How To Tackle Debt As A Recent GradJun 18, 2018
You did it! You’ve finally finished school and you’re ready to enter a new chapter in your life. It’s an exciting time full of change and big decisions. Amidst all the excitement, it’s also an important time to start thinking about your student debt.
Tackling student debt was the focus of our recent podcast in which several of our LITs (Licensed Insolvency Trustees) shared their thoughts on dealing with student debt the right way.
Here are some of their tips and tricks for tackling your student debt load:
- Make your debt a priority
As a new grad, you have a lot on your to-do list. From finding employment in your field to deciding where to live, it’s tempting to let your student debt slide on your list of priorities. As Craig Fryzuk from our Calgary office suggests, it’s a good idea to prioritize your debt as much as possible. At the very least, you’ll want to ensure that you’re paying the minimum amount each month as this is the time you’ll begin to build your credit history.
- Create a plan to find debt relief
In order to create a plan that will work for you, you’ll need to first consider your circumstances. If you’re lucky enough to have the option to live with your parents or you’ve found a great job right away, you might be able to focus on aggressively paying down your debt now. If this isn’t the case, don’t worry! Remember that every little bit counts and your best bet is to create a plan that works well with your current budget and situation.
Personal finance expert Bridget Casey explains how to use “tiny cash windfalls” to pay off your debt.
- Avoid adding to your debt load if you can
Although you may be focused on reducing your student debt, it’s also a good idea for new grads to be mindful when it comes to adding other types of debt to their current debt load. While something like a car loan might be unavoidable, consumer debt (especially high-interest credit card debt) is something you will definitely want to steer clear of. One of the easiest ways to avoid debt and stay on track with your spending is by using a budget.
Check out personal finance writer Stephen Weyman’s recommendations for budgeting and spending tracking apps in this blog on his website HowToSaveMoney.ca.
- Know where to turn to for debt help
It’s not easy to deal with student debt. That’s why it’s important that you understand your options and the resources that are available in order to help you manage. Start with the government of Canada’s online resources. This website is a great option for helping you understand the repayment process. You can learn about ways to pay down your student debt more quickly and efficiently, and find out how to get relief if find yourself struggling to make your student loan payments.