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If you have a good credit record you might be able to do a refi and get better terms. Startup lender such as SoFi, Earnest and CommonBond are now offering student loans at very low-interest rates to people that have excellent credit ratings. If you could qualify for one of these loans at a better interest rate than what you're currently paying you could use the money to pay off your student loans. The critical word here is "excellent" as you must have a high income and a very good credit history. If you could qualify for one of these loans the upside is pretty terrific as these companies say they could help you save thousands of dollars over the life of their loans.
5. Put your payments on automatic debit
If you've made your life easier by putting bills like your utilities and insurance premiums on auto-debit or set it and forget it, you could do the same with your student loan payments. There are lenders that offer as much as a .25% reduction in their interest rates when you put your monthly payments on autopilot. Of course, if you're on a really tight budget you might not want to do this as this would risk overdrawing your account.
6. Watch out for those student loan scams
Unfortunately, there are a number of con artists out there just waiting to take advantage of desperate debtors. These scam artists create websites that look as if they were part of the Department of Education and advertise "student debt settlement" or "student debt forgiveness." All they ask in return for all their “help” is a big upfront fee and monthly payments every month thereafter. If you get a phone call from one of these scamsters that try to pressure you into signing up for a repayment plan, hang up and run away. Companies like SoFi, CommonBond and Earnest are perfectly legitimate and represent sound ways to repay your student loans. One of the things that separate them from the fraudsters is that they will never contact you. If you want their help you will have to contact them.
7. The interest rate on your loan may not go up even though the Fed just raised interest rates
While the Fed recently decided to increase the prime rate this doesn't necessarily mean the interest rate on your student loans will go up. If your loans have fixed interest rates, that is if you borrowed from the federal government after July 1, 2006, or if you have a fixed-rate private loan with a locked-in interest rate then the Fed's decision will not affect you. Your rate will remain the same. Of course, if you have a variable-rate loan you will probably see your rate begin to fluctuate.
8. Remember there is life after debt
Probably the biggest thing to keep in mind as you go about making your loan payments is that your life isn't over because of your debt. We know of people who borrowed more than $50,000 or more just for an undergraduate degree and have absolutely no remorse about it. Living with student debt can be stressful and it can be maddening to see hundreds of dollars fly out of your checking account every month when what you’d rather be doing is saving the money for a car, house or even a family. But when you make those monthly payments this can help you learn to budget and live below your means. If you make all of your payments on time every month this will also help you build a good credit history. And last but not least always remember that if you have student debt it's because you got an education – and that education will benefit you throughout your entire lifetime.