A happy woman sits with her devices at a coffee shop after learning about paying off student loan debt from Gate City Bank

9 Tips for Paying off Student Loan Debt Faster.

Don’t let the financial burden of student loans keep you from getting ahead in life! Instead, consider following these actionable steps toward becoming debt-free.

No one loves student loan debt, especially if it takes forever to pay off. While the standard federal student loan repayment term is 10 years, the average student takes double that time to repay their debt. But there are ways to expedite the repayment process and save money in the big picture!

The Deal With Student Loan Debt.

Student loans are similar to other forms of borrowing in that, as time goes on, you can end up paying more in interest than you originally borrowed. That interest accrues daily, starting the moment your loan goes into effect. We’re here to help alleviate that stress with helpful tips to pay off student loans as quickly and smoothly as possible.

  1. Make extra payments

    In addition to taking stock of how much you owe in student loans, as well as making payments on time and in full, consider making additional payments along the way if you can swing it. This will cut your principal down, and the more you pay toward your loans, the less you’ll pay in interest – and the quicker you’ll be debt-free. Remember, there’s no penalty for paying off student loans early. Get started with our helpful calculator:

Increase Your Monthly Payment

  1. Set up automatic payments

    Simplifying your loan payoff by setting up automatic payments can also help chip away at principal and interest. You might even be able to secure a discount by taking this route. Just be careful when setting your automatic payment amount to avoid spreading yourself too thin each month. (Psst. Gate City Bank makes scheduling recurring payments a breeze!

  2. Refinance if it’s right for you

    In some cases, it might make sense for you to refinance your student loans, which can help you pay them off faster and potentially more easily. Refinancing could open the door to a lower interest rate, a shorter repayment period or both. This could even be a great opportunity for loan consolidation!

Pro Tip:

If you’re looking to pay off debt faster and purchase your first home, Gate City Bank has the perfect option for you. The first and only program of its kind in the nation, our BetterLife™ Student Loan features no fees and a low interest rate, saving the average customer $10,100!

  1. Don't extend the timeline

    As mentioned previously, the typical student loan has a 10-year term, but many students extend the payment timeline. Fight that urge! Sticking with the initial time frame will help pay off the loan faster.

  2. Put bonus funds toward your loan

    A tax refund. That annual birthday check from grandma. Extra cash from a rebate purchase. If you suddenly find yourself with unexpected money, consider putting it toward your student loans to become debt-free quicker.

  3. Avoid wasting money

    Consider opting against using credit cards or other higher-interest methods to pay off your student loans. Chances are you’ll become even more buried in the cost of interest, keeping you in stagnation and debt longer.

  4. Apply for loan forgiveness

    Shop around for loan-forgiveness options that you may qualify for, especially if you’re a teacher or service member in the U.S. armed forces. This can be a great opportunity to eliminate all or part of your student loan debt!

  5. Take advantage of tax deductions

    There may be opportunities for you to write off part of your student loan interest when it comes to tax time. Consider meeting with a tax professional to learn what options may be available to you.

  6. See if your employer offers repayment assistance

    A number of employers offer student-loan-repayment assistance as part of their benefits package for employees. If this benefit is available, don’t miss out on it! Talk to your human resources department to see what options you might qualify for.

Class Dismissed.

Don’t let student loan debt weigh you down! By following the helpful tips we’ve outlined, you’ll be in a better position to pay off your loans faster. Depending on what methods work best for you, you’ll be on your way to debt-free living and peace of mind – For a Better Way of Life.®

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