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Although millennials are often described as an entrepreneurial generation, research shows that student loans stand in the way for many budding business owners. According to Karthik Krishnan, an associate professor of finance at Northeastern University, graduates with $30,000 or more in student loans are 11% less likely to start a business than their debt-free counterparts.

Starting your own business can be risky and might require start-up capital you don’t have if you’re paying off a hefty student loan bill each month. But the entrepreneurs below figured out how to manage their student loans without letting their dreams of starting a business fall by the wayside.

Here’s how these founders started companies while managing their student debt, along with their advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to do the same.

1. Make the most of income-driven repayment

2. Consider refinancing to adjust monthly payments

5. Keep your living expenses to a minimum 1. Make the most of income-driven repayment

If you owe a lot in student loans, you might be facing a huge monthly bill that makes starting a business feel impossible. But by putting your federal loans on income-driven repayment , you could free up more of your cash flow to put into your new venture.That’s how Tina Willis, an Orlando, Fla.-based personal injury attorney who runs Tina Willis Law , dealt with the obstacle of her student loans.“Back in 1997, I graduated from law school with approximately $80,000 in student loan debt, after overcoming childhood poverty to attend college and law school,” said Willis. “I would encourage all of those with large student debt to…keep their payments under control by using income-driven repayment plans.”Income-driven plans such as Income-Based Repayment […]

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