Financing Your Education – All About Student Loans

Published April 7, 2014


Getting a college education is an investment in the future, the largest personal investment a student will ever make. Along with gaining an education in their chosen field, they need to not only manage their personal finances, but deal with the challenges of repaying hefty student loans. The following suggestions can help you handle your student loans and get past the stress.

Learn How to Be Financially Responsible

This means learning about how to manage your money, not just repaying your student loans. Pick up some books the topic by financial gurus like Suzy Orman or browse the web for “financial advice for College Students/graduates”. It would be great if our educational system provided this kind of insight at an early age, but that’s not always the case so you should make the time to educate yourself.

First and Foremost; Get Organized

Create a list of all your loans and all pertinent information, including your current interest rates, loan balances and payment due dates; FinAid’s student loan checklist can help you organize the information.

In addition, add the payment due dates to your online calendar, cell phone reminders or where ever you’re sure to see it and set the reminders for at least two weeks in advance of the payment due date. You always want to ensure that you make the payments on time to avoid any costly problems that affect both your budget and your credit.

Set Up Auto Debit with Your Lender

Auto debit is a great service, which automatically transfers the monthly loan payments from your checking account to your lender; it’s an easy and hassle free way to prevent late payments. Even better, some lenders give borrowers who use auto debit to make their payments a small interest rate reduction.

If Your Loan Debt Is Too Much to Handle

If you’ve found yourself with student loan debt that’s too much to handle, you’re not alone. College graduates today are entering the job market over $27,000 in debt, a miserable way to start the new life they’ve worked hard to just get started, but it’s a fact and one you need to deal with and you can start by telling your lender. Fortunately, there are ways to make paying back your student loan easier, including consolidating your loans which can lower your monthly payments but there are also drawbacks.

For example, consolidating extends your loan payment terms, meaning an increase in the total amount that you pay back. You may also lose eligibility for loan forgiveness options that are available to you on any current loans you have. On the other hand, consolidating your loads can help you keep up with your payments and only having to make one payment a month is easier to deal with than multiple payments.

Action Always Better Than Inaction

As with most situations in life, taking action is always the best way to go. The longer you put offer dealing with your student loan debt, the worse off you’re (and any co-signers) going to be. Remember, knowledge is power, but action gives you momentum.

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