When you’re paying off student loans, every cent counts

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Whether it’s change dug from the couch cushions or a $100 birthday check from your grandma, consistently putting small windfalls toward your loan balance will add up over time.

One of the best ways to drum up extra funds to put toward your student loans is by using a credit card that earns you cash back. Here are some success stories from financial experts who have done just that.

Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

How the experts have done it

While some credit cards provide miles or points you can use for travel, gift cards, or merchandise, others give you cash back. This cash back is usually redeemable as a check, direct deposit, or statement credit.

Jacob Wade from I Heart Budgets discovered that he could put those cash-back rewards toward his student loans. He and his wife used a Citi PremierĀ® Card to earn $1,100 in cash back through everyday spending.

“I was able to send four checks direct from Citi’s points center,” he said. “They actually had a ‘Student Loan Rebate’ option for the Thank You points to be redeemed.”

The beauty of cash-back credit cards is that you can use your rewards for just about anything. Here’s how 4 people used their cash back to pay down student loans

Riley Adams, CPA, of The Young and the Invested, used rewards from two Capital One credit cards to pay off part of his wife’s medical school loans. At first he used one offering 1% cash back, but then switched to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card with 1.5% cash back on every purchase, accelerating his reward accrual.

“In total, the cash rewards came to around $500 https://paydayloanstennessee.com/cities/lenoir-city/ and helped us get this first round of student loans behind us,” he said.

He had the money transferred to his Capital One bank account and sent that money to the student loan servicer. Adams said it took almost two years to earn that $500. He and his wife have about $60,000 left on her student loans and another $500 in cash-back rewards they’re planning to add toward the loans.

YouTuber Rachael Lyn has about $140,000 in student loans and has applied $ extra toward her balance. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, it covers one minimum payment from her grad school loans. She plans to keep using this strategy until she repays her loans in full.

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