Getting the Most out of Life

5 Hacks to Speed Up Your Student Loan Repayment

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For about 40 million Americans with student loan debt, keeping up with student loan repayment can be a budget killer. It can feel like a process with no end in sight, but there are ways to conquer your student loans more quickly than you might think. Find your way to financial freedom with these five hacks:

1. Make Biweekly Payments

Most lenders require monthly payments, but if you want to get rid of your debt faster, simply cut those payments in half and send them every two weeks. Using this strategy, you’ll end up making 13 full payments at the end of the year instead of 12.

2. Have Your Payments Deducted Automatically

Instead of having to remember to put money toward your loans each billing cycle, sign up for automatic payments. Lenders offer incentives for doing so, typically a 0.25 percent reduction on your federal loan interest rate. Paying interest can hold you back from making progress on principle loan repayment, so any reduction helps.

3. Put Any Extra Cash Toward Debt

Did you get money for your birthday or as a gift during the holidays? How about a hefty tax refund? Any time you find yourself the recipient of unexpected funds, throw them at your student loans. This may seem like the boring option compared to spending or even saving, but you’ll get out of debt that much faster.

4. Round Up

This easy tactic can add up over time. If your payments are set for $267, pay $270 instead. Student loan repayment is a numbers game, and even just a few dollars will help you achieve freedom.

5. Change Your Mindset

Let’s face it: Paying off student loan debt isn’t fun or inspiring. To get really serious about it, you need to change your mindset. Flip the script and start thinking of the payments you make as contributions to your future freedom fund. Consider all the things you could do with that money once you are debt free. Will you travel? Start your own business? Buy a home? Framing it positively in your head will keep you motivated.

Student loan debt can hold you back from living the life of your dreams. Changing your perspective and implementing the hacks above, however, can light the fire, giving you the inspiration you need to kiss that debt goodbye.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and passionate debt fighter who writes at She is currently climbing out of $81,000 in student loan debt and is often dreaming of her next adventure. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Rockstar Finance, GoGirl Finance and more. She has her M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU, loves karaoke, is obssessed with the Wizard of Oz, and is a ceviche connoisseur.