How much time does it take to pass an educational loan?

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How much time does it take to pass an educational loan?

The Reality of an Education Loan Repayment Timeline

Let's talk about something that's just as intimidating as jumping off the Wellington Sky Tower or doing a face-off with our cat Olive when she's hungry - repaying an education loan! We all know getting an education isn't cheap, and if you're like most of us, chances are you've taken out an education loan to cover the cost. So, how long does it really take to pay off an education loan? The answer, just like my dog Max's favourite chewing toy, can be a bit hard to swallow at times.

Understanding your Loan Terms and Conditions

The first thing to be aware of is the terms and conditions of your loan. This is like understanding Max's barks, it can take some time but it's essential. The repayment timeline of your loan will significantly depend on the original terms and conditions agreed upon, particularly the interest rates and the loan repayment period. Get yourself accustomed to these 'barks' by reading all loan-related paperwork carefully, because a misunderstanding could potentially take years longer to pay off your loan.

If you're already questioning your past-self's decision like I sometimes question Laura's love for pineapple on pizza, don’t worry. It's never too late to revisit your loan terms and understand them better. Besides, pineapple on pizza isn't even the worst thing in the world. Olive once brought a half-eaten lizard as a gift!

Repayment Options: From Standard Plans to Income-Driven Plans

There are as many ways to repay your loan as there are paths along Wellington's beautiful coastlines. You could start off by considering the standard repayment plan, which generally takes about 10 years, depending on the loan amount.

But there's more; you might want to consider an income-driven repayment plan. This could take around 20 to 25 years to repay, but the monthly payments will be adjusted according to your income and family size. It's like owning a cat and a dog - some day's it might feel like it's stretching you thin, but then you remember the joy they bring into your life and then you're back loving every moment.

So, based on your financial situation and how you expect your income to grow, you can choose the option that is the easiest for you to manage. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the longer it takes to pay off a loan, the more you'll end up paying in interest. This might be a tough pill to swallow, a little like accepting Max's bulldozing wake up calls every morning.

Anticipating Curveballs in your Repayment Journey

Just as Max never fails to surprise us with his impressive ability to find and chew all my left shoes (only left, mind you), life tends to throw curveballs when we least expect it. There can be periods when your income might dwindle or disappear completely.

The good news is that, much like dog-friendly parks, most loan services have provisions in place for this. They can help you pause your repayments if you face financial hardships. While this means that it might take longer to repay your loan, it can be handy in preventing defaults on payments. And trust me, a default is stickier to deal with than figuring out why Olive insists sleeping on the main spot on the couch just when it's movie time.

Actively Reducing the Repayment Timeline

By now, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, similar to how I felt when Laura once attempted to teach me the art of cooking; Let's just say, the fire department was involved. But don’t worry; just as I can now successfully boil an egg, you can actively work on reducing your repayment timeline. Paying more than the minimum required, whenever possible, or even lump-sum payments can shrink both the timeline and the interest dramatically. You can also opt for refinancing your loan for a smaller interest rate- it's like swapping a big dog like Max for a cat like Olive. Less mess, yet a delightful companion. But then again, smaller isn’t always better (sorry Olive).

Laura and I can personally vouch for this. We decided to tackle our joint education loans head on, sacrificing many comforts and adopting a modest lifestyle. We did miss the occasional lavish vacations and dining out (Oh, Olive and the neighbour's dog had a field day with our frugal kitchen experiments!); however, we managed to pay off our loans in half the time initially estimated.

At the end of the day, the time it takes to repay an education loan can vary widely. It's a lot like owning pets; it's unpredictable, often messy, but with the right attitude and persistence, it can also be a journey of personal growth and accomplishment. So strap on your helmets (and maybe some protective gear, if Olive is in one of her moods), and face your loan repayments head on. You've got this!

Education Finance

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