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.
Know your grace periods so you don’t miss your first student loan payments after graduating college. Stafford loans typically give you six months before starting payments, but Perkins loans might go nine. Private loans are going to have repayment grace periods of their own choosing, so read the fine print for each particular loan.
Once you leave school and are on your feet you are expected to start paying back all of the loans that you received. There is a grace period for you to begin repayment of your student loan. It is different from lender to lender, so make sure that you are aware of this.
If you are moving or your number has changed, make sure that you give all of your information to the lender. Interest begins to accrue on your loan for every day that your payment is late. This is something that may happen if you are not receiving calls or statements each month.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about federal loans. Not many people understand what these types of loans can offer or what their regulations and rules are. If you have any questions about these loans, contact your student loan adviser. Funds are limited, so talk to them before the application deadline.
Be careful when consolidating loans together. The total interest rate might not warrant the simplicity of one payment. Also, never consolidate public student loans into a private loan. You will lose very generous repayment and emergency options afforded to you by law and be at the mercy of the private contract.
Be sure your lender knows where you are. Keep your contact information updated to avoid fees and penalties. Always stay on top of your mail so that you don’t miss any important notices. If you fall behind on payments, be sure to discuss the situation with your lender and try to work out a resolution.
Pay extra on your student loan payments to lower your principle balance. Your payments will be applied first to late fees, then to interest, then to principle. Clearly, you should avoid late fees by paying on time and chip away at your principle by paying extra. This will reduce your overall interest paid.
Lots of folks secure student loans without truly understanding the fine print. You must, however, ask questions so that you know what is going on. This is one way a lender may collect more payments than they should.
Student loan deferment is an emergency measure only, not a means of simply buying time. During the deferment period, the principal continues to accrue interest, usually at a high rate. When the period ends, you haven’t really bought yourself any reprieve. Instead, you’ve created a larger burden for yourself in terms of the repayment period and total amount owed.
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.
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.