If you are trapped by debt, your life is limited. Paying down debt is a gift of freedom for your future self. But it isn’t easy. The biggest obstacles to paying down debt are a lack of motivation and consistency. While there are many ways to approach a pay-down strategy, a change of mindset could assist you in staying motivated.
Paying your smallest debt first, regardless of the interest rate, inspires you to continue. Adopting and following spending boundaries keep you from going backward. Avoiding the “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality by consciously limiting your social media use will help you feel less deprived. Exploring creative ways to increase your income and giving up what you don’t need will set a framework for prosperity in your future.
In The Midst of the National Student Loan Crisis, Companies Step Forward to Assist with Employees Student Loan Payments – Reading Eagle
Currently, an employer can provide up to $5,250 per year in tax-free assistance to an employee for tuition assistance. But some companies, who want to attract the best candidates, are also offering to help pay toward student loan debt. However, the student loan repayment assistance by employers is currently taxable under IRS regulations. Congress is now considering a bill to amend the IRS code to exclude up to $6,000 the amounts paid by an employer under a student loan payment assistance program.
Tiny tweaks that you may not notice can allow you to save money without suffering. Top tip: pay yourself first, and automate it! Slightly increase your contributions to your 401k and savings each year. Practice the dinner OR drinks method to avoid expensive nights out. Take stock of monthly subscriptions that bleed your account. Which do you actually use? Explore building passive income sources. And give up expensive brands on common products. With a bit of creativity and effort, you can increase your income without disrupting your lifestyle.
Millennials are skeptical about big banks and rightly so. Having seen their parents struggle and having absorbed negative news coverage of banks amidst the post-2008 bailout, many are now struggling themselves. The majority of the Millennials surveyed by The Millennial Disruption Index prefer financial services from PayPal, Square, Apple, Google, or Amazon. Innovative fintech startups are poised to give big banks a run for their money, giving rise to more choices for financial consumers.
Whether your goal is to save for something special or pay down your debts, visualizing your goal provides a level of energy and expectation which translates into the action necessary for actualization. Instead of focusing on how a shift in spending will affect us now, we should focus on the joy of getting closer and closer to our desired outcome. Creating a vision in our minds of how it will feel to achieve our financial goals inspires us both mentally and physically, and adds the vibrancy necessary to propel us forward, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Student Loan debt has become one of the biggest obstacles to owning a home. Paying down student loan debts prevents potential buyers from saving for a down payment, and qualifying for a mortgage. Following in the footsteps of New York, Ohio, and Maryland, a program proposed by Pittsburgh City Councilman O’Connor that could provide partial student loan debt relief could assist future homebuyers. Though the tab would have to be picked up by the state, O’Connor believes that homeowners become more invested in the community and provide more tax revenue.
A car is not a good investment. It’s common knowledge that a car depreciates as soon as you drive it off of the sales lot. How can you avoid paying even more than you already are? Though low monthly payments are enticing, avoid long-term loan contracts. More accumulated interest puts you at risk of owing more than the market value of your car. Shop for a loan rate before you shop for a car. If you’re offered a lower rate from a bank or credit union, you have leverage when negotiating with a dealer as a cash buyer rather than a credit seeker. Be wary of hidden fees and accessories. Go over the contract in detail and ask for a breakdown of all fees. Do your research beforehand, and understand loan terminology so that there are no surprises at signing time.
College affordability and student debt is currently a mainstream issue in politics. More than 44 million Americans are burdened by student loan debt in 2017. Whether or not your elected officials care could depend on your district and political affiliation. Check out this in-depth analysis of the views of all 535 congressmen from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.