Financial advisor talks tips to tackle student debt after 3 year pause
By Joel Vazquez-Juarbe
WPDE — Most people with federal student loans are dreading Oct. 1, because after a more than three-year pause, payments are resuming.
“Students borrow money to go to school. And when they come out of school, they oftentimes don’t have a high-paying job,” said Jeremy Finger, CEO of Riverbend Wealth Management.
For some recent grads, it’s a debt that can follow them for years.
“I have people that are clients in their mid-50s that are still paying student loans,” Finger said.
He said the key to paying off debt is being honest with yourself.
“Really take a look at your situation for what it is. How much you make, how much you owe, what those payments are, what the best way is to apply those payments toward that debt and still live your life,” he said
The next step is taking baby steps to pay off that debt.
Finger recommends going to studentaid.gov and using their calculator, reviewing the plans, and speaking with someone who can help figure out the best way to eliminate debt.
“Just spend five or ten minutes a day attacking that, and then what will end up happening is just like interest, your little bit of attacking each and every day will compound overtime. Your knowledge will gain and your financial situation will improve,” he said.
He said if you have credit card debt along with student loans, see which one has the higher interest rate and put more money towards that debt.
“It starts to snowball to where the interests start to compound and instead of it being $3, $4, $5, $10, $20, it might be $100, $200, $300 when you take into account years and years of interest,” he said.
Finally, Finger said to comb through your spending and eliminate unnecessary purchases or subscriptions.
“These subscription services pop up, $5 here, $15 there, before you know it, you’re paying $200, $300, $400, $500 a month and you didn’t even know it,” he said.