How to Handle Student Loan Debt

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Stephanie Halligan from EmpoweredDollar.com and other personal finance writers share their advice on how to college graduates can pay off their student loans. Join our weekly #CreditChat every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.

Text of How to Handle Student Loan Debt

  • How to Handle STUDENT LOANS #CreditChat
  • Check out all the tweets here: bit.ly/payoffcollege Join our Experian #CreditChat every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. This week, we tweeted with Stephanie Halligan about paying off student loan debt. #CreditChat
  • #CreditChat Stephanie Halligan draws comics about money at EmpoweredDollar.com, a personal finance web comic dedicated to crushing debt and creating financial freedom. When she's not doodling or blogging, she's helping startups and nonprofits design financial education apps and programs. Follower her @EmpoweredDollar FEATURING
  • COLLEGE LOAN STATS
  • #CreditChat The graduating class of 2014 is the most indebted in history, with 70% of the newly- minted undergrad degree holders carrying an average debt of $33,000 each. #CreditChat Source: Forbes.com
  • #CreditChat More than 7 million borrowers are in default on federal or private student loans. Source: CFPB, 2013 #CreditChat
  • #CreditChat More than 40 million Americans have student loan debt, amounting to roughly $1.2 trillion in outstanding debt. #CreditChat Source: FoxBusiness.com
  • Q1: What should students know before taking a college loan? #CreditChat
  • STUDENT LOAN TIP Dont borrow more than you need. Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar #CreditChat
  • STUDENT LOAN TIP Dont sign the dotted line until youve read the terms. Tweet by @mikedelgado #CreditChat
  • STUDENT LOAN TIP Know the difference between a subsidized Tweet by @Finovera and unsubsidized loan. #CreditChat
  • STUDENT LOAN TIP Talk to the financial aid officer about your financial Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar aid package before accepting loans. #CreditChat
  • Hat tip to @BrokeMillennial BrokeMillennial.com #CreditChat Wednesdays | 3 p.m. ET STUDENT LOAN TIP Set-up a budget. Find out how much money Tweet by @AdvantageCCS you actually need.
  • Q2: What do you think about going to junior college to reduce student loans? #CreditChat
  • Regardless of where you go, picking a high value college is Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar one of the most important money decisions you can make. #CreditChat CHOOSING A COLLEGE?
  • #CreditChat Always be picking based on the VALUE not the brand name. Tweet by @BrokeMillennial CHOOSING A COLLEGE?
  • #CreditChat Students should always be evaluating the ROI of their education. Tweet by @Magnify_Money CHOOSING A COLLEGE?
  • Q3: What are ways to save money while in college? #CreditChat
  • Tweet by @Finovera HOW TO SAVE MONEY IN COLLEGE Dont buy books on campus. Buy/Rent books online.
  • Dont leave free money on the table. Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar Keep applying for scholarships and renew your FAFSA. #CreditChat
  • It isnt always cheaper to live on campus. Tweet by @Finovera HOW TO SAVE MONEY IN COLLEGE #CreditChat Find some friends and pitch for a house close to campus.
  • Q4: What tips do you have for grads trying to figure out their finances? #CreditChat
  • Tweet by @asmarterchoice Track spending so you understand where your money is going. #CreditChat
  • #CreditChat Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar Put even a little money aside every month. #CreditChat Start a savings habit.
  • #CreditChat Avoid overdraft fees by always knowing how much is in your account. Tweet by @BrokeMillennial #CreditChat
  • Make student debt repayment a need expense to budget for Tweet by @pjeg14 #CreditChat and set-up an automated payment.
  • Q5: What are some ways to pay off a student loan faster? #CreditChat
  • Grads, please negotiate your salary! Thats extra money to pay off debt. Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar #CreditChat HOW TO PAY COLLEGE DEBT FASTER
  • #CreditChat Start paying down your student loan during your grace period. Tweet by @AmericaSaves #CreditChat HOW TO PAY COLLEGE DEBT FASTER
  • Tweet by @BWFeldman #CreditChat HOW TO PAY COLLEGE DEBT FASTER Use a tracking tool like @ReadyForZero Do biweekly payments, get side income, pay highest interest rate loans first.
  • Hat tip to @BrokeMillennial BrokeMillennial.com Q3: Any favorite apps or sites to help you research a home? #CreditChat Wednesdays | 3 p.m. ET Before rushing into paying off your student loan faster, Tweet by @FinEdChat decide if it makes mathematical sense. #CreditChat
  • Q6: How do you balance paying off student loan debt while investing for the future? #CreditChat
  • You can never rewind the retirement clock. Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar Get on the compounding returns while youre young! #CreditChat
  • #CreditChat Try and save at least $500 for emergencies while paying down debt. - @AmericaSaves
  • If you can only save $5 a month, do it! Tweet by @magnify_money Start the habit. Thats important. #CreditChat
  • Tweet by @mikedelgado Grads, start that 401(k) or IRA plan right away.
  • #CreditChat #CreditChat Paying debt vs. saving/investing? Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar You have to do both. Dont ignore your retirement.
  • Q7: What should you do if youre having trouble paying your student loan? #CreditChat
  • Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar #CreditChat If you run into trouble, whatever you do, dont just stop making payments! That can lead to trouble.
  • Tweet by @AmOneMoney #CreditChat If you have a federal student loan, learn about deferment and forbearance.
  • Q8: Any final tips for paying off student loan debt? #CreditChat
  • Tweet by @EmpoweredDollar #CreditChat Student loans can feel overwhelming. Dont forget to celebrate the small wins!
  • Know that you can write off loans and your expenses from college in your taxes if you claim yourself. #CreditChat Tweet by @Finovera
  • Be aware of current legislative efforts to help student borrowers! Tweet by @CarissaUhlman Learn about the refinance act. #CreditChat
  • Join us every Wednesday at 3 p.m. on Twitter!