The burdens faced by those who borrowed without careful consideration of all the options are often truly crushing. For that reason, it pays to acquire a sizable amount of information about student loans in advance of matriculation. Keep reading to learn more. Make sure you keep track of your loans. You should know who the lender is, what the balance is, and what its repayment options are. If you are missing this information, you can contact your lender or check the NSLDL website. If you have private loans that lack records, contact your school.
Tips and Tricks:
- Find out when you must begin repayments. This is the amount of time you have before the lender will ask that your payments need to start. Staying aware of when this period ends is the right way to make sure you never have late payments.
- Be sure you know about the grace period of your loan. Each loan has a different grace period. It is impossible to know when you need to make your first payment without looking over your paperwork or speaking with your lender. Be sure to be aware of this information so you do not miss a payment.
- If you choose to pay off your student loans faster than scheduled, make sure that your extra amount is actually being applied to the principal. Many lenders will assume extra amounts are just to be applied to future payments. Contact them to make sure that the actual principal is being reduced so that you accrue less interest over time.
- Never ignore your student loans because that will not make them go away. If you are having a hard time paying the money back, call and speak to your lender about it. If your loan becomes past due for too long, the lender can have your wages garnished and/or have your tax refunds seized.
- Try shopping around for your private loans. If you need to borrow more, discuss this with your adviser. If a private or alternative loan is your best bet, make sure you compare items like repayment options, fees, and interest rates. Your school may recommend some lenders, but you’re not required to borrow from them.
- Monthly student loans can seen intimidating for people on tight budgets already. There are loan rewards programs that can help with payments. For instance, look into the Upromise programs called SmarterBucks and LoanLink. Similar to popular cash-back programs, each dollar spent accrues rewards that are applied against your loan balance.
- To reduce the amount of your student loans, work as many hours as you can during your last year of high school and the summer before college. The more money you have to give the college in cash, the less you have to finance. This means less loan expense later on.
- Keep detailed, up to date records on all of your student loans. It is important that all of your payments are made in a timely fashion in order to protect your credit rating and to prevent your account from accruing penalties. Careful record keeping will ensure that all your payments are made on time.
- If you want to see your student loan dollars go farther, cook your meals at home with your roommates and friends instead of going out. You’ll spend less on the food, and a lot less on the alcohol or soft drinks that you buy at the store instead of ordering from a server.
- You should let your lender know if you are going to have trouble making a payment. If you are proactive with regard to your situation, the lender is much more likely to offer you a plan to help you. Perhaps you can get a deferral or lowered payments.
Choose a loan that gives you options on repayment. private student loans are generally less forgiving and less likely to offer options. Federal loans usually have options based on your income. You can usually change the repayment plan if your circumstances change but it helps to know your options before you need to make a choice. Just about everyone knows someone who has received advanced degrees, but can make little progress in life due to their massive student loan debt. This type of situation, however, can be avoided through careful planning and analysis. Apply the tips presented in the article above, and the process can become much more straightforward.