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Buried under $100k in student loans upon graduation, many recent college graduates get their first real taste of being in debt. And after the typical six month grace period, it’s time to start tackling it.

Student loans are a major struggle. We get it. But don’t worry, we’ve already helped thousands of borrowers and we’re here to help you, too. Here’s how to pay off 100k in student loans.

1. Refinance your student loans

Student loan refinancing is a great method for saving money on your student loans. If you have $100,000 in student loans — or more — you probably have a mix of federal loans and private loans.

When refinancing your student loans you can combine multiple federal student loans and private student loans into one affordable, single payment. Your new student loan will most likely also have a lower interest rate which will save you money over the life of your loan.

Check Out: The Best Student Loan Refinancing Companies

2. Add a creditworthy cosigner

The more you demonstrate to lenders that you’re not a risky borrower, the more comfortable they will feel about lending to you. Sometimes adding a cosigner can lower your interest rate if you choose to refinance your student loans.

A cosigner doesn’t need to be a parent or relative either. To benefit your financial situation, a cosigner just needs to be creditworthy.

Want to know what your rates will look like with or without a cosigner? Credible makes it easy to add a cosigner and compare multiple loan terms and interest rates.

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3. Pay off the loan with the highest interest rate first

You’ll save the most money in interest over the life of your loans if you focus on paying the loan with the highest interest rate first. You should continue to make minimum payments on all your loans, but make bigger payments toward the highest interest loan.

Then, when that loan is paid off, you can put that money toward the next highest interest rate loan — and so on until all your loans are paid off.

4. See if you’re eligible for an income-driven repayment plan

Income-driven repayment plans are another option that many federal borrowers can take advantage of. In general, IDR plans can be a good choice if you’re struggling to make your student loan payments.

There are four different types of IDR:

  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)

Find Out: Which Income-Driven Repayment Plan Is Right for You

5. Consider student loan forgiveness

If you work full-time for the government or in any public service job, you might qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). This means that you only have to make payments for 10 years, or 120 qualifying loan payments, after which the remaining loan balance is forgiven. Only federal direct loans are eligible for PSLF; Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loans are not eligible.

There are many ways to make your monthly payments more affordable. Above all, what matters most is that you make your student loan payments on time. We hope these tips will aid you in doing so and help repay your student debt faster — and become debt free.

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About the author
Jamie Young
Jamie Young

Jamie Young is a Credible authority on personal finance. Her work has been featured by Time, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, CBS News, and more.

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