13 Private Student Loan Payoff Tips That Real People Swear By

    Seeing a $0 balance when the time comes is well worth it.

    When the CARES Act passed to provide financial relief for Americans during the pandemic, federal student loan payments and interest got put on pause, but private student loan holders were essentially snubbed.

    Here are 13 proven student loan payoff tips that you can try if you want to pay your private student loans off faster:

    1. Start by checking your loans each month. This can help you stay focused and motivated to pay them off.

    Person checking their loan balances on a laptop

    2. And use a student loan repayment calculator to set your debt-free date.

    man using a calculator while looking at his bills

    3. Pay your full loan payment each month, then make additional payments whenever you can.

    4. But make sure that any extra payments you make actually go toward the principal (aka the amount you borrowed), not just interest.

    5. Consider trying a debt snowball or avalanche if you have multiple loans to pay off.

    6. If you also have federal loans, take advantage of the current payment freeze to put more money towards paying off your private loans.

    7. If your private student loans have high interest rates, you might look into refinancing them.

    8. Consider making some lifestyle adjustments to lower expenses, if you can.

    9. And create a budget that prioritizes paying off your student loans.

    10. If you have a two-income household, consider living on one person's income and using the other for debt payoff.

    Couple sitting on the couch.

    11. See where you can level up your income. A raise, a side hustle, or a new job could help you pay off your loans much faster.

    12. Use extra money that comes your way, like tax refunds or bonuses, to make extra loan payments.

    13. And finally, if you ever can't make a payment, contact your loan servicer right away.

    Woman with her leg in a cast on the phone at home

    Do you have a genius loan payoff tip that we missed? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

    And for more money tips and tricks, check out the rest of our personal finance posts