College graduates in Ohio are entering the workforce with high hopes, bright futures, and years’ worth of student loan debt.

The average annual cost of tuition in Ohio was $14,804 for the 2016-2017 academic year, according to CollegeCalc. That’s $1,218 higher than the U.S. average and ranks Ohio as the 20th most-expensive state or district in which to attend college.

With the cost continually growing, student loans have become essential for attendance. According to an Ohio Credit Union League Consumer Survey, 43 percent of Ohioans who went to college used student loans to help pay for their degree. Another 26 percent have children who leverage student loans.

Of those surveyed, 23 percent say they plan to pay off their loans in one to five years following graduation. Another 38 percent expect to have their loans paid off within 10 years, and 39 percent of respondents said they felt their loan payments were going on “forever” and wondered “if they’ll ever be paid off”.

This response isn’t surprising considering the average 2016 college graduate has $37,172 in student loans, according to Student Loan Hero. All that money can take a decade or more to pay off. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considers a standard payment term on a student loan to be roughly 10 years, although borrowers with more than $30,000 in federal student debt could be eligible for payment plans up to 25 years.

A Nerd Waller study suggested student loan debt will hamper most new grads into their 60s and 70s, contributing to a longer working life. Most won’t be able to retire until age 75.

To circumvent this fate, here are some tips to help you pay down student loan debt.

  • Start paying as soon as possible. Use the six-month grace period, meant to give recent graduates time to look for a job before payment begins, to get a jump start on payments. The sooner you can begin repaying student loans, the more money you’ll save.
  • Pay above and beyond.  Paying more than the monthly minimum balance will save you money in interest over the life of your loan. Even rounding up to the next whole or even number takes money directly off the principal.
  • Allocate extra money. Your tax refund check is an easy place to start finding extra cash. You may also consider bonuses, an inheritance, settlement, or even birthday checks.
  • Set achievable milestones. Set-up a payment plan with achievable milestones throughout and reward yourself when you reach each milestone. Begin by paying off the highest-interest loan. When that’s paid off, celebrate with a small “splurge”.
  • Refinance. Consolidating and refinancing your loans can help pay off loans faster. Credit unions typically offer lower interest rates on loans.

To learn more about Day Air Credit Union and what financial assistance we offer for student loans, visit dayair.studentchoice.org.

Checking Accounts

Premium Perks

Freedom Checking

CashBack Checking

Direct Deposit

More

Savings Accounts

Savings Accounts

Super Saver

Money Market

h

Certificates

HSA

Cards

Debit Card

Low Rate Credit Card

Rewards Credit Card

CU Rewards

Card Controls

Tools

Mobile Deposit

Online Banking

Pay Someone

eAlerts

Compare Rates

Vehicle Loans

Auto Loans

Refinance Your Car

Motorcycle & Jet Ski Loans

Boat & RV Loans

Mortgage & Home Loans

Mortgages

Refinance Your House

Home Equity Loans

Construction Loans

Personal

Personal Loans

,

StretchPay Loans

Student Loans

Credit Cards

Tools

Apply for a Loan

Pay a Loan

Online Bill Pay

Chat With Us

Financial Planning

Investments

i

Estate Planning

401(k) Rollover

Retirement Planning

Day Air Insurance

Auto Insurance

Home Insurance

Identity Theft Protection

Life Insurance

More Products & Services

RetireMEDiQ

Financial Counseling

Credit Reports

Reorder Checks

More

Online Banking

Online Banking

Online Bill Pay

Login to Online Banking

Mobile Banking

Mobile Banking

Mobile Deposit

Pay Someone

Text Banking

Tools

Apply for a Loan

Pay a Loan

eAlerts

Mobile Pay

Chat With Us

Accounts

Business Checking

Business Savings

Business Certificates

Cards

Business Debit Card

Business Credit Card

Loans

Commercial Loans

Term Loans

PPP Loans

Line of Credit

Services

Business Bill Pay

Tools

Online Business Banking

Login to Business Banking

Login to PIB MLO

Business Banking App

Join Day Air

Why Choose Day Air

Membership Eligibility

Annual Member Savings

Compare Rates

Join Day Air

Community

Community Involvement

Financial Education

Dayton VA Medical Center

Dayton Dragons

Contests & Sweepstakes

About

Press & News

Newsletters & Reports

Videos

Careers

Helpful Resources