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How to Get Stress Relief from Student Debt Today

Whether the end of the holiday season triggers feelings of sadness or relief, there’s no doubt that a new year presents a big opportunity for change — especially for those dealing with student debt. Young Canadians who find themselves stressed over paying back loans need to find new ways to renew their focus. This starts with setting achievable goals in 2019.

There’s no question that student debt continues to be a problem for millennials in their 20s and early 30s. According to Statistics Canada, the average tuition for an undergrad degree is $6,500 a year, which puts more burden on students. This article from Flare looks at students from across the country who have taken on debt, talking about what they would change and how they plan to work through it.

What are the best ways for you to get stress relief from student debt, though? These resources can lead you to a solution that will work for you.

Gain inspiration from others. There are so many stories out there about individuals or couples who have found new, exciting ways to deal with their student debt. This one from And Then We Saved looks at two Americans who eliminated $70,000 by educating themselves, changing their mindset about money and boosting income.

Set a roadmap. Once you’re motivated, set your own path by utilizing online debt calculators. For those in Ontario repaying their OSAP, this repayment calculator can calculate your monthly payments based on total loan debt and how long you want to take to pay it off.

Try a spending diet to boost debt payments. The idea of a spending diet, where you eliminate unnecessary shopping, eating out and other entertainment purchases, can seem overwhelming to some and boring to others. Still, it’s a surefire way to boost your monthly student loan repayments by tightening your belt elsewhere. This blog post, also from And Then We Saved, talks about using a small getaway to avoid any spending diet malaise.

Avoid bad forms of debt. According to our 2017 survey, 25 per cent of graduates would have avoided credit card debt and car loans while they were in school, as 77 per cent of Canadians said they had some form of student debt regret. Even after school, it’s important to avoid debt with high interest rates, as this can take attention away from your student loans. If you find yourself reaching for your credit card too often, try a 30-day credit free stretch, where you only spend with cash and debit.

Visit an expert. If you’re finding your student debt to be unmanageable or overwhelming, there’s no need to be ashamed or afraid to get help. A visit to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can give you some peace of mind and doesn’t necessarily mean filing for bankruptcy. Think of it as a fact-finding mission. The LIT can look at your debt situation and advise on informal and formal solutions, prescribing something that fits your situation. 

All these methods will not only give you some relief from your student debt, they’ll also help to de-stress your new year. Whether your solution involves seeing an expert or making changes on your own, start with achievable goals to give yourself some momentum for the rest of 2019.

Do you have another method for dealing with student debt stress? Share it on social media using the hashtags #LeaveDebtBehind, #NewYearMotivation, and #Millennials.

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