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Send a Note with Your Extra Loan Payment
It's great if you're able to pay more than the minimum payment on your student loan, says Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of the financial-planning site LearnVest. But if von Tobel were talking to her brother, she'd tell him to include a written request with the payment, asking the bank to process the extra amount toward his principal (which reduces the amount of interest he'd have to pay over the life of the loan) and not as an early next payment. If you don't specify, von Tobel explains, the additional money will be applied to the interest—and you won't be making a dent in your principal.