Are student loan bills scarier than a haunted house? Is it appropriate for student loan “season” repayments to begin so soon after Halloween? After being scared by scary homes and creepy creatures, recent college graduates have something even worse than fear – the arrival of their first student loan bills.
The loops originating in the mailbox may be worse than those heard on All Hallows’ Eve. But fear not, paying back student loans does not have to bring you blood.
Consider these student loan repayment strategies
Get Organized: The best thing to do in the face of fear is to take control of the situation. Gather information about your existing student loans, determine whether they are federal or private, compile a list of loan services, find out when and how to start paying for a loan, and be aware of what to do if you are having trouble paying.
Determine if you actually need to start making payments now: There are several situations where you may not have anything to start making student loan payments immediately.
If you continue your education or enroll in active duty military service, for example, you may be entitled to delay. If you are granted a deferral, you will not need to make student loan payments, and the federal government may pay interest on your Federal Loan for a loan, a direct subsidized loan, and/or a subsidized Federal loan.
The government will not pay interest on any unpaid loans
Any loans your parents may have borrowed, or any private student loan. This is not an automatic process, and you will need to apply for the disposal of your lending service. If you are unable to make a loan payment but are not eligible for deferral, you may be eligible for endurance.
This will allow you to cancel your payment or reduce your monthly payment by up to 12 months, but your interest will continue to accrue based on your subsidized and unpaid loans.
Take control of your payment plan: If you do nothing, you will receive a standard 10-year repayment plan for your federal student loans, but you have the flexibility when it comes to these plans. Many plans are available that can extend the repayment period, reconcile your monthly payment with your actual income, or gradually increase the amount of time payments, but these options are not automatic.
You need to take control, talk to your loan servicer, discuss your specific financial situation, and apply for a student loan repayment plan that is right for you.
Consider Credit Consolidation
It can only get too confusing trying to keep track of all the monthly payments for some students, so it might be helpful to consider credit consolidation. There are certain advantages and disadvantages associated with this process, but the main advantage is that it combines all your federal student loans into one Direct Consolidation Loan.
This makes it easier to stay on track with your payments, although private student loans cannot be consolidated into this payment. You can work directly with your loan servicer on loan consolidation without having to pay a fee. Just make sure you keep making regular payments so that your loan does not go to default.
Note to yourself: you can always pay by regular mail, but more students are opting to pay their monthly salaries electronically so they don’t have to worry about it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you find yourself in a financial relationship, don’t try to fight it yourself or ignore the problem, as bad strategies are. Talk to your repairer immediately, explain your situation and do everything you can to stay on track.