How to Prepare for Paying Back Student Loans

Borrowing and Credit, Financial Education

In March 2020, federal student loan payments were put on pause due to COVID-19. After more than two years, the extensions will be ending on December 31, 2022, so student loan repayment will restart in January 2023. To help guide you through paying back student loans once again, we’ve created a strategy to help you rebuild a budget that includes your student loan debt.

Identify Your Income Sources & Expenses

Gather all the information you can about your monthly income and expenses, including payroll details, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, car or transportation costs, credit card debt, student debt, monthly subscriptions, food and entertainment expenses, and more. Knowing where your money comes and goes each month will help you understand your finances and set a budget that includes a student loan repayment plan.

Find a Budget Tool that Works for You

One of the best ways to pay off student loans is to keep track of who and what you owe, including your total balances and student loan interest rates. To manage your education loan interest and payments, find a way to track your income, expenses, and how much you’ll have left over for monthly payments. You could use a Microsoft Office budget template, a simple budgeting worksheet, or save your receipts.

Set Realistic Budgeting Goals

Setting realistic goals may help you stick to your budget and loan repayment. Your budget can include occasional treats for yourself like a nice dinner or concert tickets. If you’re wondering how to pay off your student loans faster, try analyzing your spending habits and consider if you can make more than the minimum student loan payment.

Stick With It!

Budgeting can be daunting at times but setting goals and having a support system can make it easier. Visit with your friends, family, or a financial advisor for guidance and support on how to pay off student debt and when developing and sticking to a budget.

See If You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness

Some borrowers could be eligible for the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Loan Debt Relief Plan. This student loan forgiveness program will relieve education loans up to $20,000. To check if you qualify and to apply, visit the Federal Student Aid site. Just know that this relief might not cover the entire loan balance, so it’s recommended that you plan for loan payments to restart in January 2023.

Learn more about budgeting, building financial independence, and more by visiting Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center or a branch near you. Give us a call at (402) 334-7000 or visit our website to make an appointment today!

<a href="" target="_self">Megan Steiner</a>

Megan Steiner


Megan Steiner is a marketing specialist at Centris Federal Credit Union in Omaha, Neb. She specializes in social media strategy, content creation and writing. Megan received her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and Bachelor of Foreign Language and Literature in German from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In her free time, Megan loves to learn languages and research sustainable clothing content for her personal blog.

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