If you’re like most college students, who both A) have student loans and B) forget important things sometimes, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that remembering to pay your student loans is vital and can be more challenging for those of us who have poor memories. The good news, though, is that many avenues exist for you to explore that will help you get your payments in on time. Here are a few options for you to explore that will assist you in making sure you cover all your bases, paying off your student loans with no problems.
Like other payment-based programs, you can set your student loans to “pay themselves” automatically, meaning you’ll connect your account directly to the source of the credit, eliminating you, the middleman. This strategy works very well for certain people, but others find the lack of direct financial control a little uncomfortable. You’ll also have to ensure that your account doesn’t get overdrawn, which is a risk for those who go this route. Putting your finances on autopilot can seem concerning and definitely requires a lot of thought, but on the bright side, you’ll rest assured knowing you will not accidentally miss a payment.
In our current landscape, nearly everyone uses some form of digital reminder to jog their memory. The omnipresence of cell phones and laptops make this much easier, with “cloud” apps like Google Calendar and Calendar for mac OS ruling the way. If you have either, setting a task to a certain date on your phone will also change it on your computer, and vice versa. Both apps also allow users to set recurring reminders, a perfect way to remind you to make your student loan payments. In addition to calendar services, both Apple and Android have a built-in Reminders app to use for this purpose. Third-party apps, like Todoist, Evernote, and Wunderlist are popular as well. Just make sure you get the information right, and your phone or laptop will buzz with a reminder whenever your payments are due.
You don’t have to tie a string around your little finger, but having a tangible method of remembering a task is very important to those of us who get distracted easily. Whether you stick Post-It notes on your desktop monitor, tack up reminders on your bulletin board, or circle the date on your calendar, these actions will serve as memory triggers, reminding you of the vastly important task you have to complete. Many psychologists say that physical objects are much more effective than those of the digital variety, because the latter can be “ignored” with the push of a finger if you’re doing something different on your phone. Good, old-fashioned memory tricks will hang around your living space on your fridge, cupboard, et cetera, reminding you over and over to get your payments in on time.
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