It is very common to graduate with student loans. Many people carry the student loan debt with them, even when they do not have any other debt. You may be wondering if you should include your student loans in your debt payment plan or if you should worry about paying off your student loans early. You should pay off your student loans as quickly as possible.
One good reason to pay off your student loans is that it will lower your debt to income ratio. This means that you have more money available to you when it is time to buy a house or to borrow money for a car. You will not have the commitment to make that additional payment every month. This frees up your money, and you have the opportunity to invest it and really begin to build wealth.
One common misconception about student loans is that you should keep them for the tax break. This may be enough reason to put the student loans at the end of your debt snowball, but you should realize that that only $2500.00 of the interest can be deducted each year. Additionally the amount starts to phase out if you make more than $65,000.00 a year, if you are single. Finally, you will still end up paying money either to interest or to taxes. It is better to be rid of the student loans rather than hanging on to them for a tax break, you will still pay more each year in student loan payments than you would if you were just paying your taxes.
Even if you can deduct the majority of interest you are paying on your student loan, you should consider how much money you are losing each month because you have the payment. If you invest it in a mutual fund, you can be earning high interest rates on your investment. Even if you are not paying interest, you are losing the earning potential of the amount of your payment each month. You should also consider the opportunity cost you are losing because you have the monthly payment. You may be able to save more quickly towards your down payment on a home if you did not have the monthly obligation or you may be able to open your own business or work towards other goals if you did not have to worry about the debt.
Many people who are overwhelmed by student loan debt hope that bankruptcy may offer a solution to their problem. However, if you declare bankruptcy, you still must pay your student loans back. The only way to avoid this is become permanently disabled or to die. If you hit a spell of bad luck, it is that much harder to get back on top of things with student loan payments. Once you pay your student loans off early, you will be much better equipped to deal with financial crises in your life.