"Student loans have interest associated with them. Interest is essentially free money you are paying to a financial institution because you are a "risky asset". Pay those loans off as fast as you can. Rule of Thumb: You should work to save 3-6 months salary."
- Zach Antle '14, Senior Catastrophe Risk Analyst, EMC Insurance Companies (GV Major: Applied Mathematics)
"In my opinion unsecured debt is the biggest waste of money possible. It is not worth saving money if it is being bled out the back door in interest to student loan debt or other credit card debt, unless the rate of return on the savings out paces the interest rate on the debt. Aggressively get rid of the debt and once its gone make sure to pay yourself first and stay disciplined to the budget."
- AJ Krist '12, President, Krist Insurance (GV Major: Business Administration - Finance)
"Save enough to live for 3 months without a job, then shovel ever extra amount you can to student loans."
- Jorie Kruger '11, Business Owner (GV Major: Business Administration - Marketing)
"This can be a very complicated question that depends on your own personal financial situation and what you want to do. I would suggest starting to make payments on your student loans as early as possible, whether that be while you're still in school, or after you graduate and find a job but before you grace period is over. This will help save you on interest. However, I am ahead on my payments and have been able to pay off several of my student loans early by paying more than the minimum payment. This in turn happened to lower my credit score though because it lowered the average age of my credit history. So, if you are looking to build credit, find a payment plan that works for you and pay what you can without paying them off too early."
- Alina McDaniel '15, Employment Supervisor, Link Associates (GV Major: Psychology)
"Try to borrow as least as possible by working during the year to reduce your loan balance. Pay as much as you can towards your student loans every month."
- Allison Vice '09, Co-Owner, Vice Construction (GV Major: Business Administration - Marketing)
"Rather than provide a recommendation I’ll tell you what I did. Everyone’s financial plan is different so your story may be different than mine.
1. Invest in your 401k from day one, if you have a corporate match. I think of this as a mandatory expense, like my house payment. Even if it’s only 1% or 3% at the start - I felt it was a must.
2. I also consolidated my student loans so I had one payment. This reduced my payments by over $300 per month.
3. I then paid my minimum payment in my student loans and placed any additional money I could into savings.
4. Once I had enough money in my savings to cover 6 months of mandatory bills (rent/mortgage, insurance, car payment, etc.) I decreased my percent to savings and increased the amount paid toward my highest interest loan.
The way I look at it, once the liquid assets (bank account) are in a good place, paying on debt ranked in order of interest rate is saving in the long run!"
- Amanda Wilson '11, Senior Project Manager - Legal Operations, Pearson (GV Major: Communication)