Graduate with less student loan debt

Graduating from college with less student loan debt is possible. The keys are to understand how your loan-related choices will affect your total student loan cost and to stay current with your monthly student loan payments.

5 tips for graduating with less student loan debt

Choose your college with cost in mind.
How America Pays for College shows that 4 out of 5 students attend college in their home state to lower the cost of college. Some students save money by starting out at a community college and some look for schools where they can earn a degree in less time than usual.

Make student loan payments while you’re in school.
Interest starts adding up the day your funds are disbursed (sent) to the school. Depending on your loan, you may be able to choose a repayment option where you make payments while you’re in school, which may help you reduce your total loan cost. Choosing an in-school repayment option may also qualify you for a lower interest rate.

Make extra payments when you can.
Lenders do not penalize borrowers for making extra payments or paying early. If you choose to defer your student loan payments, you can still make payments any time without penalty. Again, this will help lower the total cost of your student loan.

Look for interest rate reductions.
Lenders may offer a student loan interest rate reduction for enrolling in auto debit. This means your payments are automatically deducted from your bank account each month. You can save money on your student loan and you won’t have to worry about being late with your payments.

Don’t pass up part-time work.
Work-study is generally a flexible on-campus way to earn money. And many career services offices can help students find part-time jobs in their field—an experience that could help you land a job after graduation.

Related topics

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.

footnote 1. For applications submitted directly to Sallie Mae, loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received, as certified by the school. Applications submitted to Sallie Mae through a partner website may be subjected to a lower maximum loan request amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half-time.