Student loans bring forth a combination of joy and dread. When entering college, being approved for a student loan is absolutely joyous. Without access to loan funding, many would not be able to attend college. After graduation, stark reality sets in. All those loan funds — tens of thousands of dollars — do need to be repaid. Struggling to repay debt is never easy. For those who are married, things become even harder.
Starting a new life together comes with many complexities and, yes, financial responsibilities. The crushing debt associated with repaying student loans is tough. Paying back on the debt of both spouses is even more difficult.
Of course, others have been very successful in their ability to repay their debts. From these persons, a lot of lessons can be learned. Those lessons may be able to assist with controlling student loan debt and enjoying married life.
Consider Refinancing the Debt
Student loan debt can weigh people down in three major ways. First, the amount of the minimum monthly balance may be a little — or a lot — costly for a new married couple’s budget. Second, the interest rate further adds to the difficulty of repayment. The third issue comes when both spouses have student loan debt.
None of these problems is insurmountable. There are entities capable of refinancing the debt. One unique lender will combine the debt of spouses into one loan, which could end up being very helpful.
Beware of one thing. Special repayment assistance features are in place with the original student loan(s). Refinancing would cut off access to any added protections or support.
Look for Ways to Cut Down on the Budget
A strained budget makes it difficult to repay student loan debt. In truth, a strained budget makes it very difficult to enjoy life. Married couples should explore as many options as possible to cut down on costs and “free up” money in the budget. The extra money, all or part, could be directed towards paying down the student loan debt.
Discounts and money-saving opportunities can be found in a host of different places. Insurance companies, for example, are always looking to boost business and draw in new clients. Auto and homeowner’s insurance might be acquired under “newly married” discounts. Cutting costs on insurance policies absolutely would add funds to a household budget.
Younger persons whose mobile service comes from an added number on a parent’s account may wish to keep it. Perhaps that account has room for another number, one that could be used as a dual line for both spouses. Why pay extra money for a new mobile telephone number when there may be extra lines available — for free — on a parent’s phone account?
These might not seem like ways of saving major money per month, but maybe more than $150 per month can be saved with a few simple ideas. The extra money could then be doing some good paying down student loans.
Speak with a Tax Accountant
Filing taxes does not always need to be costly. A reliable accountant may be able to figure out easy ways to legally cut down on a tax bill. Recommending a tax filing status — married filing jointly vs. married filing separately — is one thing an accountant can do. Making suggestions about feasible personal or business deductions would be another. A professional prepared return is more likely to avoid an audit. Audits do cost money.
The Credit Card Path
Credit cards are not always a source of debt. Sometimes, credit cards can help with saving money. The responsible use of a credit card should not bring any misery to a newly married couple. Those who take advantage of the rewards or cashback bonuses on a credit card might find the accounts to be extremely beneficial. Paying for things on credit and paying off the full balance month-after-month allows those cost-cutting rewards to add up.
Being new married and newly graduated from college are two very good things. A new life is launched. All things in life do come with a price. An education’s costs linger due to student loan debt. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with student loans in a fiscally sound way.