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Help with Debt for Millennials Graduating College

By: Michael Millington

An unfortunate reality for many young people is that they will step out of school and directly into debt. In a study done to measure student debt, the average college graduate leaves with over $37,000 (as of 2016). It’s equal to starting your adult life with a palpable handicap. One of the issues that most college grads face (aside from the aforementioned debt) is how to handle their finances after college. While everyone has different circumstances, there are some universal action you can take to help with debt you might have. Here are some things millennials can do to help themselves after college.


Help with Debt: Preventative Measures

There are about 44 million people in the USA that harbor educational debt. There can be stress when it comes to beginning your adult life while thinking about your student loans. This can be compounded by a poor job market. In most situations you won’t have to deal with student loan payments for six months after you graduate. However, any working individual will attest to how quickly half of a year can pass by. While looking for employment, try to create a budget early on to organize your finances. This works even if you don’t have income at the moment. This can give you a clear view on what you need to make in order to handle all of your financial obligations.

Did you know that more people have student loan debt than credit card debt? A few billion dollars more to be precise. If you need to get a handle on your student loans then one thing that you DO NOT want to do is to add anymore debt to the equation. One of the first things that can happen to a recent college grad is they can get bombarded with credit card offers. If you’re uncertain about your ability to afford a credit card, play it safe and forego the decision for now. If you do want to start building your credit, do your research on the type of credit card you should apply for. Just because you qualify for a credit card doesn’t mean you need to have it. Even a secured credit card can be helpful in this instance, so long as you use whatever credit you get responsible.


Help with Debt: Lightening the Load

Even though student debt is a scary thing to deal with, it doesn’t have an immediate financial impact. It can stand to reason that student loans will be the largest debt you’ll have to deal with for 10 - 15 years after college. If you cannot avoid adding debt to your student loans, be sure to record it in your budget and take into account how much you would owe after interest is calculated. In order to save yourself the most money, take care of the debt that has the highest interest rate first. Make payments equaling more than the minimum payment so you can erase the principal amount as soon as possible. Adopting this behavior can carry you a long way in eliminating debt from your life.

In the event that you have more debt than you think you can handle, it doesn’t hurt to ask for help. There are multiple ways you can achieve these ends. The most direct thing you can do is to reach out to your lenders. If you have any issues with making payments then let them know. More often than not, your lenders are able to help you in one way or another. From changing due dates to altering the minimum payment amount, lenders can do many things once prompted. It’ll never hurt to ask, and if you receive an injurious response you do have other options. Debt relief companies can help students control outside debt while they control the loans they have to repay.