Pay Off Debt to Afford a Mortgage

by Niz Brown 04/14/2019

The cost to attend university continues to rise, putting pressure on students to afford an education. While some universities assist their students, many raise their prices to contend with operating costs. As a result, students leave school with mounds of debt that impede their quality of life. Paying off student loans starts by laying the appropriate groundwork, which gives you the best chance at success. 

Where to Start

Begin by identifying the type of student loans you have. Most often, you have either private or government student loans. The difference between them dictates the various options available to eliminate your debt. Now that you've identified your student loan type start with the government student loan. 

Government Loans

Government loans offer a variety of payment options based on factors such as your income and ability to pay. To more effectively make your student loan payments, request the payment plan that fits your financial situation. When you do receive extra money—like that birthday gift from Great-Aunt Daisy—apply it to your principal balance. You'll speed up the loan elimination process. By using the right payment plan, you balance your debt elimination with financial well being.

Private Loans

The payment plans for private student loans are difficult to adjust. One method to consider is refinancing to a lower interest rate. By refinancing your loan, you may lower your monthly payments. If you continue making more substantial payments on your refinanced note, you'll eliminate the principal balance at a faster rate. 

If you find yourself looking to refinance, shop around. Several companies specialize in student loan refinancing. By lowering your interest rate, you save money and can use that extra money toward principal payments, ultimately eliminating your student loans faster.

Finally, once you set a repayment plan, increase your principal payments through a second job or side-gig. Lyft, eBay, Instacart, and other flexible part-time options make increasing your outside income possible. Eliminating student loan debt is difficult, but certainly possible. With minor tweaks and adjustments, you will find the right path for you. 

Once you clear your student debt, you will have extra income for items such as saving for a down payment on a home. Purchasing a home is arguably the most significant asset for most people. By eliminating student debt, you can focus on home buying. To see if you qualify for a mortgage despite your school debt, reach out to a mortgage broker or loan officer.

About the Author
Author

Niz Brown

Born in San Pedro, California, as a first generation Croatian, I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a degree in Mathematics and Chemistry and then earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University. In 1960 I married native San Franciscan Jim Brown. Jim, was a high school teacher before becoming the owner/chef of La Lanterna Restaurant in Kentfield from 1985-1992. He is now retired. I combined substitute teaching in Marin County with the rearing of our four children, all of whom are grown and have settled in Marin. I became intrigued with the world of homes when we acted as the general contractors in building our own home in Woodacre and another home in the San Geronimo Valley. I began to work the carpet business, and became licensed to sell real estate in 1976. I was an associate realtor with other companies before becoming an independent broker and opening my own office in downtown Larkspur in 1991.

Decades of experience in real estate, plus a passion for details, executed in a creative manner allows me to serve in an exceptional manner. I advise my clients on the preparation of a property for sale and use my skills to assist sellers in arranging for staging, clean up, etc. Then I begin the marketing by having the home professionally photographed I create a property website and create fliers and print advertising. The MLS places the listing on all media site. Then when a offer comes in, the negotiation skills and attention to the details of the transaction take over. Other agents often say "you have the nicest listings". I care deeply about the quality of service I provide. When it comes to representing buyers I am patient and tenacious. I am just as excited as the buyer when we find the right home. I love my job!

I network with agents from diverse brokerages. I operate a "bus tour" with 25 professionals from 15 different brokerages. Operating my bus tour is my way of establishing close relationships with colleagues and gives me the opportunity to serve more effectively. Real estate is a unique community of competitors who work together with love and respect and cooperate to serve our clients.

I have developed a passion for photography and painting larger-than-life images of flowers. I am a signature member of the National Watercolor Association. At close of escrow each of my clients is given a choice of one of my prints for their home.