You might be offered loans before you’ve even celebrated your high school graduation. The offer of so much assistance toward your college aspirations are likely to seem like a dream come true. You must consider many things before signing up for debt later on.
Understand the grace period of your loan. This is generally the period after graduation when the payments are due. Knowing this can help you avoid hefty penalties by paying on time.
Make it a point to be aware of all the important facets of your student loans. Make sure you know how much you owe and how to contact your lender. You also want to know what your repayment status is. These facts will determine your loan repayment and forgiveness options. Budgeting is only possible with this knowledge.
Communicate often with the lender. Make sure you let them know if your contact information changes. When your lender send you information, either through snail mail or e mail, read it that day. Make sure that you take all actions quickly. Failing to miss any deadlines or regulations can mean risking losing quite a bit of money or time.
You don’t need to worry if you cannot pay for your student loans because you are unemployed. Many lenders give you a grace period if you are able to prove that you are having difficulties. If you take this option, you may see your interest rate rise, though.
If you want to pay down student loans faster than scheduled, start with the highest interest rate loans first. If you solely base your repayment by which ones have a lower or higher balance, then you might actually end up paying back more in the end.
Know how much time your grace period is between graduating and when you need to start paying back loans. If you have Stafford loans, you will usually have about 6 months. If you have Perkins loans, you will have 9 months. Other loans offer differing periods of time. Be aware of exactly when you must start making payments, and be sure to make those payments on time!
Pick a payment plan that works best for you. In most cases, 10 years are provided for repayment of student loans. You can consult other resources if this does not work for you. For instance, you can possibly spread your payments over a longer period of time, but you will have higher interest. You might also be able to pay a percentage of your income once you begin making money. Some loans are forgiven after a 25-year period.
Tackle your student loans according to which one charges you the greatest interest. Go after high interest rates before anything else. Make extra payments so you can pay them off even quicker. Speeding up repayment will not penalize you.
Pay the largest of your debts first. That means you will generally end up paying less interest. Make a concerted effort to pay off all large loans more quickly. Once you pay off one big loan, transfer the payments amounts to the loans with the next highest balances. Making these payments will help you to reduce your debt.
If your credit is abysmal and you’re applying for a student loan, you’ll most likely need to use a co-signer. Keep your payments up to date. If you fail to do so, the co-signer will be responsible for the payments.
PLUS loans are a type of loan that is available only to parents and graduate students. Interest rates are not permitted to rise above 8.5%. This is a higher rate than Stafford or Perkins loans, however it’s better than most private loans. This is often a good alternative for students further along in their education.
Keep in mind that a college may have its reasons for pointing your toward certain lenders for loans. In some cases, a school may let a lender use the school’s name for a variety of reasons. This can lead to misunderstandings. The school may get some kind of a payment if you go to a lender they are sponsored by. Learn all you can about student loans before you take them.
Do not think that you can just default on student loans to get out of paying them. The federal government will go after that money in many ways. Claiming part of your income tax return or your Social Security payments are only two examples. They can also tap into your disposable income. Most of the time, it will results in a worse financial situation for you.
Stay in contact with your lender. This way, you will have a relationship with the person with whom you will be dealing. Your lender will prove to be invaluable should you need more information.
Understand the options available to you for repayment. If you think you’ll struggle to afford school after graduating, try applying for graduated payments. Thus, your payments early on will be smaller, and then gradually grow after you begin earning more.
College is a time filled with lots of decisions, not the least of which is how much debt you take on. Borrowing a large sum of money at high interest rates can turn into a huge financial burden. Keep in mind all that you read here as you prepare for both college and the future.