8 tactics to help manage student loans


Student loan debt can be crippling to deal with and a daily stressor for dentists. Here are eight tactics to help manage student loans:

1. Be strategic about payments.
Pay off loans with the highest interest rates first to reduce interest accrual.

2. Make sure you can afford the monthly payment. 
Contact your lender if you can’t make a payment. There might be a repayment plan that works for you.

3. Make on-time payments. 
If you make a late payment, it may result in late fees and negatively impact your credit score.

4. Pay interest while in school. 
Some loans accrue interest while you’re still in school. Make interest-only payments to prevent the balance from ballooning before graduation.

5. Enroll in automatic payments.
This helps ensure your payments are punctual, and some lenders offer rate reductions for customers who enroll.

6. Understand interest. 
Use this formula to calculate your daily interest: annual interest rate × current principal ÷ days in the year = daily interest.

7. Look into tax deductions and credits. 
Eligible student loan borrowers filing individually can deduct up to $2,500 on their federal taxes every year, depending on their income.

8. Understand where payments go. 
Your loan servicer can tell you if payments are distributed evenly among loans and how much of the payment is applied to interest versus the principal balance. 
Thousands of ADA dentists have taken control of their student loan debt by refinancing through the Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance program. Qualifying ADA members receive a 0.3% rate reduction to Laurel Road’s already low rates for the life of the loan, plus an additional 0.25% rate discount when monthly payments are made automatically from a bank account. Visit for more information.

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