If you've always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and owning your own business, you may feel like your student loan debt is holding you back. After all, if you're paying hundreds every month in student loan payments, how can you afford to launch your business? However, plenty of entrepreneurs manage to juggle student loans while getting their venture up and running. Use these practical methods for making your business dreams a reality while responsibly tackling your student loan debt.
Consolidate Your Student Loans
Refinancing your student loans can be a great way to make your payments more manageable. You can lower your interest rates so you save money in the long run, and having only one payment each month reduces the risk of missing a payment. If you choose the right lender, you can also get a more affordable monthly payment for your student loans, leaving you more money to work with each month when it comes to building your business.
Don't Miss a Payment
You don't have to put your entrepreneur dreams on hold because of student loans, but make sure that your business ventures aren't impeding your ability to make your monthly loan payments. If you miss payments or send them in late, it will show up on your personal credit history when applying for a small business loan, putting you at a disadvantage. Keep making payments on time and in full to boost your credit profile.
Seek Out Nontraditional Funding
Getting a traditional loan can be a bit tricky if you're struggling with student loan debt. However, you can try other sources to get the money you need to get your business off the ground, including:
- Small business loans: You'll need a solid credit score in order to get a lender to consider you for this type of funding.
- Angel investors: These investors get a stake in the business you build in exchange for providing startup money. Come prepared with a detailed business plan and you may be able to convince angel investors to give you a chance.
- Crowdfunding: Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter let you raise money independently. You can include special offers and promotions to encourage people to contribute to your goal.
Reduce Your Daily Expenses
In addition to taking the steps above, look for ways to reduce your living expenses in order to put more money toward your business and avoid going into further debt while you explore your entrepreneurial potential. Downsize your living space to save on rent or get a roommate to split costs. Cut back on food expenses by making all your meals at home and hosting friends to hang out instead of meeting up at a restaurant or bar. There are all kinds of ways you can cut back in order to help your business succeed.
It's time to turn your business idea into a reality. Using these tips, you can continue to pay down your student loan debt while building your business from the ground up. It may involve a few sacrifices, but all your efforts will pay off once you're able to make your business thrive.
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