Student loans can make the college experience easier, but might also make a mess out of your life if entered into unwisely. It is wise to learn all you can before committing to a loan. Read on to discover some valuable information you can use when dealing with student loans.
Make sure you keep track of your loans. You should know who the lender is, what the balance is, and what its repayment options are. If you are missing this information, you can contact your lender or check the NSLDL website. If you have private loans that lack records, contact your school.
Don’t discount using private financing to help pay for college. Although there are a variety of public student loans, it can be difficult to obtain them due to competition and demand. A private student loan has less competition due to many people being unaware that they exist. Research community resources for private loans that can help you pay for books and other college necessities.
Be careful when consolidating loans together. The total interest rate might not warrant the simplicity of one payment. Also, never consolidate public student loans into a private loan. You will lose very generous repayment and emergency options afforded to you by law and be at the mercy of the private contract.
Be sure your lender knows where you are. Keep your contact information updated to avoid fees and penalties. Always stay on top of your mail so that you don’t miss any important notices. If you fall behind on payments, be sure to discuss the situation with your lender and try to work out a resolution.
Paying your student loans helps you build a good credit rating. Conversely, not paying them can destroy your credit rating. Not only that, if you don’t pay for nine months, you will ow the entire balance. When this happens the government can keep your tax refunds and/or garnish your wages in an effort to collect. Avoid all this trouble by making timely payments.
Exercise caution when considering student loan consolidation. Yes, it will likely reduce the amount of each monthly payment. However, it also means you’ll be paying on your loans for many years to come. This can have an adverse impact on your credit score. As a result, you may have difficulty securing loans to purchase a home or vehicle.
Before accepting the loan that is offered to you, make sure that you need all of it. If you have savings, family help, scholarships and other types of financial help, there is a chance you will only need a portion of that. Do not borrow any more than necessary since it will make it harder to pay it back.
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.
Get many credit hours each semester. Though full-time student status requires 9-12 hours only, if you are able to take 15 or more, you will be able to finish your program faster. This lets you minimize the loan amounts you have to accrue.
When calculating how much you can afford to pay on your loans each month, consider your annual income. If your starting salary exceeds your total student loan debt at graduation, aim to repay your loans within 10 years. If your loan debt is greater than your salary, consider an extended repayment option of 10 to 20 years.
PLUS loans are student loans that are available to graduate students and to parents. Their interest rate doesn’t exceed 8.5%. It’s higher than public loans, but lower than most private options. This loan option is better for more established students.
To make sure that your student loan turns out to be the right idea, pursue your degree with diligence and discipline. There’s no real sense in taking out loans only to goof off and skip classes. Instead, make it a goal to get A’s and B’s in all of your classes, so you can graduate with honors.
As you are now aware, student loans have much to be considered. The decisions you make now will affect you long after graduation. Borrowing money in a smart way is what you should do, so be sure you use all of these tips when working with student loans.