Reddit isn’t just a place for cute animal videos and memes. If you venture into the student loans subreddit, you’ll find some helpful advice on managing student debt.
According to the community’s moderators, the Reddit student loans community is a “forum of discussion, information, and assistance related to the topic of student loan debt.” You can ask questions, talk to other borrowers, or discuss the latest news.
Just as you would with any advice you find on the internet, fact check commenters’ guidance before acting on it. Even if users have good intentions, they don’t know your full financial picture and can’t say what would be best in your situation.
So, what can you learn from the Reddit student loans community? Here are four of the best discussions in this subreddit.
1. PSA – You shouldn’t pay anyone to help with your student loans.
Reddit users showed their love for this public service announcement by upvoting it over 100 times. Here’s the useful PSA that all borrowers should heed:
“There is almost never a reason to pay anyone for help with your student loans. There isn’t a person or entity on the planet that can get you a lower payment or forgiveness that you can’t get for yourself — for free — by working with your loan holder or the various free resources.”
This PSA reminds you to never pay a third party to manage your student loans. If you want to get on an income-driven repayment plan or refinance your student loans, you can do so on your own for free.
If you check out some responses to this PSA, you’ll find additional tips for securing your personal information. Plus, you can learn about common student loan scams and how to avoid them.
This thread is just one example of a Reddit student loans discussion with useful information for borrowers. It makes an important public service announcement while opening up a forum for people to exchange stories. You can use a thread like this to stay up to date on important student loan information, as well as to learn from other people’s experiences.
2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Perkins loans, and subsidized loans are on the chopping block in Trump’s first education budget proposal.
Beyond seeking advice, you can also check out the Reddit loans community for student loan news. This discussion, for instance, focuses on President Trump’s education budget proposal and what it means for student loans.
This post discusses some of the proposed changes, such as the elimination of Public Service Loan Forgiveness and a 50 percent reduction in funding for the federal work-study program. It also links to a detailed Washington Post article, so you can easily fact check these claims.
In this discussion, you can share your thoughts on the proposed education plan with other Reddit users. The comments don’t offer much in the way of additional news, but you will find a sense of camaraderie with fellow student loan borrowers who share your concerns.
If you’re worried about this budget proposal, head to Reddit for a community discussion. You may feel better by connecting with other borrowers in your shoes.
3. What’s the best way to pay off student loans?
The Reddit student loans community is also a helpful place to ask about your specific student loan situation. In this post, a user asks about the best way to pay off their loans in order to minimize interest. They’ve received some bad advice — their parents suggested making small payments to strengthen their credit score.
Fortunately, many commenters encouraged this user to ignore this advice. They suggested the user pay off the loans as fast as possible instead.
“As for your parents’ comment about making smaller payments, please don’t listen to them if you don’t have to (meaning, if you can actually afford to pay more than the minimum, DO IT),” says one commenter.
This is solid advice, as the longer you have student loans, the more you’ll pay in interest. Plus, on-time payments only do so much to improve your credit score. Reducing your debt-to-income ratio can also help build it up.
Of course, this user should still look to official sources to figure out the best way to pay off their loans. But by posting in a Reddit loans thread, they got some decent advice right off the bat.
If you also have questions about your loans, try posting in a Reddit student loans discussion. You may get helpful suggestions customized to your specific situation. At the very least, you could start a conversation with fellow borrowers. Just remember to think critically about any tips you get, no matter how confident users sound.
4. Why did you choose to go into so much student debt and what would you do differently?
Student loans are an emotional topic for a lot of people. High payments are a burden for many, especially if you’re struggling to find a job after graduation.
This discussion isn’t geared toward advice or news. Rather, it’s a place where people get together to share their stories — and their regrets — about taking on student debt.
One user says, “I really felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, pursuing the career goals I wanted. Did it put me $117,000 in debt? Yes. And I totally regret the manner in which I racked up that debt.”
Another says, “If I could go back and change things, I would go to a community college for two years … and save tons of money. And I’d get a part-time job to start paying it off early.”
Beyond advice and resources, the student loans subreddit offers a place to share experiences and connect with a community. You can discuss the lessons you learned and help future borrowers avoid the same mistakes.
Fact check Reddit student loans advice
Any posts in the student loans subreddit must follow the community’s guidelines. You can’t ask people to crowdfund your debt, for instance, nor can you advertise contact information for loan servicer employees.
Moderators maintain the community to remove harmful comments or spam, but they can’t catch every piece of bad information. Plus, some advice is subjective and won’t necessarily apply to your situation.
So if you’re going to ask a question on Reddit about loans, make sure to take comments with a grain of salt. Before acting on any advice, fact check it with a reputable, official source, such as Federal Student Aid.
You can find a number of legitimate student loan resources for free online. While Reddit loans offers an active, engaged community and can offer some tips to point you in the right direction, it should be just one of many means you use to manage your student debt.
For more on paying off student loans, check out 14 ways to get out of student debt fast.
_This article originally appeared on Student Loan Hero. _