You might start getting student loan offers in the mail while still far from finishing high school. It might seem like it’s a blessing that you are receiving so many offers to help towards your higher education. You need to think about this information first.
Make sure you know what the grace period is for your loans before you need to start making payments. This is generally a pre-determined amount of time once you graduate that the payments will have to begin. This can also give you a big head start on budgeting for your student loan.
Always keep in touch with all of your lenders. Notify them if there are any changes to your address, phone number, or email as often happens during and after college. Be certain that you immediately review anything you get from your lender, be it an electronic notice or paper mail. Make sure that you take all actions quickly. If you miss something, that can mean a smaller loan.
If you want to pay down student loans faster than scheduled, start with the highest interest rate loans first. If you try to pay off the ones with the lowest balances first, you may pay more interest that you have to.
Your loans are not due to be paid back until your schooling is complete. Make sure that you find out the repayment grace period you are offered from the lender. For Stafford loans, it should give you about six months. Others, like the Perkins Loan, allot you nine months. Different loans will be different. Make certain you are aware of when your grace periods are over so that you are never late.
Select a payment option that works best for your situation. Most student loans have a ten year plan for repayment. If this isn’t going to help you out, you may be able to choose other options. For instance, you can spread your payments out over more time, but this will increase your interest. You can also do income-based payments after you start earning money. Some loans’ balances get forgiven after 25 years.
If you have more than one student loan, pay each off according to interest rates. Pay off the highest interest student loans first. Using your extra cash can help you get these student loans paid off quicker. There are no penalties for paying off a loan faster.
Pay off the loan with higher interest rates first so you can shrink the amount of principal you owe faster. That means you will generally end up paying less interest. Pay those big loans first. Once it is gone, you can focus on smaller loans. This will help you decrease your debt as fast as possible.
For those on a budget already stretched to the max, the idea of a student loan can be scary. Loan rewards programs can help a little with this, however. Consider Upromise and other similar organizations. The are akin to cash back incentives, and the money spent works like a reward you can use toward your loan balance.
Take more credit hours to make the most of your loans. While 9 to 12 hours each semester is full time, you may be able to get 15 to 18 which can help you to graduate faster. In the grand course of time, you will end up taking out fewer loans.
Two of the most popular school loans are the Perkins loan and the often mentioned Stafford loan. They are the safest and are also affordable. They are a great deal because you will get the government to pay your interest during your education. The Perkins tends to run around 5%. On subsidized Stafford loans it is fixed at a rate no greater than 6.8%.
When applying for private loans without good credit, you will need a cosigner. You should be sure to stay on top of your payments and never miss one. Otherwise, the co-signer will also be on the hook for your loans.
Don’t buy into the notion that you can default on your loans to free up money. The government will come after you. For instance, it may garnish part of your annual tax return. In addition, they can garnish your wages and take a significant portion of your take home pay. You could end up worse off that you were before in some cases.
Double-check your application for financial aid to ensure that it is free of errors. This is key, as it can determine how much loan money you can receive. Ask for help from an adviser if you need it.
You can save money by purchasing a meal plan from the college cafeteria. The best way to do this is to pay for meals rather than a specific dollar amount. A plan that presumes you will eat every time food is served may overcharge you.
Figure out what you have as repayment options. If you expect it to be a struggle to make ends meet financially right after you finish school, consider signing up for graduated payments. This ensures your starting payments aren’t huge and go up slowly.
When you first see the amount that you owe on your student loans, you may feel like panicking. Although it is likely to seem like a substantial sum, you will pay it back a little at a time over a long time period. Take each bill as it comes, and try not to focus on the total number. You will get the amount down soon enough.
The debt you will end up with thanks to school can lead to tough decisions. If you choose to borrow more than you actually need and getting loans at higher interest rates could create some pretty big issues. Don’t neglect the information in this article; use it to help yourself make smart decisions.