Know Your Student Loan Options – Don’t Pay For Free Information

Debt Freeks is excited to share this important information: the US Department of education declared January 5th a day of action for people to learn about their student loan options.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about how to get help paying off your student loans. There are also many companies that offer you assistance with setting up a payment plan with your lender. The problem is, they will charge you to do this when you could do it by yourself, for free, and in less time. Irritatingly, disreputable companies are happy to take your hard-earned money to give you information that is freely and readily available. Take my advice, and just go right to the source.

Check out StudentAid.gov/repay to learn about the different payment plans available, get tools and tips, and find out if you qualify for loan forgiveness and relief programs. Share this information with other people who are paying off student loans too, so they don’t get ripped off.

Remember that Debt Freeks will never charge you to access free information. Debt Freeks’ personalized financial coaching service is about empowering people through the process of achieving debt-freedom. Finding new ways to look at old problems is what we do, and we have your best interest in mind each step of the way. We can show you how you can give yourself a raise by re-working your budget and exceeding the bounds of payment plans that you already have.

Until next time,
Do Brave Deeds and Endure!
– Ben at Debt Freeks

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7 Ways to Stick to a New-Year’s Resolution

Do you have a resolution you want to stick to this year? Maybe you have a fitness goal, a relationship goal, or some professional progress you want to make. Perhaps you want to finally get rid of those stubborn student loan payments. Make 2017 the year you achieve your goals and get started living the life you want.

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How To Win As A Student

You may have heard that student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in the United States and totals over one trillion dollars nation wide. That’s a big number. Read on to find out how you can avoid becoming a student loan statistic.

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Advice From a President – Work Hard, Live Free

The following words from great American President Calvin Coolidge represent a profound truth: Freedom is being able to enjoy the rewards your work produces.

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Cost Sharing Myths That Keep You in Debt

Everyone can enjoy the benefits of sharing costs and reducing risk and waste. Taking a few cues from economics shows us that reducing the amount of money we tie up in stagnant resources is good for our finances. Read on to find out how you can save serious money by sharing a little every now and then.

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The Bridge Principle – Pay Ahead, Reduce Risk

Risk reduction is something we are all familiar with, as is getting a “jump start” on a project. I’d like to show you what I did to reduce the risks of paying for college while getting ahead financially. This principle is at the heart of a successful strategy to graduating debt free and it puts you in direct control of your money and your future – I like it! I call it the Bridge Principle. Read on to see how it works

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10 Tips to Debt-Proof Your Degree

This list is a collection of effective things I have personally done or observed that will help you graduate college with zero debt. Your goal is to get fired up and motivated to slash spending, boost income, and make decisions that will allow you to graduate without debt as well. It’s seriously the way to go. I’ve  included my own insight about why these things are beneficial and how they will contribute to your bottom line. The focus is on students getting ready for college, but most of this is great info for all students that I’ve picked up after years of researching and experiencing this industry firsthand.
Ready? Let’s do this! Continue reading

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What If We Started Speaking Honestly About Borrowed Money?

I’m a big proponent of telling it how it is. That’s why you can count on Debt Freeks to give you the truth when it comes to your money and your freedom. So what if the rest of the world started telling it like it is regarding borrowed money?

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4 Things You Should Never Do With Student Loan Money

From the desk of the Debt Freeks, May 1, 2016.
Subject: Student Loan Mistakes
____________________________

By now you probably know that the best way to get a college education is to do it debt free.
But if you are in the process of implementing your debt solution and still have loan disbursements coming up for this term, here are a few of the worst uses of student loan funds (or any borrowed money for that matter) that you should avoid at all costs:

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Don’t Pay Your Student Loans After You Graduate

Yes, you read that right. It is crazy to pay your loans off after graduation.

But why? According to the Oregon Tech website, 88% of their graduates are employed within six months, raking in an average salary of $54K per year, and the average loan debt is a mere $30K. Seems totally doable. “With figures like that I could pay my loans off in, like, two years!”

OK, then. Why does it take between ten and twenty years for most graduates to pay off their loans, according to the latest figures from US News?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay your loans off at all, that would be irresponsible and immoral. It’s gotta be done, so what’s the best way to do it?

  • Debt forgiveness programs available to teachers, health workers, etc.?
  • Join the military?
  • Loan consolidation?
  • Hide under a rock?

The problem with these “solutions” is twofold:
1. The behaviors and choices that caused the debt are not altered
2. People who take these routes are still not free – they still owe someone else their time and they’re still locked in

The key point here is after graduation. The very best time to pay off your student loans in while you’re still in school!

You’re in a supremely unique position while attending college to maximize your income, cut costs, and make small incremental steps to actually beat your debt from the inside.

Slash expenses, increase income, and have some fun being creative about your money are the top three ways to debt-proof your degree.

Take these actions right now to get started:

  1. Create a Skeleton Budget – how much do you suppose you spend for the bare essentials right now (rent, food, transportation, utilities, tuition and fees) each month? Tally this up on one side of a page. Add up your wages, scholarships, and other income (but not loans) on the other side.
  2. Discover how much you’re borrowing – Look at your financial aid award letter or go online, check the loan amount for the year, and divide by 12 to get the monthly amount.
  3. Adjust your Skeleton Budget to reflect a decrease in borrowing by 34% – what can be changed to make it happen? The average student borrows about $500 a month, so 34% of this is only $175. Get creative, I know you can eliminate $175. Decreasing monthly borrowing by just 34%  will decrease the average student’s post-graduation loan burden by over $10,000!
  4. Create a little extra income and send a payment toward your student loans this month. Even $25 per month will keep interest from eating up your post-graduation earnings. Getting into the habit of attacking your debt from both sides each month will get you fired up! Start with just one thing – mow one lawn, clean one house, babysit for one night – and send that money right to your loan. You’ll be surprised how little things can add up.

Small strokes fell great oaks.

Let me know how you do in the comments.

Until next time,
Do Brave Deeds and Endure
– Ben at Debt Freeks

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