Most high school students begin getting student loan information long before needed. The offer of so much assistance toward your college aspirations are likely to seem like a dream come true. Remember that a loan must be repaid, and there are a number of thing to keep in mind before taking on debt.
Don’t worry about not being able to make a payment on your student loans if something unexpected like job loss has happened. Most lenders have options for letting you put off payments if you are able to document your current hardship. If you take this option, you may see your interest rate rise, though.
Do not panic if an emergency makes paying your loans temporarily difficult. There is always something that pops up in a persons life that causes them to divert money elsewhere. You may have the option of deferring your loan for a while. Keep in mind that interest often continues accruing, so do your best to at least make interest payments to keep from having a larger balance.
Try paying off student loans with a two-step process. Always pay the minimum balance due. Second, you will want to pay a little extra on the loan that has the higher interest rate, and not just the largest balance. This helps lower the amount of costs over the course of the loan.
Choose a payment plan that you will be able to pay off. Ten year plans are generally the default. If this won’t work for you, there may be other options available. For instance, you can stretch the payment period over a longer period of time, but you will be charged higher interest. You might even only have to pay a certain percentage of what you earn once you finally do start making money. After 25 years, some loans are forgiven.
Choose the right payment option for you. 10 years is the default repayment time period. If this is not ideal for you, then there are other choices out there to explore. For instance, you can possibly spread your payments over a longer period of time, but you will have higher interest. Think about what you “should” be making in the future and carefully go over everything with a trusted adviser. Some student loan balances are forgiven after twenty five years have passed.
Pay off larger loans as soon as possible. The less of that you owe, the less your interest will be. Focus on paying the largest loans off first. Once it is gone, you can focus on smaller loans. Pay off the minimums on small loans and a large amount on the big ones.
Fill out your paperwork the best that you can. If you give wrong or incomplete information, it can slow down processing and you may not be able to start when you planned. This can put you behind by a year.
College is a time filled with lots of decisions, not the least of which is how much debt you take on. When you borrow more than you need, or accept too high an interest rate, you may end up in trouble. Therefore, keep in mind the advice in this article as you start your college journey.