Incurring student loan debt is something that should never be done lightly or without careful consideration, but that often is. Countless individuals who failed to research the subject in advance have found themselves in dire straits down the road. Fortunately, the information below is intended to provide a great foundation of knowledge to help any student borrow wisely.
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.
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.
Think carefully when choosing your repayment terms. Most public loans might automatically assume a decade of repayments, but you might have an option of going longer. Refinancing over longer periods of time can mean lower monthly payments but a larger total spent over time due to interest. Weigh your monthly cash flow against your long-term financial picture.
If you are moving or your number has changed, make sure that you give all of your information to the lender. Interest begins to accrue on your loan for every day that your payment is late. This is something that may happen if you are not receiving calls or statements each month.
If you have extra money at the end of the month, don’t automatically pour it into paying down your student loans. Check interest rates first, because sometimes your money can work better for you in an investment than paying down a student loan. For example, if you can invest in a safe CD that returns two percent of your money, that is smarter in the long run than paying down a student loan with only one point of interest. Only do this if you are current on your minimum payments though and have an emergency reserve fund.
Use a two-step process to pay off your student loans. Begin by figuring out how much money you can pay off on these student loans. Then, those with the greatest interest should have any excess funds funneled towards them. In this way, the amount you pay as time passes will be kept at a minimum.
Exercise caution when considering student loan consolidation. Yes, it will likely reduce the amount of each monthly payment. However, it also means you’ll be paying on your loans for many years to come. This can have an adverse impact on your credit score. As a result, you may have difficulty securing loans to purchase a home or vehicle.
Taking out student loans without sufficient understanding of the process is a very risky proposition indeed. Every prospective borrower owes it to themselves and their future mates and families to learn everything they can about the right types of loans to get and those to avoid. The tips provided above will serve as a handy reference for all.