Home > Student Loans > How to Save Money While Paying Off Student Loans

Comments 0 Comments

Surely we’ve all been taught that 10% of our income should go into a savings account, but this can be difficult to do when you’re paying off hundreds of dollars every month in student loans.

Those of us with student loans to repay know it can be tough to juggle debts and saving. Even though the total amount of outstanding student loan debt in the country is at an all-time high —1.31 trillion dollars — it’s still possible for individuals to save money while still paying their student loans down.

Try the avalanche method

If you have a credit card or loan with a higher interest rate, devote as much money to paying it off every month as you can. Make minimum payments on other cards during that time. When it’s paid off, you’ll free up a substantial amount of your monthly income, plus you’ll save money on interest in the long run.

Set small goals

If you’re really strapped for cash, try setting small goals to start. Try saving five dollars per month for a few months, then slowly increase the amount every few months. Eventually you won’t even miss the money you’re putting away, and you’ll set yourself up for success down the road.

Pay your debt on time

This may seem like common sense, but no matter what, it’s important to pay your loans on time. Defaulting can result in poor credit and more money than you originally owed.

Enroll in a 401k or IRA

If your employer offers a 401k, take advantage of it — especially if they offer employee contribution matching. Many employers do, and it will help you save money for retirement without costing you too much money. If your employer does not offer this program, consider enrolling yourself in an IRA. Your monthly contribution could be as low as $10 per month, but set you up for financial success down the road.

Get a part time job

The “gig economy” is booming right now, meaning that there are more opportunities for people to work short-term jobs on their own schedule to make a little extra cash. You can give rides to people, run errands, and much more, and do it only when you feel like it.

Try a savings app

There are apps out there that will help you save money without impacting your lifestyle too much. Try one that rounds up every purchase you make, then puts a few cents into an account with every purchase you make, such as Acorns.

Maximize your tax return

If you’re single and make under $50,000 a year, chances are that you’ll get a sizable tax return. It may be tempting to spend this money on something you’ve been wanting for a long time, but if you put it into a savings account instead, you’ll thank yourself down the road. You could also use this money to make a large dent in a high-interest credit card balance, lowering your monthly payments.

Learn to live lean

This one may be obvious, but living within your means will help you save money. Sit down and make a tight budget, then stick to it. There are many apps that will help you do this. Spend money only on the things you need, not the things you want but can live without.

Put a little extra into your student loan payment

Most student loan payments are preset, but if you pay as little as ten dollars extra per month, that amount will usually be applied directly to the principal of your loan amount — lowering your interest and saving you money over time. It can also help you pay off your student loans faster.

Refinance high interest loans

If your loan has a high interest rate from a private lending institution, do some research and see if any other lenders are offering lower interest rates. This could potentially lower your interest rate and free up some of your paycheck to put into savings. Even if your monthly payment doesn’t change much, you may still be able to save yourself money in the long-term in the form of lower interest.


If you’re concerned about your credit, you can check your three credit reports for free once a year. To track your credit more regularly, Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card is an easy-to-understand breakdown of your credit report information that uses letter grades—plus you get two free credit scores updated every 14 days.

You can also carry on the conversation on our social media platforms. Like and follow us on Facebook and leave us a tweet on Twitter.

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team