College students go off to college with a head full of dreams for their future. They are often offered many types of student loans that are all too easy to get. So they sign up without thinking if the future consequences. But keep the advice from this article in mind to avoid making a costly college disaster.
Know your grace periods so you don’t miss your first student loan payments after graduating college. Stafford loans typically give you six months before starting payments, but Perkins loans might go nine. Private loans are going to have repayment grace periods of their own choosing, so read the fine print for each particular loan.
Try getting a part-time job to help with college expenses. Doing this can help you cover some of your student loan costs. It can also reduce the amount that you need to borrow in student loans. Working these kinds of positions can even qualify you for your college’s work study program.
Never ignore your student loans because that will not make them go away. If you are having a hard time paying the money back, call and speak to your lender about it. If your loan becomes past due for too long, the lender can have your wages garnished and/or have your tax refunds seized.
Try shopping around for your private loans. If you need to borrow more, discuss this with your adviser. If a private or alternative loan is your best bet, make sure you compare items like repayment options, fees, and interest rates. Your school may recommend some lenders, but you’re not required to borrow from them.
Pick out a payment option that you know can meet the needs you have. Many loans offer a decade-long payment term. If this is not ideal for you, look into other possibilities. You can pay for longer, but it will cost you more in interest over time. You may have to pay a certain part of your income after you get some work. A lot of student loans will be forgiven after you’ve let twenty five years go by.
When deciding how much money to borrow in the form of student loans, try to determine the minimum amount needed to get by for the semesters at issue. Too many students make the mistake of borrowing the maximum amount possible and living the high life while in school. By avoiding this temptation, you will have to live frugally now, but will be much better off in the years to come when you are not repaying that money.
To reduce the amount of your student loans, work as many hours as you can during your last year of high school and the summer before college. The more money you have to give the college in cash, the less you have to finance. This means less loan expense later on.
Avoiding a student loan disaster can be achieved by borrowing wisely. That may mean that you might not be able to afford your dream college or that you may have to adjust your expectations of college life. But those decisions will pay off in the future when you get your degree and don’t have to spend half of your life paying back student loans.