Going to law school and passing the bar exam can open an exciting new future for graduates. If you have paid for classes with student loans, you will need to develop a repayment plan that works with your earnings. Here are tips for paying off your law school loans while establishing a career.
Set Up a Manageable Repayment Plan
Contact the loan officials to see if you can organize payments to fit with your current budget. Sometimes a student can get interest rates reduced or extend the loan period to make the repayment schedule work better with their income and other financial obligations.
Refinance Your Loan
If the student loan originator will not negotiate your loans repayment terms, ask your bank or a reputable financial broker about your options for refinancing the remaining balance on your student loans. You might be able to negotiate a lower interest rate than you currently pay. You could also end up with a longer loan term and smaller payments than you have now. Discuss loan options to find out what you are qualified for in terms of refinancing.
Put Professional Skills to Use
You don’t have to wait for a professional job to start repaying your loans. Cultivate your college-learned skills to accept freelance work as an income source. For example, if you are becoming a tax attorney, you might be able to prepare taxes for neighbors and friends to earn extra money. Your writing and editing skills that were mastered while preparing legal documents and briefs could be applicable to online writing work by helping someone write marketing ads as well as providing website copy.
Get a Second Job
If you don’t have marketable professional skills, there are other kinds of work you could do. Many students get a second job and dedicate those earnings to repaying college debt. Your law school loans can be packaged into a single monthly payment that can be met through a second source of income. It can be a simple job like dog walking, lawn care, or babysitting if that is what works best with your schedule and skills. Use that income exclusively for your student loans and watch how quickly you can pay it off.
Sell Unneeded Valuables
When preparing to pay off your school loans, give some thought to any collections that you are willing to sell. Cosmetic family jewelry like retro brooches and earrings or a model car set that you no longer find interesting might fetch a fair price on eBay or another online selling site. Unused tools, musical instruments, toys, or books are other items that can often be sold lucratively. Make a list of your unneeded items and check out what they are selling for.
Trim Your Budget
Examine your monthly budget to see if you can reduce or eliminate some of your expenses. For example, that morning coffee run or your weekly thrift shop shopping trips might be expendable so that what you would spend on those items can be directed toward your loan repayment. You might also be able to pack your lunches for work instead of eating out or borrow library books, magazines, and videos and cancel your subscriptions. Check with your utility providers and insurance agent to see if you qualify for lower rates.
There are many nooks and crannies to explore for potential extra cash to pay on your student loans. Look for ways to boost incoming revenues or how to reduce outgoing expenses. Every little bit can help to repay your student debt, so that you can enjoy your legal career without this particular financial concern.