Repaying Student Loans

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If you borrowed money to attend school, paying back your student loans is an important responsibility. Your monthly payment should be a part of your budget, just like rent or your car payment. Below are some tips to help you successfully manage your student loans.

Plan Now

If you’re still in your grace period, think about repayment before it begins. Work your monthly payments into your budget so you can get used to not relying on that money for your living expenses. Check out this loan repayment calculator to estimate how much your monthly payment will be.

Prepay Without Penalty

You know it’s your responsibility to make on-time, monthly loan payments, but did you know you can also pay your loan in full at any time without incurring a penalty?

Pick Up the Phone

If you know your payment is going to be late, call your lender immediately to let them know what’s going on. Also, if you move, change your name, phone number or any other contact information; it’s your responsibility to notify your lender so you can get important documents and notifications sent to you.

Choose the Right Options

If your current monthly payment is more than you can handle, check out the variety of repayment options available to you.

Take Advantage of Help

If you find yourself in a financial jam, you can request a deferment or forbearance during your repayment period, which will allow you to reduce or postpone your payments for a period of time. It’s best to use these options only if you truly can’t make your payment, not just because money is tight. It’s important to continue making your regular payments on time until you’re notified that your deferment or forbearance request has been approved.

Keep Copies of Everything

When you get loan-related correspondence, it’s important to read and hang on to it in case it comes in handy later. Create a “My Student Loan” file to hold statements, notices, promissory notes and other important documents. It’s also a good idea to write down the name, date and time of contact any time you call someone to discuss your student loan.

Ask for Forgiveness

While student loans are a fixed expense that must be repaid, under certain circumstances student loans may be discharged or forgiven. Learn more about discharge and loan forgiveness programs that may be available to you.

Ask Questions

Above all, if you need help for any reason or you just don’t get it, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your loan servicer. This is your money we’re talking about!

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