As students head back to school, specifically college finances are most likely at the top of many families’ minds. Matthew Spedden shares a few tips with Jordie Clark at 47 ABC WMDT-TV to help navigate our back-to-school finances series. Today — we’re talking about student loans – and debt management.
The second topic of discussion is student loans and debt management. For many, student loans are a large part of higher education; As much as getting your dream job becomes your top priority, paying back student loans goes along with it. That’s why a financial consultant explains, that you have to look at student loans like a mortgage and develop a plan to pay it all back in one way or another.
The first step of that plan is debt management; look at what you’re bringing in, and what comes out, look at what’s necessary, and what’s discretionary, and go from there. “Shuffle some money over to this side, I always say you’re taking money from one pocket and putting it into another for the goal that we have in mind which would be debt repayment for our student loans,” says Matthew Spedden, Financial Planner Professional at Heritage Financial Consultants in Maryland and Advisory Representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors, (Member SIPC). He adds, “You already know what to do, you can already say oh I really probably shouldn’t have bought that last month, I won’t do that next month.”
Once you’ve looked at your budget, you can now look at options, such as paying more than your minimum payment if you’re able. Spedden says whether you start saving money in college, or you’ve graduated and preparing to pay it back, there are lots of options you just have to put yourself in the best position to start. “Can we bring all of them together into one and perhaps get a better rate,” explains Spedden. He goes on to say, “Looking into loan forgiveness is another part of it, exploring different payment programs. Having the flexibility of getting those different kinds of payment plans allows it not to be as strenuous on the budget as it could be.”
Another piece of advice, don’t avoid your loans. As daunting as the phone call may be, Spedden tells us a simple 20-minute conversation can make all the difference with your student loan company being able to work with you to find an eventual solution.
Our last topic in our back to school finance series will be ‘Investing in the future.’
Click here to watch the full interview:
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with 529 plans before investing. More information about 529 plans is available in the issuer’s official statement, which should be read carefully before investing. Also, before investing, consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. As with other investments, there are generally fees and expenses associated with participation in a 529 savings plan. There is also the risk that the investments may lose money or not perform well enough to cover college costs as anticipated. Matthew Spedden is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.
Securities and advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (Member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Heritage Financial Consultants is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors.