Getting Ready to Afford a Mortgage

by Gema Smith 08/25/2019

The cost to attend university continues to rise, putting pressure on students to afford an education. While some universities assist their students, many raise their prices to contend with operating costs. As a result, students leave school with mounds of debt that impede their quality of life. Paying off student loans starts by laying the appropriate groundwork, which gives you the best chance at success. 

Where to Start

Begin by identifying the type of student loans you have. Most often, you have either private or government student loans. The difference between them dictates the various options available to eliminate your debt. Now that you've identified your student loan type start with the government student loan. 

Government Loans

Government loans offer a variety of payment options based on factors such as your income and ability to pay. To more effectively make your student loan payments, request the payment plan that fits your financial situation. When you do receive extra money—like that birthday gift from Great-Aunt Daisy—apply it to your principal balance. You'll speed up the loan elimination process. By using the right payment plan, you balance your debt elimination with financial well being.

Private Loans

The payment plans for private student loans are difficult to adjust. One method to consider is refinancing to a lower interest rate. By refinancing your loan, you may lower your monthly payments. If you continue making more substantial payments on your refinanced note, you'll eliminate the principal balance at a faster rate. 

If you find yourself looking to refinance, shop around. Several companies specialize in student loan refinancing. By lowering your interest rate, you save money and can use that extra money toward principal payments, ultimately eliminating your student loans faster.

Finally, once you set a repayment plan, increase your principal payments through a second job or side-gig. Lyft, eBay, Instacart, and other flexible part-time options make increasing your outside income possible. Eliminating student loan debt is difficult, but certainly possible. With minor tweaks and adjustments, you will find the right path for you. 

Once you clear your student debt, you will have extra income for items such as saving for a down payment on a home. Purchasing a home is arguably the most significant asset for most people. By eliminating student debt, you can focus on home buying. To see if you qualify for a mortgage despite your school debt, reach out to a mortgage broker or loan officer.

About the Author
Author

Gema Smith

Gema S. Smith has been an influential pioneer in the luxury real estate industry for over 30 years. With a reputation for providing first-class service and garnering impeccable results for her clients, Gema’s accomplishments have earned her mentions in San Jose Magazine as well as two State of California Senate Certificates of Recognition. 

Unapologetically persistent, tenacious in her negotiation and passionate about developing genuine trust with her clients, Gema brings her best-in-class service and award-winning approach to The Agency, with a focus on the high-end market of Silicon Valley. Previously, Gema served as a Broker Associate with Intero Real Estate Services in San Jose, where she was a consistent top producer and recognized as a Top Listing and Sales agent for the company’s 15 corporate offices. Knowing that every buyer and seller has their own unique story to tell, Gema is proud to play a role in her clients’ ongoing narrative and represent their best interests in what is often the biggest transaction of their lives. 

Gema has been an active member of the real estate community since 1987, getting her start in the loan business before obtaining her real estate and broker’s licenses. In 2002, she opened a real estate brokerage and loan company which she ran successfully until 2008, when she chose to focus her efforts on real estate sales full-time. Gema is a long-time member of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (SCCAOR) and California Association of Realtors (CAR), as well as a Certified REO & SHORT SALE Specialist with The Five Star Institute. She is also a two-time Santa Clara County Chapter President of NHORA (National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates) and currently sits on the NHORA National Board of Directors. 

A passionate philanthropist, Gema sits on the Board of Directors for the Jose Valdes Math Institute. Her commitment and dedication to the advancement of educational opportunities to underserved communities defines her character. In her spare time, Gema enjoys gourmet cooking, entertaining family and friends, wine tasting, reading, jogging and traveling.