T Nation

Student Loans


I was wondering if anyone here has any advice on paying off student loans from undergrad and grad school. I'm a recent graduate with my doctorate degree and have a lot of debt. Any tips/suggestions would be great. Please don't say just make the payments every month.



Id say common sense...plan out necessary expenses and put away money when you can to put toward your debt.


I used a check.


Put yourself on a really tight budget, and put as much money towards it every month. Get a second job, have a garage sale, put stuff on ebay and craiglist, attack it with everything you got!


dave ramsey fan?


Sounds shitty but look into cutting your fixed costs, i.e. housing. Move in with a roommate, parents, family member if possible. If that's out of the question then the only thing I can think of is generating more income (2nd job, side business, etc), cutting expenses, and getting rid of any expensive items that might help you pay it down (the nice car, tv, bike, etc).

Oh, and make the monthly payments.


Ahh the noose of debt slavery. It's built into the system Live with it. As an American you have Started life in Debt and shall End it in Debt. But for that the have death insurance to cover the debt you WILL leave behind.


Ask for a refund if this problem perplexes you. You didn't get your money's worth of an education.


I'm not an accountant like yourself...never claimed to be...in the healthcare field. And never received a lot of finance/business education.


Yo man, I'm headed that way myself. best advice i've found with any debt still applies, and has been alluded to in earlier posts. I like the Get Rich Slowly website, as it has a lot of good, and accessible information (and i'm terrible with money...we all have to learn i guess). This article in particular i find to be very helpful and hope you feel the same way. good luck.



Ok Doc...so you don't have your doctorate in finance. Big shit. Just do a simple cash flow statement for yourself.

For example (and I'm keeping this REALLY Simple with obviously fictitious numbers.)

Monthly Income $1000

Monthly Expenses:
Rent: $300
Food: $200
Utilities: $100
Student Loan: $100 (minimum required)
Phone and Cable: $100
Bitches and Booze: $200
Total Expenses.... $1000

So you're left with nothing at the end of the month and you wish you could pay more towards your student loan.

Plan of attack:
1.) Make more money. New job, extra job, selling stuff, selling yourself, etc.
2.) Look at your expenses and begin eliminating where you can.

If this isn't easy enough to understand, I give up.


Pretty straight forward and simple man. Common Sense.

what you make in a month - how much ALL your necessary bills are = how much you have left over for beer and hookers.

But in the interest of being less of a penis:

Over pay a couple months by 25-75 dollars and let it extend your due date. Then once you extend your due date a week or two or four, start having them apply the overpayment to principle. (There should be an option on the pay stub, or the webpage if you pay online.) You should always overpay as much as possible.

This does two things, extends your due date. This will come in handy if you forget to pay your bills, or if you are in a pinch for cash. DO NOT abuse this. Pay on time as much as possible and use the cushion as emergency only.

The second thing it accomplishes is reduces your principle balance faster, which in turn saves you money you would otherwise owe in interest.


If the interest rate on your loans is lower than the interest rate you will earn by keeping your money in a CD or investing it otherwise. DO NOT OVERPAY YOUR LOAN. INVEST IT AT THE HIGHER RATE. A lot of people fuck this up all the time. The point of using other people's money (taking a loan) is to make more than you owe in interest, and then the loan becomes free money.


Well if it's less than $65,000.00 and you qualify...the Army will pay it off in one shot for 3 years of active duty.



great, you went to school for 7+ years and didn't learn the first thing about finance. No wonder this country is such a clusterfuck right now.


I agree... you'll get a couple stories out of it too. I'm thinking after I graduate college, if I'm still in shape I'll get commissioned for a few more years. I dunno, I don't think therell be a shortage of wars in this lifetime, so I don't wanna be in too much of a hurry..



Countingbeans, you just gave this guy the best piece of loan advice he could ever get: leverage and invest.