How to pay down your student loans and maintain your sanity

If you have student loans, you’ve probably heard the numbers: There is $1.3 trillion in outstanding student debt in the U.S. More than 40 million Americans have at least one student loan. Seventy percent of bachelor degree recipients will graduate with student debt; on average, their balances are north of $30,000 apiece.

But if you have or will soon have student debt, you also probably care more about your own numbers than the aggregate ones. If you’re in high school, you want to how much debt you’ll have to take on in order to go to college. If you’re in college, you want to know how much interest you’re accruing. If you’re out of school and in repayment, you want to know how many extra payments it’ll take you to pay off the loans faster; you might also want to know how much money you could save if you refinanced your debt to better terms.

With these questions in mind, I’ve compiled a guide to help you get better-acquainted with your student debt. If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked in on your loans — or if you’re preparing to go to college and it’s been awhile since you’ve thought about how you’ll pay for it — use the below information to check in on your student loans and even, perhaps, take an extra step towards a debt-free life.

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