After graduating and getting a degree, paying off the student loan becomes the next big concern. Repayment demands sacrifices, discipline, patience and a little bit of strategic planning. Repaying smartly helps you save up on the interest you pay towards the loan.

Other than the most obvious step – saving on expenses, there are a few excellent ways to avoid unnecessary outflows when repaying your student loan.

Here are six ways to repay your student loan the smart way –

#1. Get a part-time job while studying

While you are still getting that degree in college, it is a good move to find a part-time job (if your schedule permits). Saving and putting aside money earned during this time will help ease up the whole process of loan repayment, once you are out.

#2. Create a plan

Create a 4-5 year plan to repay the loan. You should know as soon as you graduate, how much you will have to pay each month towards your education loan. Create targets for your savings so that you meet the payments schedule.

#3.  Part away with extra money

Put in extra money with every installment you pay towards repayment. Doing away with more money may seem bothersome, but paying even a little extra amount regularly will help you save on interest through the entire period of your student loan. You could save considerably on interest in the long run if you adopt this practice.

#4. Automate your payments

Enabling automated payment system is a way to enforce not only payments but also savings. Make an arrangement for automatic payment to be made towards your student loan at regular intervals. The amount paid and the interval at which such payments must be made can be pre-decided by you.

Apart from forced saving and regularity in repayment, this arrangement can also get you a lowered interest rate from the side of the lender. Even if this deduction in interest rate is marginal, it could have a substantial impact on the interest amount through the life of the loan.

#5. Pay Variable rate loans first

In case you have multiple student loans to pay off, some with variable interest rates and others with fixed interest rates, pay off the variable rate loans faster. Even if the current variable rate is lower than the fixed rate, this is sensitive and susceptible to change. A sudden hike in the interest rate following changes in the economy may catch you off guard.

Also, check for conversion of variable rate loan to fixed rate loan.

#6. Seek help from your employer

There are some organizations which agree to pay a lump sum amount towards your student loan, as a part of compensation when hiring you. Such an agreement may include a reduced salary amount and other employment terms. 

This arrangement is beneficial in terms of lowered interest amount and the overall life of the loan. It is an option worth considering when getting hired or during a review with an existing employer.