Everyone make mistakes as a college student. It just a part of life and a learning experience. But making mistakes about your student loans can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t borrow wisely. So heed the advice below and educate yourself on student loans and how to avoid costly mistakes.
Stay in contact with your lender. Make sure you let them know if your contact information changes. Read all mail you get from lenders. Take any requested actions as soon as you can. If you don’t do this, then it can cost you in the end.
Do not default on a student loan. Defaulting on government loans can result in consequences like garnished wages and tax refunds withheld. Defaulting on private loans can be a disaster for any cosigners you had. Of course, defaulting on any loan risks serious damage to your credit report, which costs you even more later.
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.
To get the most out of your student loans, pursue as many scholarship offers as possible in your subject area. The more debt-free money you have at your disposal, the less you have to take out and pay back. This means that you graduate with less of a burden financially.
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.
To get a better interest rate on your student loan, go through the federal government instead of a bank. The rates will be lower, and the repayment terms can also be more flexible. That way, if you don’t have a job right after graduation, you can negotiate a more flexible schedule.
To stretch your student loan dollars as far as possible, make sure you live with a roommate instead of renting your own apartment. Even if it means the sacrifice of not having your own bedroom for a couple of years, the money you save will come in handy down the road.
Student loans that come from private entities like banks often come with a much higher interest rate than those from government sources. Remember this when applying for funding, so that you do not end up paying thousands of dollars in extra interest expenses over the course of your college career.
Educating yourself about student loans can be some of the most valuable learning that you ever do. Knowing all about student loans and what they mean for your future is vital. So keep the tips from above in mind and never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand what the terms an conditions mean.