This season of America’s Next Top Model, a competition for young women hosted by Tyra Banks, has been named the College Edition and all contestants are current university students. The aspiring models reside at the ANTM, “sorority house” and represent their respective schools, which include, Harvard University, the University of Southern California and the University of Rhode Island. In addition to the typical grand-prize, contestants will have the opportunity to earn $10,000 of scholarship money each week of the competition. A regular season of ANTM spans over 12 weeks, meaning there’s potential to score $120,000 to help pay off those student loans, which many of the models have already voiced a concern about.
Chances are, you’re not on America’s Next Top Model, so here’s some real-world advice on paying off student loans.
You may be surprised to discover that some or all of your indebtedness can be forgiven if you are employed in certain public-service sectors, teach in teacher-shortage areas, or go into the Peace Corps.
If these choices aren’t available to you, you must find a way to budget for your student loan payments. Review your household income and expenses. Can you reduce your spending on entertainment, luxuries, and discretionary items? If so, you can divert these saved funds toward monthly principal prepayment of your student loans, thus shortening the overall repayment term and saving on interest charges. You are always permitted to prepay the principal of student loans, partially or in full, without penalty.
Would consolidating your loans or refinancing your loans make the payment schedule easier? Check with your current lender to see what options you might have.
Are you in a position to take on a second, part-time job? The income from this job could be used to reduce your student loan indebtedness. Can you devote a tax refund, gift money, or inheritance to principal prepayment? Even infrequent payments of this sort will ultimately reduce your loan balance and save you both time (repaying the debt) and money (the interest on the debt).