Reasons to Slow Down on Your Student Loan Payments
Most people want to pay off their student loans as quickly as possible. Who wants to make those payments for the full 10 years or more? When possible, those people pay more each month than they have to. But some people argue that it’s best to stick with lower student loan payments, citing a lack of research suggesting that people who pay off their loans faster benefit more than those who pay during the normal loan term.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but taking your time to pay off student loans may be beneficial. It would allow you to use that money for something else that might help more in the long run. Here are three alternatives to overpaying on student loans if you have the extra money.
Paying minimum student loan payments allows borrowers to divert funds elsewhere, like marriage or kids, instead of putting off important life milestones. There is merit to that; the economy is run off of large personal purchases like real estate and cars. According to a report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending makes up 68 percent of the U.S. economy. The tendency for millennials to put off big purchases like that because of student loans has great potential to set back the economy.
Alternatively, if interest rates are low enough, it may be beneficial for borrowers to focus on other debt with higher interest rates before paying off student loans as fast as possible. This could include credit cards, car loans or medical bills. This also applies to borrowers with multiple student loans. The best way to tackle them is to pay extra on the ones with the highest interest first.
The last option is putting the extra money into a savings account. You can use this for anything, including unpredictable events like emergency medical bills. You can even use this as a nest egg or living expenses while you set up a new business or find a new job that fits your goals better.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to be conscious about federal student loan payments. If you’ve never taken a closer look than accepting the standard minimum payment, it would be in your best interest to do so. If you can pay more, pay more, or look into reallocating that money somewhere more useful. Or if you need to pay less to use those funds elsewhere, there are options.
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