When you have student loan debt, saving for future goals like retirement, homeownership, or an emergency fund can be difficult. You may, however, pay off your student debts while working toward other long-term financial goals with the right plan.

These five strategies, including student loan refinancing, can help you save money and pay off your debt faster.

1. Make Additional Payments

For student loans, lenders impose a minimum monthly repayment amount. However, paying more than the bare minimum can help you get out of debt quickly.

When you pay an extra $15 per month and have $15,000 in student loans, you can pay off the debt a year sooner. If you put an extra $60 each month toward the balance, you'll be able to pay it off three years sooner.

Make sure you ask your lender to apply any additional payments to the principal. For example, paying an extra $60 monthly throughout a 10-year repayment plan might save you approximately $1,200 in interest.

2. Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans

You may be paying too much in interest if you don't know how to pay off student loans quickly – or if it doesn't seem possible.

In this instance, refinancing your student loans for a cheaper interest rate, a shorter payback period, or both may be an option. While refinancing federal loans with a private lender may result in losing some federal benefits, it may allow you to pay off your loans more quickly.

With this method, timing is crucial. Your credit score will likely be at its lowest soon after graduation, so the interest rates you'll be given will be higher. Many lenders want you to have a consistent income or work history to qualify for a loan. This emphasizes the importance of shopping around with a few lenders to find who gives the best rates.

You can refinance your student loans often, which may be beneficial if your credit score or annual income significantly improves.

3. Make A Budget And Stick To It

Now is the time to set a budget and stick to it if you have yet to do so. A monthly budget built on a zero-based basis will show you where your money goes and where you may save money.

You may even discover extra money you didn't realize you had when you keep to a budget. You'll see results in no time if you put all that extra money into your student loans every month.

Examine your purchasing patterns and your ability to stick to a budget. If you're a college student who struggles to stick to a budget, a student budget calculator can help you stay on track.

4. Make Interest Payments While You're Still in School

Borrowers often pay down their debts only to see the sum scarcely change due to interest. However, paying interest while still in school can help you pay off your loans faster and save money.

Most student loans accrue interest long before the borrowers start making payments. Therefore, borrowers will accrue interest while enrolled in school, except for federally subsidized direct loans.

Paying off the debt faster by paying down the interest while in school. Prioritizing subsidized loans when financing your education can also make loan repayment easier in the long run.

5. Make A College Loan Repayment Fund

Set up automatic transfers to a separate savings account exclusively for college debt if you need clarification on how much additional money you can spend on your student loans each month. Automatically transferring money into savings is efficient because you won't spend it on non-essential items such as clothes or dining out.

Remember to set up a separate account to pay off your student loans. You shouldn't use an existing bank or savings account since you might be tempted to use the money for something other than your student debts.

Final Thoughts

It's easy to talk about strategies to quickly pay off your student debts; the hard part is doing it. Put a strategy in place that includes monthly check-ins to keep you on track once you've decided which debt payment techniques make sense for your financial position.

While you'll probably have to make some short-term sacrifices to pay off your student debt sooner, once you're debt-free, you'll be glad you put in the extra effort (and money) to pay your loans off early.

You'll be debt-free faster than you think if you stay motivated to complete all of these steps.