Approximately 1.7 trillion dollars in student debt is owed by college graduates in this country. That is an astronomical figure, one that highlights what some would call a growing crisis of student debt. New Jersey based financial advisors Michael Soroko and Zach Zenda, founders of Emeritus Wealth, work to educate clients and help them establish and meet long-term financial goals. Their company works with hundreds of clients in the medical and healthcare industry, most of whom have large student debts. This dynamic team shares some advice for getting out of student debt.
- Loan forgiveness – Looking into public student loan forgiveness programs is one way to get rid of some student debt. For professionals who go into public service, teaching, healthcare, etc. there are different student loan forgiveness programs that can cover a significant portion of loans. These options are limited, however, and not everyone will qualify. There are both state and federal loan forgiveness programs that borrowers can look into.
- Pick a better repayment plan – Many people do not know they have a choice when it comes to their student loan repayment plan. They can choose the standard plan, a plan based on income (IBR), or an extended, or graduated repayment plan. A standard plan requires fixed payments over 10 years, and requires less interest, and is one way to quickly pay off loans. A graduated plan will have payments that increase over time. An extended plan can be stretched out to 25 years and will forgive the remaining balance left on the loan at that time.
- Refinance or consolidate – Private student loans can be refinanced at a lower interest rate, which will save interest in the long term and usually have a lower monthly payment. Consolidating student loans helps keep track of repayment terms and due dates. Currently, refinancing interest rates are very low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are special allowances for borrowers to refinance and consolidate. Many of these programs will expire in September 2021, so it is best to take advantage of them now, if you have not already.
- Military service – Military service can both provide money for college and offer benefits when it comes time to repay. There are loan programs for every level of service, as well as forgiveness and military loan discharge programs.
- Employer reimbursement – Employer tuition reimbursement plans can help an individual pay off loans or pay current tuition. These programs are worth looking into and can be a part of negotiations for prospective hires.
One of the best ways to save on student debt is to be prepared ahead of time. Consulting a financial advisor like the team at Emeritus Wealth and learning about the different ways to start college savings for children, when they are young, is going to pay off in the long run. Of course, paying loans on time is beneficial since a large portion of student loan payments goes to interest, making additional payments towards the principal amount will pay them down much faster.
Michael Soroko and Zach Zenda are an energetic duo who are doing things differently, they focus on building financial literacy for their clients and cultivating long-term relationships with clients. The two are longtime friends and former college athletes who went into business together. They have a vested interest in helping those in the medical field, as both their wives work in that industry. This team is “not your mommy and daddy’s financial advisors” and they take an innovative, connected approach with every client. The team works with people across the country to develop financial literacy; learn to manage debt; provide comprehensive financial, retirement, and business planning needs. Get in touch with them to learn more through the Emeritus Wealth Group website and on social media.