You may see loan offers coming to you even before you have your high school graduation. The offer of so much assistance toward your college aspirations are likely to seem like a dream come true. However, There are things you must consider before deciding to take on such debt.
Watch for the grace period which is available to you before you are required to repay the loan. This is typically a six to nine month period after your graduation before repayments start. Being aware of this information allows you to make your payments in a timely manner so that you do not incur costly penalties.
Make sure you stay in close contact with your lenders. Make sure they know your current address and phone number. You should also be sure to read all of the information you receive from the lender, whether electronic or paper. Make sure you take action whenever it is needed. Overlooking things can end up being very expensive.
Do not overlook private sources of funds for college. Student loans from the government are plentiful, but they come with a lot of competition. Private student loans are far less tapped, with small increments of funds laying around unclaimed due to small size and lack of awareness. A private student loan from a community source may be just what you need to buy textbooks or manage some other specific expense.
Focus initially on the high interest loans. Repaying based on balance size could actually cause you to pay more in interest than you otherwise would have.
Select a payment plan that works for your needs. Many of these loans offer a ten year repayment period. If you don’t think that is feasible, you should check for alternatives. For instance, you may pay back within a longer period of time, but it will be with higher interest rates. You might also be able to pay a percentage of your income once you begin making money. Some balances pertaining to student loans get forgiven about 25 years later.
Pick out a payment option that you know will suit the needs you have. A lot of student loans give you ten years to pay them back. If this won’t work for you, there may be other options available. For instance, you can take a longer period to pay, but that comes with higher interest. Think about what you “should” be making in the future and carefully go over everything with a trusted adviser. Sometimes student loans are written off after an extended period of time.
Pay the largest of your debts first. The less of that you owe, the less your interest will be. Stay focused on paying the bigger loans first. Continue the process of making larger payments on whichever of your loans is the biggest. When you make minimum payments on each loan and apply extra money to your biggest loan, you get rid of the debts from your student loans systematically.
To make your student loan money stretch even farther, consider taking more credit hours. Generally, being a full-time student is seen as 9 to 12 hours per semester, but if you can squeeze in between 15 or 18, then you should be able to graduate sooner. This helps you shave off some of the cost of your loans.
Many people will apply for their student loans without reading what they are signing. If things feel unclear, it is important to get a better understanding of them right away. An unscrupulous lender will always look for ways to see if they can get more money out of you.
Stafford and Perkins loans are two of the best that you can get. These two are considered the safest and most affordable. One of the reasons they are so popular is that the government takes care of the interest while students are in school. A typical interest rate on Perkins loans is 5 percent. Subsidized Stafford loans have an interest rate cap of 6.8%.
If you get a student loan that’s privately funded and you don’t have good credit, you have to get a co-signer most of the time. Make every payment on time. If you don’t keep up, your co-signer will be responsible, and that can be a big problem for you and them.
PLUS loans are something that you should consider if graduate school is being funded. They bear an interest rate of no more than 8.5%. These rates are higher, but they are better than private loan rates. Therefore, this type of loan is a great option for more established and mature students.
Make an effort to ask your lender questions and contact them any time you need to. This is something you have to do so you know what your loan is all about and what you have to do to pay the loan back later on. You should also ask the lender if they have any advice that will help you to pay off your loan more quickly.
Rather than depending only on your student loans during school, you should bring in extra money with a part time job. This will help you to make a dent in your expenses.
College comes with a lot of choices involved, but most aren’t as important as what debt you take on. Borrowing too much or borrowing ones with high interest rates can create a major problem for you. Therefore, keep in mind the advice in this article as you start your college journey.