Many individuals dream of going to college or even pursuing a graduate or professional degree. However, the exorbitant tuition costs that prevail these days make such goals almost unobtainable without the help of student loans. Review the guidance outlined below to ensure that your student borrowing is done wisely and in a way that makes repayment relatively painless.
Always keep in touch with all of your lenders. Make sure they always know your address, phone number and email, all of which can change often during your college experience. Read all of the paperwork that comes with your loan. You need to act immediately if a payment is needed or other information is required. If you forget about a piece of mail or put something aside, you could be out a bunch of money.
If you’re having trouble arranging financing for college, look into possible military options and benefits. Even doing a few weekends a month in the National Guard can mean a lot of potential financing for college education. The possible benefits of a full tour of duty as a full-time military person are even greater.
Pay attention to how long the grace period is after your graduation before you student loan has to be repaid. The period should be six months for Stafford loans. Perkins loans have a nine-month grace period. Other types of student loans can vary. Do you know how long you have?
If you’ve taken out more than one student loan, familiarize yourself with the unique terms of each one. Different loans will come with different grace periods, interest rates, and penalties. Ideally, you should first pay off the loans with high interest rates. Private lenders generally charge higher interest rates than the government.
Pay extra on your student loan payments to lower your principle balance. Your payments will be applied first to late fees, then to interest, then to principle. Clearly, you should avoid late fees by paying on time and chip away at your principle by paying extra. This will reduce your overall interest paid.
To keep the principal on your student loans as low as possible, get your books as cheaply as possible. This means buying them used or looking for online versions. In situations where professors make you buy course reading books or their own texts, look on campus message boards for available books.
Try getting your student loans paid off in a 10-year period. This is the traditional repayment period that you should be able to achieve after graduation. If you struggle with payments, there are 20 and 30-year repayment periods. The drawback to these is that they will make you pay more in interest.
Making monthly payments is often difficult for those whose budget is tight. A rewards program may help things. Check out programs from Upromise such as SmarterBucks and LoanLink. These are similar to other programs that allow you to earn cash back. You can use this money to reduce your loan.
A lot of people apply for a student loan and sign things without having knowledge of what they’re doing. Don’t do this! Always understand what you are signing. If you must, ask questions to make sure you understand everything completely. You do not want to spend more money on interest and other fees than you need to.
It is easy to see why so many folks are interested in seeking higher education. But, the fact is that college and graduate school costs often necessitate that students incur substantial amounts of student loan debt to do so. Keep the above information in mind, and you will have what it takes to handle your school financing like a pro.