When you’re writing a research paper in college, you would never build your entire paper around one source. So why do you follow the advice of one student loan expert when repaying your debts?
Fake news has been a feature in our social media feeds in the past year. It’s been discussed by families, friends, the media, and everywhere else you could imagine. For many of us at times, it’s hard to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not.
Some stories are completely outlandish and others sneak past the smell test. That’s why it’s so important to check for multiple sources when something seems fake. You might be surprised at how many pieces of fake news get believed by some of your smartest friends.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say student loan experts are trying to bombard us with fake news about how to repay your student loans. That’s not the point I’m trying to make.
Here’s what I’m trying to say. Much like fake news and news in general, you shouldn’t rely on one source when learning about financial topics. Learn as much as you can.
What does that mean for repaying students loans? It’s simple. Don’t subscribe to one single expert when developing a student loan repayment strategy. Learn from many different experts and ordinary people to develop a strategy that works for you.
Broaden your horizons. Read student loan advice from real people.
When you’re searching for strategies to repay your student loans, don’t settle for the first piece of advice you read on the internet. Dave Ramsey doesn’t know everything about your life and personal situation. For some people, his advice is great; for others, his advice isn’t the greatest.Dave Ramsey doesn't know everything about your life and personal situation Click To Tweet
Before you stop reading about the best student loan repayment options, broaden your horizons. Read the advice of many people. There’s an abundance of student loan stories out there. You may find someone in the same situation who shares the same thoughts and values as you.
For example, my wife and I have been following the advice of Dame Ramsey for the last year. We’ve been paying down the lowest balances first. However, we read about other repayment strategies before getting started. We knew paying down the lowest balances wouldn’t be the most mathematically optimal solution.
We also learned about the emotional benefits to paying off a single student loan. You can celebrate a small victory even though a loan may only total $1,000. Then, you get started on the next highest loan balance.
It’s also possible to learn from people other than experts. Search Reddit. Oftentimes, people on social media will share stories about their student loans in great detail. You may find someone in a similar situation. Maybe you can send them a message and ask them how they managed the emotional ups and downs of their debt.
Those are the things you learn if you start reading multiple sources. Not every expert is able to share each and every perspective. Some experts give advice for low income families and others give advice to higher income families. There’s no one piece of advice that works for every type of family.
There’s a good reason you should read multiple sources.
Here’s a good example from an article in Scientific American. Giving students a research assignment without a minimum number of references is a recipe for disaster.
…science doesn’t work that way. One experiment may suggest something interesting, but it doesn’t prove anything. In fact, it is quite easy to point to many examples of intriguing scientific studies that were either proved false or that couldn’t be reproduced later on
There’s a good reason you should consider reading everything you can when pursuing student loan debt.
What worked for one person might not work for you. Their income could be far different from yours or their loan balances much larger or smaller. Just because someone repaid $100,000 in student loans in 9 months doesn’t mean you have to. Everyone is different.
By reading from multiple sources, you’ll be able to construct a plan that’s right for you. You’ll have read about people in a similar situation to yours. By doing that, you’ll be more confident and comfortable in your own skin. If you can’t afford to, there won’t be an unnecessary amount of pressure to repay your student loans in a short time period.
Take a lesson from science. Many scientific studies can’t be reproduced. The same is true when you try to follow the advice of someone else. The variables change. You aren’t that person so your results may vary.
You can forge your own strategy when it comes to paying off your student loans.
It isn’t necessary to follow in the footsteps of the experts out there. Your situation is unique. You live in a different part of the world with a different job and a different life. Learn from the many experts and stories out there, but forge your own path.
As Robert from The College Investor says, “I don’t think that you have to fall into the “Earn More” or “Save More” camp.” Paying off your student loans isn’t black and white. There’s no magic bullet for your debt.
That’s why you should read as much as you can about repaying your student loans. Don’t settle with one expert and think you know all of the different view points about the subject. Like most people say about investing, diversify.
Diversify your knowledge about student loan strategies. Learn about as much as you can, then build a strategy that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to forge your own way forward.
Most of us don’t really know what we’re doing anyway.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but we’re all in this together. Most of us don’t know shit. We’re constantly learning every single day. The best thing you can do is keep moving forward.
And that’s why it’s important to keep forging your own path through the forest of life. You’ll learn more that way.
If you give yourself a primer on strategies to repay student loans, you can start forming your own opinions. You’ll be able to feel more comfortable making decisions with your money and you’ll be better off for it.
Don’t tell yourself you have to follow an expert to succeed. Experts are there to pique your interest and get you started. After that, you’re on your own. Your life is unique and you need to take that information and build a plan custom tailored to YOU.
Although you need to come up with a plan that works for you, we can all get to the same destination. That’s the fun part. There’s not a magic path all of us can take, but we can all get to the end. Through hard work and a never give up attitude, we’ll all make it to end of the road.
When you’re reading about any subject you wish to learn about, don’t simply read one expert’s opinion. Diversify your knowledge on the subject.
For example, when you’re trying to pay off your student loans, don’t simply read Dave Ramsey and be done with it. Ramsey’s strategies work for a lot of people and the advice is great, but it’s not gospel. It doesn’t solve every student loan problem known to exist.
Know this. There’s a plethora of student loan knowledge out there. You can find the advice that resonates best with you.
That’s more important. You want to develop a strategy that works best for you. By reading through multiple outlets, you may end up with a random concoction of advice that resembles a sort of beef stew of financial expertise. However, if it works for you, that’s all that matters.
When it comes to paying off your student loans, the most important thing is getting to the destination: being debt free. Don’t stress over the road you take. Use the advice of many student loan experts added together and don’t settle for a strategy that’s not perfect for you.
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