This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sallie Mae Cash Back Credit Cards. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

How To Meet Other Financial Goals With Student Loans

Having student loans can feel overwhelming sometimes. While it’s been a few years since I’ve completely paid mine off, I can look back and recognize how instrumental they were in helping me meet my educational goals.

You see, as a first-generation college student the financial aspect of college was confusing to me. I was figuring it all out on my own and needed student loans to bridge the gap in my education financing. While I was lucky enough to be awarded many scholarships that covered a significant portion of my education, there were still semesters that I wouldn’t have been able pay my tuition. Without access to student loans, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my degree. 

But having student loans doesn’t mean you can’t have other financial goals as well. Because you absolutely can — and should! 

During the time I was paying off my loans, I was also saving for an emergency fund — one of my most important financial goals post-graduation.

If you’re currently a student or have recently graduated, now is the perfect time to start setting other financial goals — like saving an emergency fund, establishing credit, and preparing for milestones like buying a home. 

Along with paying back your student loans, these goals are all worth striving for. I started building my credit in college after I realized how important it would be through the rest of my life (like when it comes to buying a home and interest rates). Looking back now, I am so thankful to myself that I took the steps to do that. I wouldn’t be where I am now financially if it wasn’t for taking that initiative when I was in college. 

Using Cash Back Rewards from Sallie Mae AccelerateCredit Card Towards Your Student Loans

To aid you in reaching your financial goals, Sallie Mae® has launched new Sallie Mae Cash Back Credit Cards, including the Sallie Mae Accelerate Credit Card. This credit card gives you a 25 percent bonus on the cash back rewards used to help pay down your student loans. This would have been incredible for me when I was paying back my student loans.

And because most of you are like me and love talking personal finance, you’ll want to know that for approved cardholders, there is a special introductory APR for the first 12 months. You can, of course, view all of the terms here.

With this credit card, you can also get your cash back in cash without the 25 percent bonus. You’ll earn 1.25 percent cash back on every purchase — with no cap or expiration — on all purchases.

So even if you don’t want to put your cash back towards your student loans, it can go towards whatever your goals are for where you’re headed!

The new Sallie Mae Credit Cards are designed to help students and recent grads establish credit, to help pay down a student loan, or simply earn cash back for another financial goal. 

Setting goals, especially financial ones, is incredibly important to me. Setting them gives you direction and makes making choices much easier when it comes to your money.

Deciding My Financial Goals

As I mentioned earlier, when I was paying back my student loan debt, I was also trying to meet other goals as well. Here is a look at my financial path from college until now:

  • My identity was stolen when I was 18 and that was the very first time I ever looked at my credit report.
  • In college I took out a loan for the first time (my student loans) and that was the first thing that helped me establish credit. 
  • Sophomore year of college I opened my first credit card – with only a $300 limit because it’s all I could be approved for. I paid that card off monthly to help build my credit for several years.
  • Senior year of college (age 21) I was able to open another credit card with a higher limit that also helped me continue to establish my credit.
  • By age 25 (2015), I had paid off my student loans in full. 
  • Between 2014 – 2018 I traveled to New Zealand (twice), Spain, Switzerland, Iceland, Japan, took a Mediterranean cruise and also went on countless road trips, cross-country flights, and to Hawaii several times without taking on any debt while still saving over 40 percent of my income. 
  • By 2016 I had fully saved six month’s worth of expenses in my emergency fund.
  • In January 2019 I had my first child and also bought a new car in full. 
  • Now in mid-2019, I have a credit score over 800 and save 60 percent of my income. 
  • My next goal? Improving my credit score even more and buying a house with a minimum 30 percent down payment.

I have to admit that, just like with my other goals in life, I am ambitious with my financial goals. I like to consider what I feel confident about achieving and increase it by at least 20 percent. Even if I don’t quite make it, it’s better than I would have landed if I didn’t push myself! 

For Where You’re Headed

Now, your path probably looks different than mine! We all have unique situations and different goals on our own path through life. Your goals and mine might not be even remotely the same, and that’s okay.

If you’re looking to start reaching your financial goals and pay back your student loans, the Sallie Mae Accelerate Credit Card is a great option to accelerate (get it?) your momentum towards paying back your student loans.

They also have an app available to help you manage your card where you can do things like view your credit score, pause your card, set customized alerts, and redeem rewards through the app. To learn more about the card, click here

What’s your next financial goal? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

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