student loans

The 5 fastest ways to repay your college loans

Avoid the usual traps
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Avoid the usual traps | Hero Images/Getty Images

Avoid the usual traps

The most compelling barrier stopping 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 cutting college debts are those who "live within their own means and are conscientious about saving," Katz says.

SEARCH: Find a financial adviser who can help you find a path to being debt-free.

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