Student loan nightmare stories are becoming all too common. You may wonder how people get is such a huge financial mess. It’s quite easy actually. Just keep signing on that line without understanding the terms you are agreeing to and it will add up to one big expensive mistake. So keep these tips in mind before you sign.
If you have taken a student loan out and you are moving, be sure to let your lender know. It is important for your lender to be able to contact you at all times. They will not be too happy if they have to go on a wild goose chase to find you.
If you choose to pay off your student loans faster than scheduled, make sure that your extra amount is actually being applied to the principal. Many lenders will assume extra amounts are just to be applied to future payments. Contact them to make sure that the actual principal is being reduced so that you accrue less interest over time.
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.
The concept of making payments on student loans each month can be frightening when money is tight. There are loan rewards opportunities that can help. For examples of these rewards programs, look into SmarterBucks and LoanLink from Upromise. These are similar to cash back programs in which you earn rewards for each dollar you spend, and you can apply those rewards toward your loan.
Some people apply for loans and sign the papers without understanding the terms. Ask to get clarification on anything you don’t understand. It is simple to receive more cash than they were meant to.
Try to make your student loan payments on time. If you miss your payments, you can face harsh financial penalties. Some of these can be very high, especially if your lender is dealing with the loans through a collection agency. Keep in mind that bankruptcy won’t make your student loans go away.
If you have yet to secure a job in your chosen industry, consider options that directly reduce the amount you owe on your loans. For example, volunteering for the AmeriCorps program can earn as much as $5,500 for a full year of service. Serving as a teacher in an underserved area, or in the military, can also knock off a portion of your debt.
If you are in a position to do so, sign up for automated student loan payments. Certain lenders offer a small discount for payments made the same time each month from your checking or saving account. This option is recommended only if you have a steady, stable income. Otherwise, you run the risk of incurring hefty overdraft fees.
Making educated decisions about student loans is the best way to avoid financial disaster. It can also keep you from making a costly mistake that will follow you for decades. So remember the tips from above, don’t be afraid to ask questions and always understand what you are are signing up for.