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 are having a hard time paying back your student loans, call your lender and let them know this. There are normally several circumstances that will allow you to qualify for an extension and/or a payment plan. You will have to furnish proof of this financial hardship, so be prepared.
Always stay in contact with your lender. Always update them anytime your address, email or phone number changes, which can happen a lot during college. It is also important to open and thoroughly read any correspondence you receive from your lender, whether it is through traditional or electronic mail. You should take all actions immediately. If you miss something, it could cost you more.
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.
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.
Learn the requirements of private loans. You should know that private loans require credit checks. If you don’t have credit, you need a cosigner. They must have good credit and a good credit history. Your interest rates and terms will be better if your cosigner has a great credit score and history.
Go with the payment plan that best fits what you need. Many loans offer a decade-long payment term. If this doesn’t work for you, you may have other options. For instance, you can stretch the payment period over a longer period of time, but you will be charged higher interest. You can put some money towards that debt every month. Some balances are forgiven if 25 years have passed.
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.