When I first started paying back my student loans several years ago, there weren’t that many apps or tools available to help you pay off your student loans, while keeping you motivated.
Boy, have things changed — and I’m so glad! Now there are more resources and websites out there specifically for people trying to get out of student loan debt. If you’re like me and battling student loan debt, check out these tools that can help you get inspired and pay off your debt faster.
Have you ever wondered if you could do work online and use credits to pay back your student loans? Well, now you can! Gradible.com is an online platform that allows you to perform various tasks, such as online research, social media posting, surveys, shopping, and more. For each task you complete, you are paid in LoanCreds.
LoanCreds are essentially Gradible’s form of currency that go straight to your student loans. How much you get paid depends on the difficulty of the task as well as how long it takes to complete. For example, one survey offered 49 LoanCreds for 16 minutes of your time. For context, 10 LoanCreds is equal to 1 dollar towards debt repayment.
You won’t be able to get rich and pay off your loans tomorrow with Gradible, but it’s a cool website that can help you find a different way to earn a little more money that goes directly towards student loans. They work with all student loan lenders, so whatever you make can be sent to your lender for repayment.
I like that Gradible is clear with how much you will earn and how long each task should take. The platform is also pretty intuitive. The only downside is that they are fairly new and there aren’t a ton of tasks available, but it seems like they are growing.
Student Loan Hero
If you’re wondering what your options are for getting out of student loan debt, StudentLoanHero.com is a great tool (full disclosure: I am a freelance writer for their blog, but I actually use their service, too!). You can create a free account and sync all of your student loans into the system. Within minutes they will give you a snapshot of your current student loan situation as well as offer up ways to save money.
For example, they recommend that I save money by signing up for ACH direct payments (which can save 0.25% in interest), making bi-weekly payments (which comes out to 13 payments per year, instead of 12), and refinancing my loans. They show you the pros and cons of each option.
Not only that, but they can walk you through and help decide if you should approach your debt using the snowball or avalanche method. In addition, they have a whole list of useful calculators for a variety of situations, so you can find out how much money you save through consolidation, or whether it’s smarter to pay off your debt or invest.
Another great tool for helping you climb out of student loan debt is Tuition.io. This site can help create a plan and visualize your debt repayment through nifty charts that map out your repayment strategy.
It’s kind of like Mint for personal finances, in the sense that you can get an overall view of your student loan debt. Using this tool, you can see what your current plan looks like, but also how additional payments will affect your pay off goals. It’s very motivating to see that making extra payments can shave off a few years of debt repayment!
My favorite aspect about Tuition.io is that they have the capability of accepting “gifts” which go towards your student loans. According to their website, 80% of graduates with debt would prefer a gift towards student loan debt payoff over a restaurant or a store. I know I feel the same way!
In some ways, it kind of feels weird to be asking for a gift towards your student loan payments, but in another way, I think it’s a super practical and helpful gift.
This last website is useful for people that may have student loan debt as well as credit card debt. ReadyForZero.com can help you manage all of your debt and track your debt repayment progress. I love their progress bars which show how much debt I’ve paid off and how much I have left to go. They also send you fun emails as you pay down your account and reach certain milestones! It was nice to have someone notice that and get some encouragement.
ReadyForZero helps you come up with a plan to pay off all your debts, including student loans. You can create a plan by choosing a debt free date, or by how much you can afford in monthly payments. It’s nice to be able to play around and see how $100 more can affect your debt free date.
The website also offers customized next steps to help you take action and pay off your debt. These steps can include things like checking your credit score, monitoring your spending triggers, and saying no to credit cards.
While many of these websites are similar, they all offer something unique to help you pay off student loan debt. The most important thing is to have a plan. For so long, I was alone in my debt repayment journey — but tools like this help me stay on track and help keep me going. I know that debt fatigue is real, so I do need those weekly reminders of how I’m doing with my progress.
If you’re paying back student loan debt, check out these websites to create a plan of attack, so you can be free from student loan debt that much faster.
Have you used any of these websites for paying down your student loan? Which one is your favorite?