If you recently graduated, the confetti has probably settled, and the moment you’ve been dreading is on the horizon: your first student loan bill. Although it might feel you have no other option than to feel stressed, I'm here to help you get strategic. With the below advice, you’ll learn you have options and feel a bit calmer throughout the payment process. Keep reading for six student loan tips straight from Her Campus editors, and one opportunity to have your student loans paid off (thanks to First Aid Beauty!!).
- Determine Your Goals
Think about what your priorities are for this Fall, next year and beyond. Are you looking to pay your loans off as quickly as possible, or are you trying to save for something else, too? If you’re hoping to rent an apartment, start your own company, or simply save for a trip, write down your priorities in order. Think both the long term and short term perspectives. Be honest with yourself on what financial strategy will best help you achieve your goals, because there isn’t just one right path to managing your finances.
- Educate Yourself
Not sure where to begin? Want to be better informed? Pick a topic and do your research. Maybe you’re looking to learn more about budgeting, credit, taxes, student debt, or investing. All of these subjects can be overwhelming, but luckily for us, there are so many great podcasts, virtual seminars, and Her Campus articles to teach you about your finances and help you take control of your future.
- Apply To Have Your Loans Paid Off
In the US alone there is a $1.6 Trillion student loan crisis, with over 68% of college graduates in debt. So we’re excited to share that First Aid Beauty has created an opportunity that could help you pay yours off (up to $100K!). The brand has committed at least $1 Million in 2020 to pay off student loans and help recent graduates get off to a smooth start as they begin the next chapter of their lives. Plus, they launched an exclusive FAB AID collection where 10% of sales are also benefiting student debt. Applying (and shopping), now? Same.
- Set A Safe Budget
Once you’ve determined your student loan payment plan, set a realistic budget for everything else. From segmenting your budget between categories like necessities and ‘just for fun,’ set a conservative budget so you’ll still be in the green, should you run over one month or have an emergency come up.
- Download A Money Management App
Even easier, download a money management app (like this one) to do this for you. Many of these apps track your spending and your re-occurring payments (hello, streaming services!), so you can clearly see where your money is going and what you could eliminate, so you can continue to improve your financial strategy.
- Be Kind To Yourself
Managing your finances isn’t easy. You’re bound to make mistakes, whether that means you overspent or missed a payment. You don’t want to get in a habit of this, but be kind to yourself. These experiences will help you learn and get in a better groove of remembering your financial responsibilities. And remember, part of adulting is knowing when to ask for help. Whether that is chatting with your friends when you’re stressed or reaching out to your family when you need advice, most of them have been in your shoes and will be more than happy to help.
This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% from Her Campus.