Since college costs only continue to rise, student loans are nearly a universal part of student life. Finding the right loan at the right price is actually feasible, however, not without a bit of research first. Continue reading for student loan basic information.
If you have any student loans, it’s important to pay attention to what the pay back grace period is. This usually refers to the amount of time you are allowed after you graduate before repayments is required. Keep this information handy and avoid penalties from forgetting your loans.
There are two main steps to paying off student loans. First, make sure you are at least paying the minimum amount required on each loan. Second, if you have any extra money, use it to make extra payments on the loan that bears the higher interest rate rather than the one that bears the highest balance. This will make things cheaper for you over time.
Keep in mind the time that’s allotted to you as your grace period from when you get out of school until you have to start paying back the loan. For example, you must begin paying on a Stafford loan six months after you graduate. Others, like the Perkins Loan, allot you nine months. Grace periods for other loans vary. Know what you have to pay when, and pay on time!
Select a payment plan that works for your needs. Many student loans offer 10-year payment plans. If this won’t work for you, there may be other options available. For example, you might have to take a while to pay a loan back, but that will make your interest rates go up. You can pay a percentage once the money flows in. Some student loan balances are forgiven after twenty five years has passed.
Choose payment options that fit your financial circumstances. Most lenders allow ten years to pay back your student loan in full. It is possible to make other payment arrangements. As an example, it may be possible to extend your payment time, but typically that’ll include a higher interest rate. You can also possibly arrange a deal where you pay a certain percentage of your overall post-graduation income. Sometimes student loans are forgiven after 25 years.
You may feel overburdened by your student loan payment on top of the bills you pay simply to survive. Loan programs with built in rewards will help ease this process. For examples of these rewards programs, look into SmarterBucks and LoanLink from Upromise. These are essentially programs that give you cash back and applies money to your loan balance.
To get more from student loan money, try taking as many credits as you can. Full-time students typically have a minimum of nine to twelve hours per semester, but some schools let you take up to fifteen or even eighteen, speeding up your graduation date. This will help reduce how much you have to borrow.
Be sure to read and understand the terms of any student loans you are considering. Ask questions so you can clear up any concerns you have. This is one way that lenders use to get more than they should.
If you don’t have very good credit and need a student loan, chances are that you’ll need a co-signer. You should be sure to stay on top of your payments and never miss one. If you miss a payment, you will saddle your co-signer with the debt.
One form of loan that may be helpful to grad students is the PLUS loan. Their interest rate does not exceed 8.5%. This is a bit higher than Perkins and Stafford loan, but less than privatized loans. It’s a good option for students pursuing higher education.
Your school might have motivations of its own when it comes to recommending certain lenders. Schools sometimes lend their name to private loan companies for a mutual benefit. This can lead to misunderstandings. The school may get some kind of a payment if you go to a lender they are sponsored by. Make sure to understand all the nuances of a particular loan prior to accepting it.
Get rid of the notion that by defaulting on a loan it will get you out of debt. Unfortunately if you do this, the federal government will use all means necessary to recover this debt. For example, they can claim a little of a tax return or even a Social Security payment. The government also has the right to claim 15 percent of all your income. This will put you in a very bad position.
Double-check your application for financial aid to ensure that it is free of errors. This will determine how much money you get. If you are unsure of anything in your application, talk with a financial aid counselor at your school.
Get a meal plan on campus; this will save you money in the long run. This will allow you to reduce your spending at meals.
Undergraduate school and the living expenses while attending can be very expensive. Taking out too many student loans or loans with bad terms can have a very negative impact on a graduate’s life. Use this information to avoid potential problems down the road.