I turned 30 this year and finally paid off my only credit card. I have a couple medical bills but my debt is my student loans. About $24,000 worth. I deferred after graduation and am still able to based on income. I got a new job and I’m afraid with my income now, I will have to start paying on them. It’s not that I don’t want to, but my income increased just enough to afford health insurance, where before I wasn’t covered (thus the medical bill debt). Is debt consolidation a thing when it comes to student loans? I’m wondering since I took out both subsidized and unsubsidized loans each year, if combining them (or at least the ones with the high interest rate) with debt consolidation company for a lower interest rate is even possible? I’m curious as to how people pay off student loans when they are stretched so thin anyway. I have a budget I stick to very strictly and I apply to multiple jobs daily, and like I said, I’ve been able to find a job with a little higher pay, but it’s still not enough. I don’t have a car payment, I don’t have a cell phone contract, I rent a room and just pay a flat rate for board and utilities. Even if I wanted to spend my money, I work too much to go do it. I don’t know enough about debt/student loans to know the best option for me. I will say that I do put 5% of paycheck into 401K because my company matches up to 5% and I haven’t saved at all for my retirement yet. Should I stop allocating that 5%, or half maybe?, toward 401k and redirect that money to my loans? Seems like the only solution if debt consolidation with lower monthly payment is not an option.
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