Sign up to get the latest student loan tips and news:

* indicates required

Paying Extra Requires Discipline

Very few borrowers who choose a longer repayment term, intending to make extra payments, succeed in doing so. Paying extra each month requires discipline.

It is too tempting to spend the extra money instead of paying down the debt. Even if you start off paying extra on the loans, you will struggle to restart the higher loan payments after the first time you need the extra cash flow. Or, you’ll pay less than you were paying previously.

Making the higher loan payments mandatory provides a psychological benefit. If the loan payments are automatic, you’ll find a different way to deal with a shortfall in your monthly budget.

So, before you choose a longer repayment term, ask how likely you are to make the larger loan payments if they are optional?

Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

At, our goal is to help you make smart decisions about saving and paying for education. Some of the products featured in this article are from our partners, but this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

A good place to start:

See the best 529 plans, personalized for you


Saving For College is an unbiased, independent resource for parents and financial professionals, providing them with information and tools to understand the benefits of 529 college savings plans and how to meet the challenge of increasing college costs.