When you first graduate from college, you may be more focused on finding a job and setting yourself up so that you do not pay much attention to your student loans.
Student credit counseling required for graduation may briefly explain your responsibilities, but it is important that you take action with student loans now, although you should continue the automatic deferral for the first six months after graduation.
Update your contact information
It is important that you update your student loan contact information when you first graduate and every time you move. You will still be responsible for making payments after six months, regardless of whether the statements give you.
Updating your information and using a permanent address (such as your parents’ address) as a backup will help you receive information in a timely manner and determine the best way to manage student loans.
Confirm your delay
Although your student loans should be automatically deferred upon graduation, sometimes there is a mistake and student loans do not. You may end up late and paying interest if you do not confirm that student loans are on hold. A simple phone call to your lending company will allow you to confirm this and save you the hassle of messing up after it happens.
You may have the ability to consolidate your subsidized and non-repayable loans into one payment when you’re done. It’s much easier to make a single student loan than it is to worry about making a few. However, one should never consolidate federal student loans with your private student loans.
This will cause you to lose the benefits that come with student loans such as the option of paying on income or delaying for hardship if you lose your job. Private study loans do not offer the same payment terms.
You may want to consolidate any private student loans you have and try to refinance at a lower interest rate that you can lockdown. It can be difficult to do this until you have your first job, but it is definitely something that you should consider. Private study loans have a much higher interest rate than Federal Direct Loans and often vary.
Depending on the type of private student loan, you may not be able to claim interest as a tax deduction. Private student loans should have the same priorities as credit cards when it comes to paying off debt.
Find out if you qualify for help assistance or celebration programs
It is worth considering the different payment options available based on income and job choice. The tax-based payment option will base your monthly payment on your income. You will have to file your income every year, and as it increases, so will your monthly payment. If you have not paid your student loan after 30 years on this plan, the remaining amount will be forgiven.
You can also temporarily stop paying to delay the hardship if you lose your job or face a new financial crisis. This is determined on a case-by-case basis and you must contact a student loan company before you stop making payments to qualify.
Another option is to consider student forgiveness options. If you work for the government or nonprofit for ten years and have a Federal Direct Loan, you can get the remaining amount of your loan forgiven if you paid on time during those ten years.
Teachers qualify for a similar program, but the term is generally five years. Some states may offer different loan recovery options, and some businesses may offer incentives and money to put toward a student loan as a signing bonus or after working there for a certain period.
By taking the time to look for these options, you can help save money and determine the best way to handle your student loans now and in the future.
Make a plan to pay them off
Student loan debt can be crippling, especially when you are struggling to finish your first job. It is important to set up a plan that will allow you to pay off your student loans as soon as possible.
One is to set a budget that leaves room for extra payments for your debt. You should start with private student loans and any consumer or credit card debt you have from college, and then move on to your federal student loans.
This is because the interest rate is lower, and because you can claim a portion of the interest on your taxes. You may need to be creative in finding extra money to pay for student loans such as taking on another job or freelancing to bring in extra money.