Student Loan Repayment Paused! Tips to Save Money Before May 2022

Student Loan Repayment Paused! Tips to Save Money Before May 2022

President Joe Biden stated mid-December that he would not pause student loan payments again in 2022. Yet, the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has changed everything. On Wednesday, December 22, 2021, he announced another 90-day student loan repayment pause that extends relief until May 1, 2022. He is still debating the cancellation of between $10,000 and $50,000 in student loan debt. Until that debate ends, borrowers can only continue to try to meet their obligation once repayments start again.

If you've been stressed about saving enough money to make student loan payments, you now have more time to find a solution to your financial situation. Use the following tips to help you save as much as possible:

Speak with Your Student Loan Servicer

Before you can save money, you need to know the exact amount to save and your repayment options. Many student loan servicers are in the process of leaving the industry and transferring accounts to other companies, which can cause serious accounting errors. By contacting your servicer now, you can confirm if these transfers impact you and your exact monthly payment amount. If you don't already have an online account with your servicer to help you better track and manage your payments, they can also assist you with setup.

Additionally, you might qualify for forgiveness, forbearance, deferment or an income-based repayment plan, which can significantly change the amount that you owe each month. For example, if you work in a public service capacity, you might receive partial or total forgiveness of your debt. If you have any forbearance or deferment time available on your account, you can pause repayment for a longer period. If you qualify for an income-based repayment plan, your student loan servicer can reduce the monthly payment obligation and extend the repayment period based on a percentage of your discretionary income.

Reassess Your Current Spending Habits

The pandemic has made many people feel like they can't cope with stress unless they regularly spend money on "comfort" purchases, such as fast food and products or subscriptions related to beauty regimens, entertainment and hobbies. Chaotic events caused by the pandemic have also caused some people to believe incorrectly that they can't use a budget or organized methods for managing daily, weekly and monthly fitness, home, grocery, transportation and other "normal" expenses.

You can save a lot of money just by making a few changes to your spending habits. For example, you might make comfort beverages, meals and snacks at home from scratch and freeze them for future "fast" consumption. You might use paid entertainment alternatives, such as advertising-based television and movie websites and mobile games. If you've noticed an increase in normal expenses, you merely need to look for better deals before making purchases. Many retailers match competitor prices if you point out that you found a product, such as a home appliance or electronic device, on sale elsewhere. Manufacturers also often offer refunds and discounts that you can only find on their websites or by asking a store sales clerk.

If don't cut paper coupons or use digital coupons and promo codes at every store where you shop that accepts them, then you're unnecessarily wasting your hard-earned money during every shopping trip and online purchase. Lastly, you can sign up for a discount points or cashback fuel station, credit card or auto parts or grocery store loyalty program to save money at the pump and when making vehicle maintenance purchases. If you use public transportation, contact the agency that manages it to find out if they offer discounted monthly, quarterly or yearly passes.

Evaluate The Value of Your Income Sources

A lot of people can't save money because they work for employers who don't value them. Some people also have physical limitations or disabilities that have made them feel like no jobs exist that offer them the flexibility and income they need for financially stable lives. Yet, the pandemic and social changes have created a "job seeker's market" for everyone. Employers not only have more openings than normal, which means that many opportunities exist for job seekers to find employment, but they've also become more flexible. Companies currently offer more stay-at-home remote, telecommute, part-time and flexible scheduling options than ever before seen in history.

Employers are also so desperate for workers and positive brand associations that they're going above and beyond to attract talent. They're actively promoting opportunities and benefits designed specifically for minorities, including people with disabilities. They're offering hourly and salary wages far above minimum wage. They're also offering sign-on bonuses and higher-paying childcare, education, healthcare and relocation benefits.

Opportunities Abound

As you can see, you can meet your student loan obligation. You merely need to use the time made available with this 90-day repayment pause to make a workable plan and significant changes to your life and savings. You have all of the tools and opportunities needed to both save money and improve your overall financial state and life.

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