Asked by Anonymous

What should be my priority? Paying off my student loan or start investing?

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  • Guo Hao Teo
    Guo Hao Teo, Self-Taught Enthusiast at Personal Finance
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 27 Mar 2019

    I would think that paying of your student debt would be the top priority.

    Because interest works both ways:

    • Up: When you have positive returns it will compound
    • Down: when you have debt, your interest of 1-2% will grow as well
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  • Deryl Heng
    Deryl Heng
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered on 09 Apr 2019

    Since paying off your student loan is definitely reducing your liabilites, investing on the other hand does not guarantee a return higher than your interest costs on student loans - unless you can find a financial instrument which can guarantee a return of that higher than the interest costs (I believe is about 4.2 - 4.5%), which honestly such financial instrument is almost non-existent - and hence clearing student loan is a surefire way of improving your financial status!

    All the best!

    P.S: I am currently also agressively clearing my student loan... less than 50% more to go!

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  • Loh Tat Tian
    Loh Tat Tian, Ex-Financial Advisor, Founder at Singapore Insurance Value Finding
    Level 6. Master
    Answered on 05 Apr 2019

    Bouncing off the Two answers given, maybe I introduce a Concept shared by many (credits to them).

    Which method increases your networth (asset - liabilities). If your networth increases, you are doing it right. If it decrease, you are doing it wrong.

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  • Richard Woon Tian Jun
    Richard Woon Tian Jun
    Top Contributor

    Top Contributor (Apr)

    Level 6. Master
    Answered on 27 Mar 2019

    I think like what guo hao has said, paying off debt is more important, unless you are confident in your ability to be able to efficiently invest in such a way that you will earn a greater rate of return than the interest rate on your debt. Currently the lowest rate right now for student loan debt is 4.5% according to this website https://www.valuechampion.sg/best-education-loan , which means unless you can almost guarantee investment returns above and beyond this I feel it is best to reduce the interest bearing liabilities you are carrying as soon as possible whilst you have the ability to do so. You may never know when an unforseen event may happen, and the liability will just be rolling against you year on year.

    After all, you are investing with a goal in mind, unless you are investing to pay off your debt, then it is much better to use it to pay it off straight away in my opinion. Gets a load off your shoulders as well knowing you owe less and less money!

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  • Zann Chua
    Zann Chua
    Level 6. Master
    Answered on 15 Apr 2019

    Hello!

    I personally think that paying off student loan should be your priority even if your student loan may have very low interest rates.

    By payiing off your student loan, you will be able to free youself up by pursuinf other major goals. Such goals include buying your house, wedding etc and even investing!

    Also, if you currently have the financial resources to be able to do so, it will be best if you pay off your student loan. This way, you will also be able to have one thing off your mind after paying off your loan.

    hope this helps!

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  • Daniel Lee
    Daniel Lee
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered on 15 Apr 2019

    Short answer. It depends, you have to look at it at a broader perspective and decide if either option is aligned to your short term goals, or else you will find yourself in a shity situation where you need money and have to pull out your investments to finance a short-term goal that could be catered for with proper planning.

    I wrote about this before hope it helps.

    https://www.danconsultancy.com/single-post/the-biggest-mistakes-you-are-probably-making-with-your-student-debt

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