Create a Plan to Pay Off Your PA Student Loans
The average Physician Assistant student is finishing school with $93,000 in student loans; as most PAs start their career they are working on digging themselves out of debt. Depending on what you did prior to PA school you might not have been prepared to handle this huge amount of debt and are looking at ways to help overcome it.
Using a spreadsheet can help you create a plan and better manage your money so you can start getting rid of your debt. In a recent article on Business Insider, Andrew Josuweit, the CEO of Student Loan Hero shares the spreadsheet he used to pay off his student loans.
Create a Plan
Creating and complying with a strict budget is not always for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you should throw all planning out the window. If you have debt and don’t know where to start, the best thing you can do is come up with a plan; a strategy that you can use to start paying off your debt.
Even if you’re not going to do an exact budget, it still helps to see where your money is going – what’s coming in and where that money is going. Creating a spreadsheet can help you visualize the numbers and see exactly how you are spending your money.
You might not realize how much you’re spending at Starbucks until you see it on paper. There might be other ways to save, such as changing car insurance or getting rid of your car altogether and biking instead.
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Stick to a Plan
Once you’ve created a plan, then you need to stick to the plan. There are different ways you can attack your debt, whether that is paying off the largest loan first or paying off the highest interest loan first.
Dave Ramsey suggests creating a debt snowball by first paying off your smallest loan. Once you’ve paid that off, you add that payment amount to the payment for the next smallest loan and you continue to do that until all of your debt is paid.
That does not mean things can’t change, it is important to know that things in life come up…death, birth, illness…so just because you have a plan in place you might need to be flexible with that plan and re-evaluate the plan on a regular basis.
If you’re wondering where to start with paying off your debt, one thing you can do is start with a spreadsheet. Enter your income and expenses and see what’s leftover to put towards your debt. Sticking to a tight budget is not always easy, a good starting point is to just put the numbers down on paper and look at it.
Once you have the numbers written down you can start looking at how you can adjust those numbers to help put more money towards your debt. Always keep in mind that life is fluid and changing so you might need to adjust your plan as things arise.