*content sponsored by SmarterBucks, all opinions are my own.
I am willing to admit that I am one of the lucky ones. My family helped finance most of my college education. I took out ONE loan my junior year so I could pay the fee to break my “lease” with the on-campus dorms and move out into a house with one of my friends, after my mother said I couldn’t. What started out as a 3800.00 “loan” still sits at 2k five years later. Because the amount is so small and at such a low interest rate, paying off this debt comes after a long list of other financial priorities or issues, such as buying a home or doing repairs on my car. Even though I know it is a debt and important, it always falls to the bottom of the list month after month.
One of my staff writers, Jordann, recently paid off over 16k in student loan debt because she calculated her daily interest charge. She is one of the few people I know who has successfully paid off her student loan burden in full, because most (I assume) feel the way I do—even if the amount is $3800 or $38,000, it’s either at such a low interest rate, or such a staggeringly high amount most people say—“I’ll never pay it off.“ And they just plan to keep paying the minimums for the next 60 years.
Personally, I keep wishing that one day I’ll just receive a windfall in the exact amount of the loan, but with each passing year, I realize the possibility is minute. Which is why I want to recommend an awesome new program—SmarterBucks. The best part? It’s really, really free. I’m not even kidding.
It works in a variety of ways. You can by use their online marketplace to shop for everyday items (Contacts lenses, pet medications etc.) and earn up to 10% back on purchases, or you can use other methods like surveys and contests, asking friends and family for one-time or recurring gifts, or super charge your rewards by signing up for a SmarterBank® Visa® Debit Card, but that is completely optional. If you have a family member or close friend who loves to shop online, they can accrue rewards for you, which speeds up the debt repayment process. An extra $15-$30 here and there really adds up over the lifetime of a loan.
These rewards accumulate in your program account and every month you have $15 of earned rewards or more in your account, they make an automatic payment toward your student loan so you’re not paying any more interest than you have to. This is the best benefit in my opinion, because if you are like me, you won’t be able to divert that money to something else. It’s strictly about loan repayment.
The rewards have no limits or blackout dates, which is another feature you don’t see often on programs like this one. If you keep current with L Bee and the Money Tree, then I shouldn’t even have to tell you how much you’ll be able to save on both principal and interest by using this program, or tell you how many months or years you’ll be able to shave off of your current repayment calendar.
I love it when companies come up with programs to put money back into consumers’ pockets. Who doesn’t love a win-win situation?
Title..: Paying Off Your Student Loans with SmarterBucks
L Bee and the Money Tree
Finance Carn. for Young Adults at Finance For Young Adults
Yakezie Carnival at This That and the MBA
Carnival of MoneyPros at Master the Art of Saving