As the cost of college increases, the need for student loans becomes more common. But all too often, students are not borrowing wisely and are left with a mountain of debt to pay off. So it pays to do your research, find out the different options and choose wisely. This article can be your starting point for your education on student loans.
When it comes to student loans, make sure you only borrow what you need. Consider the amount you need by taking a look at your total expenses. Factor in items like the cost of living, the cost of college, your financial aid awards, your family’s contributions, etc. You’re not required to accept a loan’s entire amount.
If you have taken a student loan out and you are moving, be sure to let your lender know. It is important for your lender to be able to contact you at all times. They will not be too happy if they have to go on a wild goose chase to find you.
Once you leave school and are on your feet you are expected to start paying back all of the loans that you received. There is a grace period for you to begin repayment of your student loan. It is different from lender to lender, so make sure that you are aware of this.
If you are moving or your number has changed, make sure that you give all of your information to the lender. Interest begins to accrue on your loan for every day that your payment is late. This is something that may happen if you are not receiving calls or statements each month.
Make sure you understand the true length of your grace period so that you do not miss payments. For Stafford loans, it should give you about six months. For a Perkins loan, this period is 9 months. The time periods for other student loans vary as well. Do you know how long you have?
Tackle your student loans according to which one charges you the greatest interest. Pay off the one with the highest interest rate first. You will get all of your loans paid off faster when putting extra money into them. There are no penalties for paying off a loan more quickly than warranted by the lender.
When calculating how much you can afford to pay on your loans each month, consider your annual income. If your starting salary exceeds your total student loan debt at graduation, aim to repay your loans within 10 years. If your loan debt is greater than your salary, consider an extended repayment option of 10 to 20 years.
To keep your student loan debts from piling up, plan on starting to pay them back as soon as you have a job after graduation. You don’t want additional interest expense piling up, and you don’t want the public or private entities coming after you with default paperwork, which could wreck your credit.
As you can see, student loans can be the answer to your prayers or they can end up being a never ending nightmare. So it makes a lot of sense to really understand the terms that you are signing up for. Keeping the tips from above in mind can keep you from making a costly mistake.