Student loans often run into tens of thousands of dollars and put pressure on graduates just starting out their careers. When people want to be traveling, finding new jobs and buying homes, they find themselves instead struggling to pay off loans. By chipping away at the debt before graduating, however, the interest can be reduced to pay the loans faster.
Ruchi Patel's story is an example of how paying small amounts while studying can benefit students. By the time Patel graduated, she'd already repaid $3,600 of her loan and it took her only two more years to pay the full $23,000. As a sophomore, Patel began making small payments - ranging from $40 to $100, often from part-time jobs. "At some point during one of my finance classes, the light bulb went off. I was going to be screwed by the interest if I didn't start paying," Patel said, adding that the money felt huge sometimes. Although she always had money in her account, it was often very little. The sacrifice brings rewards - instead of paying possible interest of $7,000 over ten years, Patel paid $3,000.
"Try to chip away as much as possible while you're in school," Patel advised, saying that even the smallest payments add up to pay off your student loan faster.
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