How to manage loan debt

Cynthia Kaan

If you are like most millennials, you probably have student loan debt. In fact, the average 2016 college graduate was given a parting gift of more than $37,000 in debt. (studentloanhero.com) How are you supposed to be a card-carrying member of the adult world – meaning decent furniture, your own apartment, real dishes instead of paper – when you have this monstrosity of debt hanging over your head? Here are a few tips to get you started. 

1. Have your payment taken directly from your bank account. This may sound painful, but it’s not as bad as feeling that money in your hands for a few seconds before watching it slip through your fingers once you realize it’s not actually disposable income.

2. Work for a not-for-profit or government employer to potentially qualify for public service loan forgiveness. If you choose to work for either of these employers, you could have the balance of your student loans forgiven. Serving in a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps position could qualify as well. As Christians, we are called to live out our faith - that extends to our chosen professions as well. 

3. Go through studentloans.gov to research loan consolidation. Be careful about consolidating your loans through someone who offers to do so for a fee. The U.S. Department of Education does not charge for loan consolidation.

Remember that regardless of where we are in life, we are called to charitable giving. This does not have to be solely monetary – it can be donating clothing and goods that you are no longer using. Look for ways to glorify God in giving with a happy heart as you work on repayment, and your efforts will be blessed. – Cynthia Kaan