8 signs you can pay off your student loans in less time
- In the US, 45 million borrowers owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loans.
- You can pay off those loans on a 10-year plan or longer, but you may be able to shave off a few years (and save yourself some money on interest) by making extra payments along the way.
- If you have extra money in your budget at the end of the month, private loans that can be consolidated, or a loan payoff assistance program at work that you're not taking advantage of, you can probably pay off your loans faster.
- Looking to refinance your student loans? Our partners SoFi and CommonBond can help »
Student loan debt is at an all-time high, with the latest 2019 statistics showing roughly 45 million borrowers collectively owing over $1.5 trillion in student loans in the United States.
Student loan debt has grown so significantly over the years that it is now "the second highest consumer debt category - behind only mortgage debt - and higher than both credit cards and auto loans," according to Forbes.
Additionally, over half of those who earned a college education in 2018 left with debt, graduating with an average debt balance of $29,800, according to Student Loan Hero.
If you are one of those adults dealing with student loan debt, it might be possible to pay it off sooner than you realize. But why would you even want to?
"When you pay off your student loans in less time, you'll save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on interest, depending on the size of your loan," Sahil Vakil, CFA, CFP at MYRA Wealth, explained. "In addition, you'll have one less bill to pay every month, which gives you the power to invest for your future instead. You'll even have a lower debt-to-income ratio, which will make it easier to get approved for the house you want."
So, how do you know if you can actually pay off your student loans in less time than you anticipated? Here are eight signs you might be ahead of the game.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.