College Adivce: What You Should Know About Student Loans

College Adivce: What You Should Know About Student Loans

College Adivce: What You Should Know About Student Loans

These days, student loans seem to be a almost a right of passage for college-aged individuals. The costs of higher education have increased to such a degree that some borrowing appears inevitable for most. Read the article below to get a good feel for the right and wrong ways to get the funds needed for school.

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.

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.

Choose the payment option that is best suited to your needs. Many loans allow for a 10 year payment plan. There are often other choices as well. For instance, you can stretch the payment period over a longer period of time, but you will be charged higher interest. Additionally, some loans offer a slightly different payment plan that allows you to pay a certain percent of your income towards your debt. The balances on some student loans have an expiration date at 25 years.

Sometimes consolidating your loans is a good idea, and sometimes it isn’t When you consolidate your loans, you will only have to make one big payment a month instead of lots of little ones. You may also be able to lower your interest rate. Be certain that any loan you take out to consolidate your student loans offers you the same variety and flexibility in borrower benefits, deferments and payment options.

To minimize your student loan debt, start out by applying for grants and stipends that connect to on-campus work. Those funds do not ever have to be paid back, and they never accrue interest. If you get too much debt, you will be handcuffed by them well into your post-graduate professional career.

Try getting your student loans paid off in a 10-year period. This is the traditional repayment period that you should be able to achieve after graduation. If you struggle with payments, there are 20 and 30-year repayment periods. The drawback to these is that they will make you pay more in interest.

To keep your student loan debts from piling up, plan on starting to pay them back as soon as you have a job after graduation. You don’t want additional interest expense piling up, and you don’t want the public or private entities coming after you with default paperwork, which could wreck your credit.

Try to make your student loan payments on time. If you miss your payments, you can face harsh financial penalties. Some of these can be very high, especially if your lender is dealing with the loans through a collection agency. Keep in mind that bankruptcy won’t make your student loans go away.

There is a loan that is specifically for graduate students or their parents known as PLUS loans. Interest rates are not permitted to rise above 8.5%. Although it is higher than Perkins and Stafford Loans, you still get a much better rate than one that is private. This is the best option for mature students.

To stretch your student loan as far as possible, talk to your university about working as a resident advisor in a dormitory after you have finished your first year of school. In return, you get complimentary room and board, meaning that you have fewer dollars to borrow while completing college.

If you take out loans from multiple lenders, know the terms of each one. Some loans, such as federal Perkins loans, have a nine-month grace period. Others are less generous, such as the six-month grace period that comes with Family Education and Stafford loans. You must also consider the dates on which each loan was taken out, as this determines the beginning of your grace period.

Know what your repayment options are. If you are worried about making ends meet after you leave school, consider asking for graduated payments. This will make the first few payments very small, increasing over time.

Many people, especially when returning to school later, end up having student loans with multiple companies. When you consolidate your student loans, you can lump them all together at a much lower interest rate. And, you can often get your payment lowered as well in the process. It makes things much easier.

With college costs rising almost by the day, just about everyone needs to explore the possibility of getting at least one student loan. However, there are definitely things that can be done to minimize the impact such borrowing has on one’s financial future. Apply the tips presented above and get on solid footing starting now.

 

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