Ask the Expert: 3 Ways to Reduce Your Student Debt

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When it comes to you're student debt, and the impact it's having on your wallet, you're probably looking for answers. 

Brendan Coghlin, head of consumer lending and deposits at Citizens Bank has them. In our Ask the Expert series, Coghlin gives three ways to lower the debt that is keeping you away at night. 

Way #1

"Number one would be start saving," Coughlin said. 

"50% of the country doesn't actually start saving until they're actually there after the age of 15. So better late than never. Reduce your discretionary purchases, and put that toward school." Discretionary buying means buying things you don't need, but want. 

Way #2

"Number two, I would say get a job," Coughlin said. 

"School is a time for learning and a time for fun, but you want to make sure that you're setting yourself up for success after school. So, do the best you can to limit the debt burden." The number of dollars you'll have in debt won't decrease, but your debt-to-income ratio will widen, in favor of income. Paying debt will become way easier. 

Way #3

"And number three, if you do need to have debt to get to the school, you want, really do your homework," said Coughlin. Shop around for the right deal. Make sure that what you're financing is at the most affordable price that you can get." 

Interest rates are what they are -- some are lower, while others are higher. But Coughlin's point is that a few hours of vetting for the best deal can pay of hugely. 

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