Investing Amidst the End of the Student Loan Pause


From March 2020 to the end of September 2023, millions of borrowers saw their loan balance enter a forbearance period in which they were not required to pay. This lengthy pause, after several extensions, finally came to an end, resulting in the resuming of payments beginning in October 2023. The pause was a great way for borrowers to save money during the global crisis—once the forbearance came to an end, many had to transition back into regular payments, or begin paying for the first time. Now, many months after the pause ended, some borrowers may still be struggling to balance saving and investing while also paying on their loans. While it can be difficult, it's still possible to both pay your loans and continue to grow as an investor. In fact, it may even be beneficial to do so.

Investing While Paying a Student Loan

The payment pause provided a temporary relief for many Americans. During this period, many took advantage of the opportunity to bolster their savings, pay down other debts, or increase their investments. However, doing so becomes more difficult with an additional monthly payment looming over your head. For some, this means reallocating funds that were previously directed towards investments back to loan payments. This shift can create a feeling of financial constraint and lead to difficult decisions about where to allocate limited resources. Of course, if investing is important to you, it's still possible to do both without breaking the bank depending on your budget. How?

Start by assessing your current budget. Identify any discretionary expenses that can be reduced or eliminated to free up funds for both loan payments and investments. Make sure that you are setting achievable goals. Determine how much you can realistically invest each month after meeting your loan obligations. Even small, consistent contributions to your investment accounts can add up over time. You can also consider setting up automatic transfers to your investment accounts. This ensures that you continue to invest regularly, even if it's a smaller amount than before.

If you feel it would be helpful, you can also use a financial advisor to create a personalized plan that balances your loan repayment and investment goals. They can provide tailored advice based on your specific financial situation.

The Benefits

Maintaining your investments while repaying student loans can offer several long-term benefits. You may potentially outearn the interest rate on your student loan, which can help you pay off the loan faster down the line. By continuing to invest, even if your contributions are smaller than they once were, you may see your financial growth prosper over time. Also, by investing, you're not putting all your financial eggs in one basket. Diversifying your financial strategy can provide security and reduce the risk associated with relying solely on debt repayment.

Regular investing, even during loan repayment, sets the foundation for future financial independence. It ensures that you're building wealth and preparing for long-term goals, despite your amount of debt. It is, however, crucial to remember that there are never any guarantees when it comes to investing, so you should always ensure that your financial decisions are based on what's best for you and your financial situation. The bottom line is that with careful financial planning, successful budgeting, discipline, and informed decision making, you can continue contributing to your financial goals while also working toward eliminating your student loan balance.

Disclaimer: Securities trading is offered to self-directed customers by Webull Financial LLC, member SIPC, FINRA. All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. You should consider your investment objectives carefully before investing. This is not a recommendation, investment advice, or a solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. Additional info: