Student loans can help you achieve your dream of getting a college degree. But they can also get you in serious debt if you don’t consider all of the consequences before you borrow that money. Take the time to read up on student loans and how they can impact your future. Start with the tips below.
It is important for you to keep track of all of the pertinent loan information. The name of the lender, the full amount of the loan and the repayment schedule should become second nature to you. This will help keep you organized and prompt with all of the payments you make.
Try getting a part-time job to help with college expenses. Doing this can help you cover some of your student loan costs. It can also reduce the amount that you need to borrow in student loans. Working these kinds of positions can even qualify you for your college’s work study program.
Never ignore your student loans because that will not make them go away. If you are having a hard time paying the money back, call and speak to your lender about it. If your loan becomes past due for too long, the lender can have your wages garnished and/or have your tax refunds seized.
Know what you’re signing when it comes to student loans. Work with your student loan adviser. Ask them about the important items before signing. These include how much the loans are, what kind of interest rates they will have, and if you those rates can be lowered. You also need to know your monthly payments, their due dates, and any additional fees.
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.
Be sure you understand the terms of loan forgiveness. Some programs will forgive part or all of any federal student loans you may have taken out under certain circumstances. For example, if you are still in debt after ten years has passed and are working in a public service, nonprofit or government position, you may be eligible for certain loan forgiveness programs.
If you want to give yourself a head start when it comes to repaying your student loans, you should get a part-time job while you are in school. If you put this money into an interest-bearing savings account, you will have a good amount to give your lender once you complete school.
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.
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.
Many people apply for student loans and sign paperwork without really understanding what they are getting into. It is vital that you understand everything clearly before agreeing to the loan terms. This is a good way for you to get scammed.
To keep your overall student loan principal low, complete your first two years of school at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution. The tuition is significantly lower your first two years, and your degree will be just as valid as everyone else’s when you graduate from the larger university.
One form of loan that may be helpful to grad students is the PLUS loan. The interest rates on these are kept reasonable. While it may be more than other loans, it is cheaper than you will get through a private lender. This is often a good alternative for students further along in their education.
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.
The advice from above is just the beginning of what you need to know about student loans. Student loans are an incredible investment in your future. So you need to take the time to carefully consider what you will be borrowing and how it will all add up. The choices you make today can have great impact on your financial future.