How much do you owe in student loan debt? Enough to consider fleeing the country? (All of a sudden I get why many recent U.S. college graduates want to backpack Europe and never return.) Or worse. You contemplating faking your own death?
According to The Wall Street Journal, the number of Americans with federal student loans grew to 42 million in the last decade. (1.) In that same article, they quote a gentleman whose solution to dealing with his student loan debt is to stretch it out until he dies.
Don’t believe me? Read the entire Journal article. (And BTW … only Federal loans discharge with death. Private loans do not.)
Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, you may be asking, this isn’t about retirement or my 401k.
Why Are You at blooom Talking About Student Loan Debt?
We’re addressing student loan debt for two reasons.
First, you’re right, we focus a great deal on helping you with your retirement. We want you to wipe out this student loan debt so you can save more for it. But we also recently launched a personal financial advice service that clients can access via mobile or desktop using the chat feature on the bottom-right of the screen.
Once we launched the service, how to deal with student loan debt was one of the most frequently asked questions posed to me and my advisor team.
We’ve seen so many varied inquiries about student loan debt that we’ll be running a three-part series:
- Tackling debt: This post will help if you currently have student loan debt and you’re looking to pay it off faster (if you’re exploring forgiveness options, I recommend reviewing the following guide.
- Working adults returning to college: Later this summer, we’ll talk about how non-traditional students or working adults who want to go back to school can proactively address (read: avoid or take on as little as possible) student loan debt.
- New college students: Our final post will provide tips and resources to high school students and parents on ways to avoid student loan debt.
Who knows? Perhaps we’ll receive some real-world triumphs of people who’ve defeated this insidious whack-a-mole known as student loan debt (Hint, hint. If you’re a victor, message us with your story. Let us celebrate your achievement with a proper victory lap).
First, the Simplest Thing You Can Do to Get Out of Student Loan Debt
Okay. I’m NOT going to be jerk and say the simplest way is by never getting into student loan debt in the first place. Too late for that.
1. One of the simplest things you can do is set up automatic payments. It works for saving and it works for tackling that debt head on. To sweeten the deal, some services even offer discounted interest rates if you set up auto-pay.
We like it simple here at blooom. Set it and try to forget it.
How About the Most Effective Ways to Tackle Student Loan Debt?
I’ve covered the simplest tip, but what about the most effective. My next five tips could provide the points to pierce that ballooning student loan debt.