Student loans generally begin showing up in your mailbox before you even graduate from high school. You might see it as a blessing to have so many options. It is important to learn all you can before taking on a mountain of debt.
Know how long of a grace period is in effect before you must begin to make payments on the loan. This is important for avoiding penalties that may result. When you have this information in mind, you can avoid late payments and penalty fees.
Keep in close touch with your lender. Always let them know anytime your personal information changes, because this happens quite a bit when you’re in college. Read all letters which you are sent and emails, too. Take any and all actions needed as soon as possible. If you miss something, it could cost you more.
If you lose your job, face financial issues or some other bump in the road comes up, don’t worry about missing a payment. A lot of the time a lender will allow a payment to be postponed if you show them you’re having a hard time. However, you should know that doing this could cause your interest rates to increase.
Private financing is something that you may want to consider. Because public loans are so widely available, there’s a lot of competition. Student loans from private sources are not as popular. They are available in smaller increments and are often unclaimed because people don’t know about them. Find out whether there are any agencies in your area that have loans that can cover the cost of school books or other small needs that you must have covered.
Pay your loan off in two steps. Try to pay off the monthly payments for your loan. Next concentrate on paying the largest interest rate loan off first. This will keep to a minimum the total sum of money you utilize over the long run.
If you are in the position to pay down your student loans, make the high interest loans your first priority. You may owe more money if you don’t prioritize.
It is important to know how much time after graduation you have before your first loan payment is due. For Stafford loans, it should give you about six months. If you have Perkins loans, you will have 9 months. For other loans, the terms vary. Know exactly the date you have to start making payments, and never be late.
Select a payment option that works best for your situation. Many student loans will offer a 10 year repayment plan. You may discover another option that is more suitable for your situation. Examples include lengthening the time it takes to repay the loan, but having a higher interest rate. Your future income might become tied into making payments, that is once you begin to make more money. Sometimes student loans are forgiven after 25 years.
You can stretch your dollars further for your student loans if you make it a point to take the most credit hours as you can each semester. Try to graduate as soon as you possibly can by taking 15 or 18 hours each semester. This will help in reducing your loan significantly.
Be sure to fill out your loan applications neatly and properly to avoid any delays in processing. If you provide faulty information, processing can be delayed, and you may have to postpone starting classes.
The Stafford and Perkins loans are the best options in federal loans. These are both safe and affordable. One of the reasons they are so popular is that the government takes care of the interest while students are in school. The Perkins loan has a small five percent rate. The subsidized Stafford loan has an interest rate that does not exceed 6.8%.
PLUS loans are a type of loan that is available only to parents and graduate students. Their interest rate doesn’t exceed 8.5%. While it may not beat a Perkins or Stafford loan, it is generally better than a private loan. Therefore, this type of loan is a great option for more established and mature students.
When you apply for financial aid, make sure your application is error free. This is important because it may affect the amount of the student loan you are offered. If there is any doubt in your mind that you filled it out right, you should consult a financial aid rep at your school.
Get a meal plan on campus; this will save you money in the long run. This allows you to not worry about what’s on your plate each time you eat because each meal is a flat rate.
Understand what options you have in repaying your loan. Look into getting graduated payments if you are having financial troubles. This way your initial payments will be small and gradually increase over time when you hopefully are earning more money.
Financing your college education may be one of the most important decisions you will make. Borrowing excessively at high interest rates can cause serious problems. So, remember what you have learned from above as you head off to college and start your future.