Many parents and others who are in the process of helping students prepare for college often ask if there are any student loan discounts. The best discount you can get is really just to find the best possible deal. Student loans have a lot of factors, including interest rates, repayment terms, and more, so finding the best fit for your situation is key to saving money.
Best Money Saving Tips for Student Loans
While student loan discounts aren’t typically offered, there are several ways to save money over the life of the loan:
- Search for the lowest interest rate available.
Compare lenders to see what the best interest rate you can find is. But be careful when it comes to variable rates versus fixed rates – variable means the interest rate can fluctuate over the life of the loan, while fixed means the rate you get when you borrow the loan is the rate you’ll pay for the entire time.
- Make payments while you’re still in school.
If you can, put any extra money toward your loan while you’re enrolled in school. Even if you’re only paying the interest each month, it keeps the overall balance of the loan down, so the total you owe doesn’t balloon after graduation. If you have a subsidized loan, where interest doesn’t begin to accrue until after you graduate, you can save even more by putting a few extra dollars toward the overall balance each month.
- Set up autopay.
Some lenders do offer discounts in the form of interest rate deductions when you set up autopay. When you do this, your payment will be automatically deducted from your bank account each month. Plus, doing this ensures you’ll never miss a payment!
- Pay down your balance faster.
Just like making payments in school saves you money, the same goes for making larger payments. Instead of only making the minimum payment each month, try increasing the amount to pay down your balance faster.
Of course, not everyone has the income to put extra money toward your student loans. If that’s the case, consider committing any money you come into during the year toward your loans. Things like birthday money or bonuses from work can help make a dent in the total amount you owe.
- Consolidate or refinance your loans.
If you’ve had enough time to build a strong credit history and feel confident about your financial situation, look into consolidating or refinancing your existing loans. This essentially combines all of your loans into one, and can sometimes get you a better interest rate. And as a bonus, you’ll only have one payment to take care of each month, instead of multiple!