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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


Despite rising tuition costs, getting a college education is the best possible way to make a better living. On average, college graduates earn 56% more than those who only get a high school education, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute.

But post-college graduation, there tends to a rude awakening: Graduates today are saddled with an average of $37,172 of student loan debt, and it takes the average borrower 19.7 years to pay off their loans. 

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In the words of talk show host Wendy Williams, “How you doin?”

Before you answer, maybe you should look to your right and your left and see how your “neighbor” is doing to get a different perspective. It’s easy to have a false sense of security when you’re looking in the mirror only at yourself. 

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Medicine is a fulfilling profession on many levels, including the prospect of earning a comfortable salary. But before doctors can bring home a six-figure paycheck, most medical students rack up six-figure student loan debt. The average medical school student graduates with $190,000 in student loan debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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Sometimes life throws curveballs that wreak havoc with our finances. When that happens, it’s tempting to ignore statements—or set your email to send payment reminders right to the spam folder. 

But really, the easiest way to avoid defaulting on student loans is to face the problem head-on. 

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The statistics are stunning. As of 2017, student loan debt hit an all-time high of $1.7 trillion.  More than 44 million Americans owe an average of $37,000.

So, how’s paying back all that dough working out for everybody? According to our recent survey of 1,000 Americans, the answer is decidedly mixed. Much depends on the student’s field of study, who got help from parents, and what type of institution they attended.

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Working hard is good – but sometimes working smart is better. This saying applies to many situations, including eliminating your student loans. If you want to pay off your loans faster, you need to be strategic. It’s difficult to put a dent in your debt by just making minimum payments on high-interest loans. We’ve put together 10 tips to help you lower your interest rate, find extra cash, and make progress on reducing your balances quicker.

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