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How I Got The Best Of My Student Loans in 3 Steps

I was a responsible student.  I held down two jobs for most of school, applied to scholarships, fellowships, you name it.  I did a year at community college before transferring to a public university.  

And I followed the student life cliches—I ate rice and beans, made ramen, cut every corner I could to save money. 

But at the end of my 4 years, I still had accrued a sizable amount of student loans.  My situation was lucky compared to some—the numbers were relatively small, and my loans were provided by the government, which assured lower interest rates and some safeguards.  Yet every month I felt the squeeze of my loans. 

For a long time I was passive.  I’d let the autopay tick and eat away at my savings and then ignore it for another month.  However, I wasn’t getting anywhere fast enough.  

I wanted the option of going back to school without getting buried under a mountain of debt.  

That’s when I decided to get serious about paying back my student loans.  After many hours of research, these are the 3 ways I got ahead of my student loans.  

1) Refinance

You’ve probably heard plenty about this as companies like SoFi are offering ways for graduates to refinance their loans with lower interest rates.  If your loans have 6 or 7% interest, you end up putting very little towards the principle. You can also approach national bank chains to see if they’ll work with you.  

However, I went to my local credit union, with whom I’ve had a long relationship, and was able to refinance with them.  I trust them with my money—why not trust them with my loans? I was able to knock my rate down to 4% for most of my loans, which freed up a lot of dough to pay down.   

2)  Learn to invest with other peoples’ money 

I’ve never been much of an investor, mainly because I didn’t have the cash flow to put into the stock market.  My dad told me once, “Only invest if you have money you can lose.” Well, I didn’t have money I could lose.  

That’s why I jumped at the opportunity when I heard about Try2BFunded.  A trading service that lets me use someone else’s capital, up to $100,000 after I finished the qualifying round, and gives me 60% of the profits?  Yes, please. 

I started receiving deposits into my account after about 7 weeks.  Having an external income flow beyond my full time job made getting ahead of my student loan payments a real breeze.   Try2BFunded also rewards experience and work—I keep making more money the longer I stick with it. 

3) Budgeting 

This one sounds so obvious, but no one does it well enough.  It took a bit of swallowing my pride, but I moved back in with roommates and stopped eating out as often.  Started taking in lunch to work, having beers at home with friends instead of going out. None of it was dramatic—I still found ways to had fun, but by cutting out 40% on my rent and 20% on my expenses, I was able to actually save up.  

In combining these three things, I’ve changed my approach to saving, paying down my debt, and improved the quality of my life dramatically.  

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