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.
Be aware of the grace period that you have before you have to pay back your loan. This generally means the period after you graduate where the payments will become due. Knowing this will give you a head start on getting your payments in on time and avoiding hefty penalties.
Start your student loan search by looking at the safest options first. These are generally the federal loans. They are immune to your credit rating, and their interest rates don’t fluctuate. These loans also carry some borrower protection. This is in place in case of financial issues or unemployment following your graduation from college.
If you are having a hard time paying back your student loans, call your lender and let them know this. There are normally several circumstances that will allow you to qualify for an extension and/or a payment plan. You will have to furnish proof of this financial hardship, so be prepared.
Know your grace periods so you don’t miss your first student loan payments after graduating college. Stafford loans typically give you six months before starting payments, but Perkins loans might go nine. Private loans are going to have repayment grace periods of their own choosing, so read the fine print for each particular loan.
Keep in close touch with your lender. Always update them anytime your address, email or phone number changes, which can happen a lot during college. Also, make sure that you immediately open and read every piece of correspondence from your lender, both paper and electronic. Take any and all actions needed as soon as possible. Failure to miss anything can cost you a lot of money.
Do not worry if you are unable to make a student loan payment because you lost your job or some other unfortunate circumstance has occurred. Typically, most lenders will allow you to postpone your payments if you can prove you are having hardships. Just be aware that doing so may cause interest rates to rise.
Try getting a part-time job to help with college expenses. Doing this can help you cover some of your student loan costs. It can also reduce the amount that you need to borrow in student loans. Working these kinds of positions can even qualify you for your college’s work study program.
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.
Keep good records on all of your student loans and stay on top of the status of each one. One easy way to do this is to log onto nslds.ed.gov. This is a website that keep s track of all student loans and can display all of your pertinent information to you. If you have some private loans, they will not be displayed. Regardless of how you keep track of your loans, do be sure to keep all of your original paperwork in a safe place.
Be aware of the amount of time alloted as a grace period between the time you complete your education and the time you must begin to pay back your loans. For Stafford loans, you should have six months. For Perkins loans, the grace period is nine months. Other types f loans may vary. Be sure you know exactly when you will be expected to begin paying, and don’t be late!
Be sure your lender knows where you are. Keep your contact information updated to avoid fees and penalties. Always stay on top of your mail so that you don’t miss any important notices. If you fall behind on payments, be sure to discuss the situation with your lender and try to work out a resolution.
You should shop around before deciding on a student loan company because it can end up saving you a lot of money in the end. The school you attend may try to sway you to choose a particular one. It is best to do your research to make sure that they are giving you the best advice.
Choose the payment option that is best suited to your needs. Most student loans have a ten year plan for repayment. If this won’t work for you, there may be other options available. For example, you may be able to take longer to pay; however, your interest will be higher. You might also be able to pay a percentage of your income once you begin making money. Some student loan balances are forgiven after twenty five years has passed.
Before applying for student loans, it is a good idea to see what other types of financial aid you are qualified for. There are many scholarships available out there and they can reduce the amount of money you have to pay for school. Once you have the amount you owe reduced, you can work on getting a student loan.
Reduce your total principle by paying off your largest loans as quickly as possible. The less principle you owe overall, the less interest you will end up paying. Focus on paying off big loans first. Once a big loan is paid off, simply transfer those payments to the next largest ones.. By making minimum payments on all of your loans and the largest payment possible on your largest loan, you will systematically eliminate your student loan debt.
Before accepting the loan that is offered to you, make sure that you need all of it. If you have savings, family help, scholarships and other types of financial help, there is a chance you will only need a portion of that. Do not borrow any more than necessary since it will make it harder to pay it back.