Coast Capital Savings: Time to tackle your student loans

Graduation brings a lot of emotions. It’s a celebration of all of your academic achievements.  Relief: all your hard work has paid off. Nostalgia, as you close a large chapter of your life as an undergrad. For others there’s worry. Worry about what’s next. Worry about finding a job or getting accepted into grad school. And, worry about paying off those student loans. That worry isn’t misplaced. According to the Canadian Federation of Students, the average debt for university graduates is over $27,000. For a new grad at the beginning of your career, that is a lot of debt.

Believe it or not, taking on loans to pay for your education is considered a good debt – it’s an investment in your future. It may take some time, but this investment will provide a good return.

Whether it’s good or bad debt, the fact remains that you have to pay it back, and calling it good debt doesn’t ease the weight and worry over those numbers. If you’re facing post-grad debt, here are three financial tips for dealing with your student loan.

Be in the know

  • Educate yourself on how much you owe, and how much interest you’re being charged. It may be a little painful in the beginning to look at those numbers, but it will help you prioritize your payments.
  • How are you going to service your debt? If you have a budget you’re off to a great start. If not, it’s time to build one.
  • Build your payments into your budget. This will help you keep your spending in check so that you are meeting all of your financial obligations, including your debt.

Keep living like a student

  • I know, but you’ve been looking forward to living large. Hear me out: even if you’re working right away and earning a good wage, keep living like a student for another year. Direct any funds over and above the essentials to your student debt. Remember, the faster you pay off your loans, the less you’ll pay in interest, and the faster you can focus on your next goal.

Get advice and make a plan

  • A lot of people believe that financial advisors are only for the rich. That simply isn’t the truth. The sooner you get in and meet an advisor, the sooner you will reach your financial goals. It’s like a personal trainer, but for your money. They can help you manage your present obligations, and help you plan for the future.

Youth Get It with Coast Capital Savings’ promise to build a richer future for youth in our communities. Coast Capital is a regular contributor to InTouch e-news. The Surrey-based credit union is a longtime partner and supporter of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s work to provide young people with vital educational and career skills to become successful leaders and contributors to society.