It appears to be a "fact of life" in America. If you live here, chances are that you have a student loan, auto loan, mortgage, or some form of unsecured line of credit. Nevertheless, it's good to have a decent income to eventually pay these loans back to their original owner - but are we spending more than we need to? Do we know how to manage our loans effectively? I think not - because the topic of money/finance isn't predominantly taught in our school system.
But - there are several sources (such as, a library, the internet, etc) where one can find the information he/she needs in order to become well informed on the subject. I'd like to help out as well by writing about how to manage your loans. I, too, have a mortgage, student loans, and yes - shamed to say - I also have a car loan as well (albeit a small one). However, I think I'm doing very well at managing them and making sure they're current.
The first trick is to just give the money for your loan to your spouse and tell them to pay it for you...on time.
NO! J/K! Definitely pay your bills on time or ahead of schedule in order to stay current and prevent the collectors from knocking (why am I thinking of Harry Potter and those things that tried to suck people's souls out of them?). Pay early if possible, and if you can afford it, pay extra to pay back your loan ASAP. Nothing hurts more than a monthly reminder that you owe someone with interest.
Next, I think a good strategy is one mentioned by Dave Ramsey and his debt snowball. Don't worry about paying the highest interest accumulating loan first, instead, focus on the loan with the smallest amount. Once the smallest loan is paid off, this will give you extra income to apply to your second smallest loan and pay this one off just as fast. Repeat the process and soon you'll be on your way to financial independence. At least for a while.
Is it really this hard to live your life peacefully without taking on loans? Is it really our culture to just spend it all up and never keep anything for ourselves? I don't think it has to be.
Lastly, to manage your loans be sure to put them on automatic pay plans with your bank. This way the money comes out without you ever thinking about it.