ROCKFORD (WREX) – Student loan payments are returning as they have been on hiatus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
People now have less than two months to prepare to pay off their student loans.
“The first thing I would do is make sure you understand what your payment will be each month,” said Jeffrey Lewis, financial advisor at Savant Wealth Management.
But for recent graduates, a major concern is the ability to make a monthly payment. Experts say free budgeting apps can help.
“’Mint’ is a great tool that you can use to monitor your monthly spending,” Lewis said. “It’s really fair aggregates what you spend money on. “
Northern Illinois University’s Tammy Batson told her students to use whatever resources are available.
“Income adjustment loans,” Batson said. “Seek the forgiveness that is available to teachers and public service workers. “
Batson says staying on a budget and cutting out small expenses like dining out makes all the difference.
“How often do you go out to eat, or how often do you have coffee,” Batson said. “I often think it’s the little money and not the big money that really scores big.”
The key to living below your means is pretty simple, says Lewis.
“Look at what comes in each month, then from that number, subtract the amounts you save, then subtract your fixed payment,” Lewis said. “Then all that’s left of that amount is your discretionary amount to deal with other things.”
He adds that the battle will start again and that it is possible to win as long as you stay in the lead.
If you have any questions or are in limbo before February, Lewis encourages people to contact a financial advisor for help.