Customers currently paying "Sallie Mae Back" now have the chance to win up to $10,000 to pay down their loans, thanks to Dee-1's "Pays to Repay" contest, the latest addition to the partnership between the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company and Dee-1, the educator turned hip-hop artist. Any Sallie Mae customer with eligible student loans can enter the contest by visiting Salliemae.com/Dee1 through Jan. 11, 2017, and answering a question inspired by Dee-1's own college journey: "How did paying for college have a positive effect on your future?" Five winners from across the country will be selected based on the concept, style, originality, and creativity of their entry, and each will receive up to $10,000 toward his or her eligible Sallie Mae student loans. Winners will be announced in late January. "Student loans are clearly a part of life for so many of us and that's why I wanted to celebrate the journey I took in paying mine off," said Dee-1. "And now, through the 'Pays to Repay' contest, I have the opportunity to reach more students and help them feel that same joy I did when I paid off my loans." In November, Dee-1 and Sallie Mae released the " Pay Off Your Student Loans Playlist," a set of tips, tools, and resources to help students understand and manage student loan payments. In addition, Dee-1 and Sallie Mae recently completed " Dee-1's Knowledge for College" tour, which awarded $95,000 in scholarships to high school students in five states. "Dee-1 is so passionate about financial literacy and helping people pay back their student loans," said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. "The 'Pays to Repay' contest is a natural extension of our shared mission. And while only a Sallie Mae customer can win the contest, any student loan customer can benefit from Dee's tips for building a positive credit history and successfully paying off student loan debt."
When it comes to paying back student loans and managing finances, the following tips are at the top of Dee-1's playlist:Know who you owe and how much you owe.
- Understand if your loan is from Uncle Sam (the federal government) or Aunt Sallie (Sallie Mae or another private lender). If you are unsure, call your lender or check your credit report.
- Be responsible. Know your monthly payment amounts and due dates.
- Managing your money means managing your lifestyle.
- Prioritize payments you must make every month, and make sure your student loan is one of them.
- Pay more than the minimum amount due each month.
- If you get a raise or tax refund, use part or all of it to increase your monthly loan payment.
- The faster you pay off your loan, the less you'll spend in the long run.
- If you run into trouble, don't hide from it, don't be embarrassed by it, and don't give up. Stay positive, focused, and look for solutions.
- Call your lender or touch base with your cosigner, if you have one.
- Be passionate about managing your money wisely and effectively.
- You can't make your student loans disappear magically overnight, but you can make a plan for paying them off.