I’m sure if you’re reading this article you probably know, but just in case you do not know, the pause on interest for the student loan crisis has been extended until October 1st, 2021. As Biden just entered office, he signed that. If you didn’t know that and you have student loans, congratulations!
Student loans aren’t cancelled (yet) but we don’t know what the future will hold. Did you know that each and every president has the ability to come in and sign a bill that would erase the entire $1.9 trillion in student loan debt? I just recently heard about this, and although that would be amazing, we live in a system of capitalism so there would be repercussions.
Additionally, I read about the fact that if it turns out they decide to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt, each borrower will pay for that come tax season with a percentage of what’s forgiven. My point in bringing all these points up is to say you shouldn’t rely on anyone but yourself when it comes to ridding yourself of your student loan debt. That’s the epitome of taking control of your relationship with money.
If you’re new to my articles, I am debt free. I paid off my student loan debt within one year of graduation back when I was 23 years old and I paid off $32,000 in debt. I say that to say: I know a thing or two about money and money management, and I want to help you with a strategy of what I would do if I was in the situation that I had student loan debt at this current moment.
If you haven’t been taking advantage of the zero interest period during the pandemic and you have student loans, you’ve been poor, or passing over opportunities repeatedly! Furthermore, I will make the argument that student loan debt isn’t your issue. You need to reassess your priorities when it comes to opportunities. You need to identify a WHY that will help you re-evaluate where your priorities stand. Do you want to be paying off your student loan debt with your children? What do you think your children are thinking about you right now as you relax during a whole pandemic with what is about to be 19 months of zero interest? If I had debt, I would tackle my student loans like it was literally my job. If you haven’t been awake yet, I need you to wake up right now! Let’s go over some things you need to focus on TODAY in order to navigate your student loan debt more effectively!
One thing I would focus on is my information (or lack thereof). Even though I am debt free, I understand that I need to be coachable in order to be the most effective financial coach I can be. If you have someone coaching you right now and they’re not constantly investing in themselves and learning new information to improve themselves, you need to fire them today! No one knows everything, and there’s constantly new information being put out daily. I don’t say that to tell you to indulge yourself in information, but just make a commitment to learn one new thing a day. At the time I’m writing this article, you have about 8 months until interest starts again. I had interest payments and alleviated my student loans almost in an 8-month period, so what’s your excuse?
I need you to commit to improving by 1% better daily. What does this look like, Michael? I’m glad you asked. This can be something as simple as reading articles, reading books, listening to podcasts, etc. There’s so much information out there, but please do not fall victim to analysis paralysis. That’s a common thing that happens to a lot of people and I would hate for it to happen to you. Learn ONE meaningful thing a day and you’ll thank me later as we progress towards October. You’ll likely see an improvement before you even get to October.
An additional piece of information you need to focus on right now is understanding your student loans. I know so many people that run away from them and don’t even know how much they owe. You NEED to know how much you owe if you don’t already. It’s like the book, The Art of War. You have to know your opponent. If you have federal loans, you can go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and figure out all your loans. Write them down and get to know them, because we’re going to conquer them!
Contrarily, if you have been making payments for quite some time, I need you to understand your options for Student Loan Forgiveness if you desire to go that route. The main thing with performing these actions is to understand your plan of action. Understand that this journey of yours will be completed. Understand that nothing is as hard as it seems and you will pay off your student loans.
Everything starts with the mind, so I need you to visualize when you’ll be debt free. If you haven’t written down the exact date for when you’ll be debt free yet, you need to do that NOW. I don’t want you to say something like October 2022. There are 31 days in October. What’s the exact date? Be specific! You need to specify the exact date in October, while specifying whether it’s Pacific Standard Time or Eastern Standard Time. Additionally, what time will you be debt free? Have fun with it. You have to see it before you see it so that you can seize it! Your mindset is HUGE when it comes to paying off your student loans. If that isn’t right, you’ve already lost at this unfair game. I say that to say that you have to be specific in order to be prolific, and if you’re going to succeed at this journey of paying off your student loans like I did, you need to take action! Just take action on ONE thing a day I mentioned in this article and you’ll be on your way to cancelling (or better yet, eliminating) those student loans from your life forever!