Given the constantly rising costs of college, getting a post-secondary education without student loans is often impossible. Such loans do make a better education possible, but also come with high costs and many hurdles to jump through. Educate yourself about education financing with the tips and tricks of the following paragraphs.
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.
It is acceptable to miss a loan payment if serious extenuating circumstances have occurred, like loss of a job. The lenders can postpone, and even modify, your payment arrangements if you prove hardship circumstances. Just know that when you do this, interest rates might go up.
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.
Don’t panic if you aren’t able to make a loan payment. You could lose a job or become ill. Lenders provide ways to deal with these situations. Just remember that interest keeps accruing in many forms, so try to at least make payments on the interest to keep the balances from increasing.
Know how long you have between graduation and the commencement of loan payments. For Stafford loans, it should give you about six months. Perkins loans are about 9 months. Different loans will be different. Know when you will have to pay them back and pay them on time.
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.
As mentioned earlier in the article, student loans are a necessity for most individuals hoping to pay for college. Getting the right one and then managing the payments back makes student loans tricky on both ends. Use the tips you learned from this article to make student loans something you manage easily in your own life.