Student loans have been in a negative spotlight for some time, being branded a national problem, and causing panic and stress in many student loan borrowers. Most of the advice about dealing with student loans is to get rid of them as quickly as possible. While that is good advice for private loans, when applied to high federal loan balances, that approach may lead to lost opportunities and progress toward things like retirement. Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company that helps student loan borrowers apply for federal income-driven repayment plans, explains that federal student loans should not cause unnecessary panic or hardship when a borrower understands available programs for which he or she may apply.
“Having student loans is no walk in the park, but paying them off doesn’t have to be a race,” said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President at Ameritech Financial. “It’s okay to take those blinders off and look around. Work student loan repayment into the bigger picture, instead of delaying that bigger picture until after the student loan marathon is done.”
While a lot of expert advice on dealing with student loans is good advice — e.g., knowing balances and interest rates at any given time — the common idea to pay off the debt as aggressively as possible may go a step too far for some. A major reason to get a college degree is to set oneself up for the future, and that laser focus on paying off student debt can get in the way of the intent of that reason. Instead, Ameritech Financial, as well as some borrowers reflecting on their first year of repayment, suggests taking a more holistic viewpoint.
A look at the bigger picture may illuminate a path toward retirement. Common financial advice is to always take advantage of an employer’s retirement benefit matching, and though student loan borrowers may be tempted to redirect those funds to student loans, starting to save for retirement early has a huge impact on the funds that will accumulate by the time retirement begins.
Also, it’s important to realize that student loans might be more difficult to pay off at the beginning of a career, but could get easier as the career grows more lucrative over the years. Keeping an eye out for career opportunities, such as better offers or ways to move up and increase income within a current company, can help grow income to help meet financial goals.
Finally, the most important advice for your wellbeing is to relax. Student loans can be stressful, but there are options to manage them if they are getting in the way of your future financial wellbeing. Federal income-driven repayment plans are meant to help borrowers manage loans as part of a bigger picture by calculating payments on income and family size.
“IDRs help people stay current on their student loans while focusing on other financial goals, like retirement,” said Knickerbocker. “Thanks to those programs, anyone can deal with federal student loans without a lot of stress. That means that, instead of putting off their future by focusing solely on their loans, they can prepare for it by focusing on their career and retirement goals.”
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of people with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Ameritech Financial is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR), and each representative on the phone has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
Options are available to help
Most people do not realize that there are programs designed to help those who may be struggling with their student loan payments. Thousands of borrowers have trusted Ameritech Financial to be their advocate. Click here to find out what options are available. Our services could help you get back on track.Get Started Learn More