Student Loans: Advice For College Students

If you’ve looked into college tuition prices lately, you were probably surprised at how high they are. Most families simply can’t pay for it all by themselves. Student loans can help offset the costs to help you afford that education.

TIP! Always be mindful of specific loan details. You should always know how much you owe and to whom.

Stay in contact with your lender. Make sure they know your current address and phone number. Anytime you receive a phone call, email or paper letter from your lender, pay attention to it as soon as it is received. Make sure you take action whenever it is needed. If you forget about a piece of mail or put something aside, you could be out a bunch of money.

Don’t be scared if something happens that causes you to miss payments on your student loans. Many lenders give you a grace period if you are able to prove that you are having difficulties. Just know that when you do this, interest rates might go up.

TIP! Don’t worry if you can’t make a payment on your student loan due to a job loss or another unfortunate circumstance. Generally speaking, you will be able to get help from your lender in cases of hardship.

Don’t panic if you cannot make your payments on your student loans. Unemployment or health emergencies will inevitably happen. Know that there are options available such as a forbearance or deferment. Remember that interest accrues with many loans, so it’s important to at least make the interest portion of your loan payments.

The best way to pay down your student loan debt early is to focus on the loans that come with a higher interest rate. If you solely base your repayment by which ones have a lower or higher balance, then you might actually end up paying back more in the end.

Student Loans

Choose a payment plan that you will be able to pay off. Most student loans have a ten year plan for repayment. There are often other choices as well. For instance, you might have an option of paying over more years at the trade-off of higher interest. The company may be willing to work with a portion of your net income. Some student loans offer loan forgiveness after a period of 25 years has elapsed.

TIP! Never do anything irrational when it becomes difficult to pay back the loan. You will most likely run into an unexpected problem such as unemployment or hospital bills.

The prospect of monthly student loan payments can be somewhat daunting for someone on an already tight budget. There are loan rewards opportunities that can help. Check out programs from Upromise such as SmarterBucks and LoanLink. These work like cash back programs, and the money you spend earns rewards that can be applied toward your loan.

Fill in all of the spaces on your application, otherwise, you may run into delays. If you give them information that isn’t right or is filled with mistakes, it can mean the processing will be delayed. This can put you a whole semester behind!

Stafford Loans

The Perkins and Stafford loans are the most helpful federal loans. They are the safest and least costly loans. They are great because while you are in school, your interest is paid by the government. The Perkins loan has a small five percent rate. On Stafford loans that are subsidized, the loan will be fixed and no larger than 6.8%.

TIP! Select the payment choice that is best for you. Many of these loans have 10-year repayment plans.

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%. While this is generally higher than either Perkins or Stafford loans, it still has lower interest rates than the typical personal loan. Therefore, it should be something to consider.

Keep in mind that your institution of learning may have ulterior motives for steering you toward specific lenders. Schools sometimes let private lenders use the name of the school. This can be misleading. The school may receive some sort of payment if you agree to go with a certain lender. Make sure to understand all the nuances of a particular loan prior to accepting it.

TIP! Reduce the principal by paying the largest loans first. The less principal that is owed, the less you’ll have to pay in interest.

Make sure that you try to get scholarships when you go to college. You should also save up your money and go after scholarships and grants. You can find many places online that show you how to apply for grants and scholarships that will help you secure the money you need. Start looking early so that you’ll find the best information and assistance.

When you’re trying to fill out a financial aid application, be sure that you’re not making any errors on it. If you do not fill it out correctly, you may not get as much money from the school. If you are unsure of anything in your application, talk with a financial aid counselor at your school.

TIP! If you don’t have a lot of “extra” money, student loans can really make life difficult for you. There are loan rewards opportunities that can help.

Stay connected to lenders or people that supply you money. This is important as you will want to know all of the information on your loan and what stipulations are involved in your payback plan. The lender could also teach you some things about how you’re going to repay your debt.

Rather than depending only on your student loans during school, you should bring in extra money with a part time job. This allows you to offset some of your expenses without a loan, and it can give you some spending money as well.

TIP! Get many credit hours each semester. You will graduate more quickly if you get to 15 or 18 hours each semester rather than 9 or 12.

Let your lender know immediately if you aren’t going to be able to make your payment. If you are proactive with regard to your situation, the lender is much more likely to offer you a plan to help you. You might even be offered a reduced payment or deferral.

To minimize the amount of student debt you incur, take as many Advanced Placement and dual credit courses as you can while you are in high school. These may eliminate the need for certain college classes – classes that you then don’t have to pay for.

TIP! PLUS loans are a type of loan option for parents and graduate students. They cap their interest rate at 8.

While they can assist you during college, loans must be repaid one you have graduated or quit going to school. Some people get a student loan without thinking much about eventually paying off the debt. The tips in this article can help you earn a college degree without having to declare bankruptcy.