If you have had to look at the costs of individual colleges lately, you probably had some sticker shock over the price. Not too many people can afford it if they didn’t have help. Student loans are your best bet to pay off your college balance.
Always know the pertinent details of your loans. You need to know how much you owe, your repayment status and which institutions are holding your loans. These details can all have a big impact on any loan forgiveness or repayment options. This is must-have information if you are to budget wisely.
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. Stafford loans have a grace period of six months. It is about nine months for Perkins loans. Other loans will vary. Keep in mind exactly when you’re supposed to start paying, and try not to be late.
Choose a payment plan that you will be able to pay off. Most student loans have a ten year plan for repayment. If this doesn’t work for you, you may have other options. You can pay for longer, but it will cost you more in interest over time. You may also have the option of paying a certain percentage of your future earnings. Some balances on student loans are forgiven when twenty-five years have passed.
Choose the right payment option for you. Many loans offer a ten year payment plan. If this does not appear to be feasible, you can search for alternative options. For instance, you can take a longer period to pay, but that comes with higher interest. Your future income might become tied into making payments, that is once you begin to make more money. After 20 years or so, some balances are forgiven.
When you pay off loans, pay them off from highest to lowest interest rates. It’s a good idea to pay back the loan that has the biggest interest rate before paying off the others. Make extra payments so you can pay them off even quicker. Paying quicker than expected won’t penalize you in any way.
The prospect of monthly student loan payments can be somewhat daunting for someone on an already tight budget. Loan rewards programs soften the blow somewhat. For instance, look into SmarterBucks and LoanLink, products of Upromise. These give you rewards that you can apply toward your loan, so it’s like a cash back program.
Take as many hours each semester as you think you can handle so you don’t waste any money. Full-time students typically have a minimum of nine to twelve hours per semester, but some schools let you take up to fifteen or even eighteen, speeding up your graduation date. This will assist you minimizing your loan amounts.
Fill in all of the spaces on your application, otherwise, you may run into delays. Incorrect or inaccurate information will only delay the process, and that may result in your schooling pushed back to the following semester.
If your credit is abysmal and you’re applying for a student loan, you’ll most likely need to use a co-signer. Make your payments on time. If you miss a payment, then your co-signer will not be happy because they are just as responsible for these payments as you are.
One form of loan that may be helpful to grad students is the PLUS loan. They bear an interest rate of no more than 8.5%. While this is generally higher than either Perkins or Stafford loans, it still has lower interest rates than the typical personal loan. That is why it’s a good choice for more established and prepared students.
Use caution if you are considering getting a private student loan. Many times, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what the terms are. Often, you don’t know until you have already signed on the dotted line. And at that moment, it may be too late to do anything about it. Get as much information as you can. If you get an offer that’s good, speak with other lenders so you can see if they can offer the same or beat that offer.
In order to maximize your student loan, try not to overspend by buying meal plans which offer per year, not a dollar amount. This will allow you to reduce your spending at meals.
Student loans can make college a lot more affordable for many people, but you do have to pay them back. People often take out loans to help pay for college without considering how they will go about repaying what they owe. Still, you must be mindful of what you are signing yourself up for.