. Make sure to pay yourself first, as you would a bill, to set aside money for any unexpected expenses and avoid additional debt. The recommendation is to have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved but you can start small and work your way up.

Helpful Tips:

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After College Graduation

Get a clear understanding of your student loans and repayment options so you can start your post-college life on solid financial footing.

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