Dealing with student loan debt can be seriously tough. If you are considering getting a degree, are currently studying, or are a graduate, you’re probably no stranger to the fact that Americans now owe a massive $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, and this is an amount that’s growing at an alarming rate. On the up side, it means that more of us are choosing a university education. However, the necessary financial burden of improving your qualifications with a degree or master’s degree can be enough to put many students off following their career goals. The good news is, that there are some things that you can do to reduce your student debt burden and make it easier to manage. These include:

#1. Study Online:

Have you graduated from college and want to further your education with a master’s degree, but are struggling to justify the additional cost of attending graduate school? If the career choice of your dreams requires a master’s qualification such as an MBA, putting yourself in extra student debt can be tough. Studying online is a great way to get around this. The flexible, self-led nature of programs such as this one – https://online.redlands.edu/programs/online-mba – gives you the space to work full-time to pay tuition, and with the price coming in at around one-third less than a traditional master’s degree, you might not even have to take any more student loans out.

#2. Take Advantage of Your Grace Period:

Depending on the type of loan that you have taken out, your lender may offer you a grace period after you graduate or stop attending college, where you don’t need to make any loan repayments for some time. However, while it’s tempting to just try and ignore your student debt at this point, it’s the best time to get to grips with fully understanding your loan, make a plan, and if possible, start making some repayments. By making repayments now, you will already be in the financial habit of doing so once your grace period is up – and your owed amount will be smaller.

#3. Understand Your Payment Options:

Bear in mind that there could be several different payments options available to you when it comes to repaying your student loans. Some loan lenders will offer the chance for you to switch to an income-based payment plan, which allows you to pay more or less back each month depending on what you are earning. If you’re in between jobs or returning to college to study for a master’s degree, it’s a good idea to look into the option of a temporary deferment, too.

#4. Stick to a Budget:

After college, you’re probably already used to sticking to a tight budget – so try to continue living the college lifestyle as much as possible. Find the cheapest deals, shop around, and reduce your monthly expenses as much as possible. Create a budget that allows you to save some money if possible while making payments to your student loans and any other debt that you may have incurred in college, such as credit card debt.

For many students, debt is an essential part of getting a degree – but don’t let debt get you down!