The very best way to manage debt is to be debt-free, yet that is easier said than done in today’s economy. However, when it comes to paying for your college education, acquiring debt or student loans to afford the tuition cannot be avoided for many students.
In planning for the successful repayment of your student loan many things must be taken into consideration. To get ahead of the game you should plan to repay the loan before you sign the first promissory note. In a perfect world this might be the case, quite the contrary most student do not consider repayment until after they have graduated from college and land their first job.
Here are some suggested tips to help you make plans to deal with your student loan effectively to ensure repayment success.
Tip #1: You Do the Leg Work
All loans are not equally created. Some loans offer repayment incentives while you are still attending college; this bonus in some cases can be extended even after you have graduated. On the other hand, there are loans that provide no such stipend and the loans are due shortly after you have graduated college. For example, the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loan charges a 3% loan origination fee; one stimulus is the proposal to pay this fee for students. The student in-turn has more money to off-set the cost for books, school supplies and living expenses.
An example of the incentive after graduation would be the fact that you could qualify for reduced interest rates. Also, should a student want to repay the loan through an automatic withdrawal system, like payroll deduction, for example, the probability of receiving this incentive is even greater? As you can see, there are notable differences in each student loan; that is why it is necessary to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what each loan offer; and choose the one that provides the best incentives.
Tip #2: Read Your Mail
Typically, student borrowers get tons of information concerning the student loan. The student receives mail, normally, immediately prior to, throughout and following graduation from college. Consequently, it is crucial that you read through the entire stack of mail carefully. Therefore, if you have concerns, or there is information you do not understand; by knowing what is going on now you can get the problem resolved right away. Remember, it is necessary to ask if things are not clear, don’t ignore the mail or you might miss out on a critical deadline or important information you need to act on concerning the loans.
Tip #3: Organize that Mountain of Paperwork
Save all of your student loan paperwork and correspondences, as soon as you get it in the mail in the mail. That way, you are going to know exactly what you agreed to, what is expected from you at loan repayment, and also to remind you how much you have borrowed, which is extremely important. It is interesting how signing the promissory note for your loan is so exciting, repaying the loan seems far away, but only for a while. Four years of college pass by quicker than you think. Before you know it, you are graduating, and the student loan repayment is glaring you in the face.
Organization and having the ability to put your fingertips on the loan paperwork will assist in alleviating a lot of the panic. To make things easy for you, begin by establishing a good, easy to use, record-keeping system in which you are able to keep your student loan paperwork and correspondence. The bookstores and libraries have books and software products on personal finance and organization that will help you get going. No matter what filing system you choose, whether document folders, binders, portfolios, or envelopes, create one file for each loan or account you have, and keep your items categorized appropriately. Additionally, while organizing your record-keeping system, make sure that it is safe. The record-keeping system should be kept free from thieves or fire. A number of professionals also recommend that you need to keep your student loan documents and correspondences until they are all totally paid off. This is what you need to keep a record of.
- Essential paperwork like your college student loan applications, promissory notes, disbursement and disclosure statements, and also loan transfer notices.
- Copies of all correspondences concerning your student loan company and/or servicing company, such as your school’s financial aid office.
- Contact and phone number of the loan provider.
Tip #4: Be Present at all Required Entrance and Exit Sessions
When you take out a student loan, you will have to complete the student loan counseling sessions. Some schools give this on-line and the sessions will not require a considerable amount of your time. They will give you a significant amount of information concerning your rights as well as your obligations as a student borrower.
Tip #5: Budget Finances Like a Pro
The adage when you live to impress when you are in school, you might live like a pauper when you have completed your degree. Quite simply, it is essential that you learn the best way to manage your hard earned money when you are going to school. Frugality can help you reduce the amount of the loan you apply for; as well as reduce the total amount you are going to be responsible for paying back. Here are a few sensible techniques worth taking into consideration:
- Prepare realistic budgets while you are going to school and even after you graduate. This will probably enable you to borrow only what you need, providing you an excellent opportunity to pay back the loans.
- Learn how to live as inexpensively as possible. Bear in mind you are only a college student. You can enjoy a much more trouble-free life if you graduate with little to no financial debt. Many excellent tips on how to be cash conscious include finding a roommate, renting a video rather than going to the theater, and taking your lunch from home rather than going out to restaurants.
Thriftiness is the name of the game, so be as thrifty as you possibly can.
- For virtually any credit card debts you receive, try to pay off the total amount due.
- Set up a financial budget for yourself and stick to it. As long as you are in college, it will be beneficial to see how you can avoid the desire of using credit cards or your student loan money to purchase items that are not contained in your spending budget. Never simply purchase unneeded items.
- If at all possible, check out work-study or other part-time job. Finding a part-time job will give you the chance to gain useful specialized experience, as well as providing additional income to cover expenses.
Tip #6: Retain at least Half-Time Enrollment
If you are thinking about half-time enrollment, it is essential to ensure that you are eligible for an in-school deferment. The part-time enrollment usually takes six credit hours. Check with you educational institution requirements concerning the prerequisites for half-time standing.
Tip #7: Make the most of Tax Cost savings
A number of college students who take out student education loans qualify for tax breaks. To determine your status, seek advice from your tax consultant. The breaks are now determined by your qualified college tuition repayments, and in addition, they will help decrease how much Federal tax you have to pay. If you are paying interest on a student loan, it is possible to receive a deduction on your individual Federal tax return for all interest payments. When, you get the advantage of the tax credit as well as the deductions, use the extra tax reimbursement to pay down your student loan, or to take care of the educational expenses.
Tip # 8: Show Me the Money
College graduations is now behind you and your new careers looms just ahead, but guess what; it is now time to repay those student loans. Some loans come due soon after college graduation while other loans allow a bit of time before repayment is due. The bottom line is the loan will have to be paid. Here are some recommendations when you enter the repayment period:
- Submit the loan payment as soon as it is due each month for the full payment amount or even more. This should be done no matter whether you receive a monthly bill or not.
- Understand the pay off alternatives offered by your student loan lenders. One option allow you to decrease the loan by making larger monthly payments, and other option allow you reduce your initial monthly bills by making it easier to repay the loan early in your career.
- Contact your lender and inform them immediately of any change in your name or address; if you have questions about your college bill; making payments on time is a problem; loan deferment or forbearance might be needed to help you through a financial crisis.
- Make sure you clearly comprehend all mail you receive from your student loan lender and respond immediately when notified. For Further Information concerning your student loans, always remember that the financial-aid office at your school should be your first point of contact. Additionally, there are a number of publications from the Federal and state governments, lenders and college admissions office, libraries and your local bookstore.
Here’s to your success!