Student loans are wonderful when they make it possible for you to attend an institution of higher learning but not so great when you see the final balance after you graduate. It has been estimated that two-thirds of graduates are able to attend university thanks to their being able to acquire educational loans to do so.
Today there are a tremendous number of students that are graduating from post secondary institutions with a great deal of debt. Unlike borrowing money with your credit card, student loans are a kind of non-revolving credit which means that once payments are made there is no money credited back to the borrower.
With the unemployment rate as high as it is and salary decreases in many industries it can be very difficult for a graduate to begin to pay off the money he/she owes. After all student loans are real loans in the same way that mortgages are loans and car loans are loans. Money loaned is money that must be paid back.
If you are one of the many people who find themselves struggling to pay off the mountain of student debt then the good news is that you have options. The most important thing is recognizing the problem before you reach the point where you are defaulting on your loans. Let us take a closer look at some things you need to know when repayment time rolls around.
What You Need to Know About Repayment
To pay off student loans it helps to have the proper information ahead of time. Once you graduate or if you just leave school or start attending it less than half-time then you will be given a grace period of a number of months before you must begin repaying your loans. For a Federal Stafford Loan (under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) or the Federal Direct Student Loan Program) you will be given six months. For the Federal Perkins Loan the grace period is nine months.
For a PLUS loan the repayment starts on the date that the loan was fully disbursed. The first payment on a PLUS loan is due within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan. However for those who take out a graduate student PLUS loan, repayment is able to be deferred while the borrower is still enrolled in school at least on a half time basis.
Exit Student Loan Counseling
Your loan provider will let you know when your loan repayment is set to begin. If you wish to access your student loan information before this time then it helps to know that the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) allows students to view the information on their loans, as well as the status of their loans (such as outstanding balances) and the disbursements that have been made.
Your loan provider is there to help you in any way he or she can when it comes to understanding everything you need to about paying off your student loans. It is very important for that you make your full loan payment on time each and every month. Once a loan repayment schedule is set you must stick to it. If you do not and you do not make suitable arrangements with the loan provider then you could end up in default. This comes with serious consequences that no recent graduate wants to have to think about it. Do not let it happen to you!
Pay Off Student Loans- But How?
If you find yourself in a difficult situation financially and you are wracking your brain about how to pay off your loans then here are some suggestions for you:
• You can postpone repayment and get a deferment if you cannot find full-time employment, experience tremendous financial hardship or decide to go to graduate school.
• If you are not making the salary that you had hoped for and find making your loan payments a struggle then you are able to lower your payments by lengthening the term of the loan. You will pay more interest over the long run but for the time being while you are experiencing difficulties it can make life more manageable. Once your situation has improved you can increase your payments.
• Find a job that will help you to pay off your loans or make you eligible for student loans forgiveness. If you join the military, AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps or Teach for America you will become eligible for grants and also a faster means of ridding yourself of student debt. There are some occupations that use loan forgiveness as an incentive to recruit new employees.
Paying off your student loans does not have to be a grueling or stressful experience. Instead prepare yourself for repayment before you graduate and if you need help then seek it out before you find yourself in the worst of financial trouble.