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132. Make a Plan to Repay Your Student Loan

First, the good news: you’re not alone! About 1/3 of adults under age 30 carry some level of student loan debt.

Unfortunately, if you’re earning a post-graduate degree, you may owe nearly twice as much as your friends who stopped with a Bachelor’s degree.

This week on the show, we take a 360ยบ look at student debt, and help you make a plan for paying it off without breaking the bank.

This week, we’re joined by Dr. Emily Roberts of Personal Finance for PhDs! You’ll remember Emily from our previous finance-focused episodes covering topics like graduate school offer letters, investing for retirement, and saving for a rainy day.

We start the conversation by understanding some common terms you’re likely to see if you have a student loan. We learn the difference between federal vs. private loans, what it means to have a loan that is ‘subsidized’, and why your loan may be ‘deferred’ while you’re in graduate school.

With that overview of the student loan landscape under our belts, we get to dive into some of the questions you may be asking as a grad student:

  1. Should I make payments on my loan while in graduate school?
  2. Can I benefit from an income-driven repayment plan?
  3. What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and am I eligible?
  4. What about refinancing? Is that a good idea now that interest rates are so low?
  5. How should I balance paying my student loans with other goals I have like saving for a large purchase or investing for retirement?

Emily guides us through those questions, and more, and then tells you how to avoid a common trap that gradates fall into with the income-driven repayment plan.

If you have questions, you can reach out to Emily on her website, or check out some of the calculators and websites she mentioned in the show:

Certified Student Loan Counselors

Heather Jarvis

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