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5 RESOURCES TO HELP YOU PAY DOWN STUDENT LOAN DEBT FASTER

Molly Povich  |  June 18, 2020

The top tools to help you pay off student loans, view the kind of financial aid packages others at your University may be getting, and stick to a budget.

$1.6 trillion and counting. That’s the current amount of student loan debt in America. It goes without saying that repaying your loans can be an arduous process, and so can understanding the specifics of your loan. There’s a lot to grasp: the payment plan you’re on, who the lender is, the outstanding balance, and the interest rates (if you have several student loans, you probably have  several different interest rates). But there’s a slew of mobile and online resources available to simplify the process. 

Here are five recommendations for tools to help you pay off student loans, and tools to help you see what others at your school may be getting in terms of financial aid.

LOANBUDDY

Cost: Free, upgrade to Plus for $99, Lifetime for $149

Available for: Web

LoanBuddy is great for student loan management,” says Joe Messinger, CFP, and CEO of College Aid Pro. LoanBuddy is an online tool to help you understand your repayment options. It analyzes your situation to see if you’re able to refinance for lower monthly payments, save money on interest, or even qualify for loan forgiveness. 

TUITIONFIT

Cost: Free

Available for: Web

If you want to figure out what others are paying, check out TuitionFit, advises Messinger. “It’s essentially the Kelley Blue Book for college.” TuitionFit rakes through thousands of financial aid offers shared by prior year users to identify schools that have offered students like you a price in your price range. 

In the fall of your senior year of high school, share one of your own award offers to view the financial aid award offers shared by similar students. In the spring of your senior year — as you’re hurtling towards that final college decision — you want to ensure you get the best possible price. TuitionFit’s customized display will show you exactly what similar students have been offered. Use that information as leverage to negotiate with colleges. 

PILLAR

Cost: Free

Available for: iOS, Android

Pillar is a student loan management app offering three main features. First, Pillar syncs with student loan providers, enabling you to manage all of your student loans from a single platform and instantly ascertain how much you owe and when payments are due. Second, by linking your bank account to Pillar, you can make all of your payments from one place, reducing the chance of incurring student loan late fees. 

Lastly, the app gives personalized recommendations to help you pay off your student loan more quickly. It does this by analyzing your income, spending trends, and loan balances. 

ChangED

Cost: $1/month

Available for: iOS, Android

The ChangEd app can help you pay off your student loans without any extra effort on your part. Here’s how it works: ChangED links to all your credit and debit cards, and with each transaction you make, it rounds up to the nearest dollar. ChangED then takes the extra change and sends it directly to your student loan provider. In other words, if your morning coffee is $3.40, that remaining $0.60 will head straight towards your loan. You’ll be paying down your debt without even noticing difference in your monthly budget. 

Mint

Cost: Free

Available for: iOS, Android, Web

Mint is a classic in the budgeting app space. By bringing together your credit card debt, bills, checking and savings accounts, in addition to any 401(k) or IRA accounts you may have, Mint provides you with a 360-degree view of your finances.

Mint can create a budget tailored to you and help you stay on track. It displays your recent transactions and spending organized by category. Mint can alert you if you go over your budget in a particular area, and it also allows you to set savings goals. 

There’s nothing like good ol’ budgeting when it comes to helping you pay down your student debt. 

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