Student loans can lead to a dream education, but that can turn into a nightmare if you’re not smart about it. Educating yourself on the process is important. Continue on to discover the most important tips.
You don’t need to panic if a problem arises during repayment of your loans. You could lose a job or become ill. Most loans will give you options such as forbearance and deferments. Remember that interest accrues with many loans, so it’s important to at least make the interest portion of your loan payments.
Know how much time you have in your grace period from the time you leave school until you must begin paying back your loans. Stafford loans offer six months of grace period. For Perkins loans, you have nine months. The time periods for other student loans vary as well. Do you know how long you have?
Be sure you select the right payment plan option for you. Lots of student loans offer ten-year repayment plans. There are often other choices as well. For example, you may be able to take longer to pay; however, your interest will be higher. You might also be able to pay a percentage of your income once you begin making money. Sometimes, they are written off after many years.
Take as many hours each semester as you think you can handle so you don’t waste any money. Full time is 9-12 hours, but you can go as high as 8. When you handle your credit hours this way, you’ll be able to lessen the amount of student loans needed.
The Perkins and Stafford loans are the most helpful federal loans. They are cheap and safe. They are great because while you are in school, your interest is paid by the government. Interest rate on the Perkins loan is five percent. Stafford loans offer interest rates that don’t go above 6.8%.
Look into PLUS loans for your graduate work. The interest rate won’t be any larger than 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.
Do not think that you can just default on student loans to get out of paying them. The government has several collection tools at its disposal. The federal government can garnish your taxes and disability payments. The government may also take 15 percent of your income. You will probably be worse off than before in some cases.
Use caution when getting a private loan. It may be challenging to find the terms. You may not even know them until you’ve signed the paperwork. You may then find yourself in a very bad financial predicament. Get as much information as you can. If you receive any individual great offer, use it to see if other lenders might compete with it.
It’s tempting to do it, but you should never make student loans the only path of paying for your schooling. Save money wherever possible and look into scholarships you might qualify for. There are websites that will help match you to scholarships and locate grants. In order not to miss some of the best ones, start looking as soon as you know you need one.
When you are filling out your financial aid application, make sure that you are positive there are no errors on it. This is critical for your ability to get the maximum amount in a loan that is available to you. If you are unsure, try talking with a financial aid specialist to help.
Student loans can be complicated, so it is important to learn as much as you can. You will be paying off your loans for many years to come, so you want to be smart about the process. These tips will ensure you borrow intelligently.