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Marie Claire & Manilla: Surviving Student Loans

Caroline Wright

Feel like you’re in over your head on your student loans? Don’t worry — there are ways to make those monthly payments work, even on a $40,000 salary.

1. Know your loans. What types of loans do you have? How much do you owe on each one? The first step is to identify all of the factors of each loan so that you can prioritize the highest-interest loans first and determine which ones you can defer.

 2. Choose the right repayment plan. There are all sorts of options, including income-based repayment plans, where your monthly payments are actually determined by what you can afford. Crunch the numbers using an online student loan calculator to see what makes sense for your income.

3. Learn about forgiveness. If you work in certain fields, such as public service, you may qualify for student loan forgiveness, which means you could have your federal loans canceled or discharged after a certain number of payments.

4. Factor your loan payments into your monthly budget. Once you have your repayment plan in place, make your payments on time each month and pretend like it’s money you never had — especially if you’re in it for the long haul.

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