Furthering Your Education: Student Loan Advice

There can be little doubt that student loans are an integral part of higher education at present. Given the constantly rising costs of college, it seems like fewer and fewer people can just pay for college on their own. Fortunately, you can make wise student loan decisions when you have the right information.

Know that there’s likely a grace period built into having to pay back any loan. This is important for avoiding penalties that may result. Being aware of this will help you get a jump start on payments, which will help you avoid penalties.

Do not panic if an emergency makes paying your loans temporarily difficult. Unemployment and health emergencies can happen at any time. There are options such as deferments and forbearance that are available with most loans. It’s important to note that the interest amount will keep compounding in many instances, so it’s a good idea to at least pay the interest so that the balance itself does not rise further.

Paying down your student loans should be done using a two-step payoff method. First, make sure you are at least paying the minimum amount required on each loan. Second, you will want to pay a little extra on the loan that has the higher interest rate, and not just the largest balance. This will reduce how much money spent over time.

If you have the ability to pay more than what you owe on your loans, try to get those with the highest interest taken care of first. Basing payments on the highest and lowest amounts can make you end up paying more money later.

Grace Period

Know how long the grace period is between the date of your graduation and the date on which you must start repaying the loans. Stafford loans offer six months of grace period. Perkins loans often give you nine months. Grace periods for other loans vary. Know precisely when you need to start paying off your loan so that you are not late.

Get a payment option that works for you. Many loans offer a decade-long payment term. There are other choices available if this is not preferable for you. For example, you might be given a longer time to pay. Keep in mind that this option comes with higher interest. The company may be willing to work with a portion of your net income. Sometimes you may get loan forgiveness after a period of time, often 25 years.

It may be frightening to consider adding student loans to your bills if your money is already tight. A good loan rewards program can make it all more manageable. LoanLink and Upromise are two of these great programs. These are like programs that offer cash back, but the rewards are used to pay 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. A lender may wind up with more money that necessary if there is a term that you don’t understand.

Student loans are simply part of the higher education process. Nonetheless, you should take the student loan application very seriously. It’s important to learn all that’s necessary about these loans to keep from getting burned over time.