You don’t have to put your life on hold while you pay off your student debt. The debt that you have represents an investment that you made. The way that you put that investment to use depends on you and your goals. If starting a business is your goal, you can absolutely do this while paying off your student debt. However, you must use the right strategy.
Know Your Numbers
The temptation with debt is to push it out of your mind. This is not a good strategy, because your whole body and mind continues to know on some level that you have debt. You may have tuition loans to pay off, as well as car loans or credit car debt that accumulated while you were a student. Before thinking about the logistics of starting a business, you need to know exactly how much debt you have. Use an online, free debt calculator such as the one offered by Nationwide Debt Direct, or calculate your numbers on your own. Don’t let yourself skip this step because of seemingly innocent reasons, such as having no time to track down your various numbers. Knowledge is power, and knowing your numbers will definitely help you move forward with your planning.
Make A Thoughtful And Intentional Plan
Take a cue from the founder of Eventual Millionaire, Jaime Masters. She wanted to start her own business, but realized that at the age of 24 she was $70,000 dollars in debt. Instead of letting this stand in her way, she set an intention to pay off her debt and made a plan for how she would do it. No, this didn’t take ten or fifteen years, but rather only 16 months! This shows us what is possible.
If you want to start a business but realize that you are burdened with student debt, let your desire for your business fuel your willpower to pay off debts. This does not mean that you need to be debt free when you start your business, but rather that you should be clear about your individual situation and what would be best for you. Jaime Masters knew that she would only feel comfortable quiting her job and venturing off onto her own by paying off her debt first. What about you? Take some time to evaluate your situation and listen to yourself. Make an intentional plan based on what you know is true for you, and think big.
Big Dreams Make Bootstrapping Possible
Moving towards your authentic dreams gives you a lot of energy. When you start a business, you are stepping into a whole new world of possibility. Figure out how much debt you have. Get honest with yourself about whether you need to pay some down before taking a major step in your business adventure. Then, get started on your hustle! This is an exciting time in which you may need to make sacrifices in order to pursue your dreams.
Rather than racking up credit card debt in order to start your business, do what you can on your own in the beginning. When you already have student debt, you need to be in a situation that allows you to feel in control enough to have the ability to pay off this debt in a consistent manner. This will help your credit score and set you up for success later on in your life. Doing what you can on your own for your business is a way that you can keep financial stress low while you pursue your dreams.
Don’t put off your big dreams while you pay off your student debt. Pursue your goal of starting a business, but do it in a responsible and well advised way. Learn from inspired individuals who have been through the same obstacle course and came out on the other side successfully. This might mean hard work and some sacrifice, but financial peace of mind is well worth it.