The contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who shared their inspiring stories! The winner will be announced soon.

Tips for paying back your student loans

Know who you owe and how much you owe

  • Is your loan from the government or a private company like Sallie Mae? Check your statement or credit report.
  • Be responsible. Know your monthly payment amounts and due dates.

Separate your wants from your needs

  • Managing your money means managing your lifestyle.
  • Prioritize payments you must make every month, and make sure your student loan is one of them.

Exceed your expectations

  • Pay more than the minimum amount due each month. If you get a raise or tax refund, use part or all of it for your loan.
  • The faster you pay off your loan, the less you‘ll spend in the long run.

Confront reality

  • If you run into trouble, don’t hide from it, don’t be embarrassed by it, and don’t give up. Stay positive and look for solutions.
  • Call your lender or touch base with your cosigner, if you have one.

Get excited about your future

  • Make it a priority to manage your money wisely and effectively.
  • You can’t make your student loans disappear magically overnight, but you can make a plan for paying them off.

Teacher turned hip-hop artist Dee-1 paid off his student loans because he wanted the joy of being able to say he finally finished.

When [Dee-1] released, ‘Sallie Mae Back,’ I said, I hope I'm able to sing this one day. It was just a dream of mine and it's actually coming true.

Cynthia O.,
past winner

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