Avoid the usual traps
The most compelling obstacle preventing people from repaying loans faster is the need for "instant gratification," Shearer says. People can lose sight of their future financial goals, live for today, and "fall off the budgetary wagon," he says. The most effective way to reduce debt is to plan ahead, make some sacrifices, focus on future financial goals and delay instant gratification.
Katz agrees. Maintaining financial discipline is a difficult hurdle for many people, he says. "Most people don't have the discipline to save. Most people spend like goldfish eat, which is nonstop," Katz says.
The people who succeed at reducing college debts are those who "live within their own means and are conscientious about saving," Katz says.