Student Loan Debt 101

Most people say that at the start of every year, they’re going to finally find a way to get their finances in better shape. If you’re currently paying student loans, or you will be in the near future, it’s important to know the ins and outs of student loan debt.

Choose your degree wisely

Before you sign up for extra credits or consider grad school, think about the amount of money you’ll have to pay back. The more degrees you have, especially in higher attainment (Bachelor vs. Master degree, for example), the more you’ll have to pay. While continuing your education is a wonderful thing, make sure that your degree will actually help you in the workforce, and that it’s not just something you’re doing to put off full-time work for a while longer.

Find Out What the Grace Period is

Most student loans Savannah come with a grace period of at least six months post-graduation before you have to start paying them back. That means that you have your entire time in college, plus six months afterwards to prepare. Start putting away money now so that you don’t have to put your entire paycheck toward your student loan once you have a full-time job.

Sign up for Direct Debit from Your Bank Account

Many companies today, student loan providers included, offer discounted rates if you sign up for direct debit. Plus, knowing that your student loan is being paid every month without you having to log into your account to manually pay it is highly convenient. Even a small discount for signing up for direct debit can really add up over time and end up saving you a lot of money.

Consolidate Your Debt

student loan debt

If you had to take out more than one student loan, you could be getting hit with major bills every single month. Consider consolidating your loans so that you have only one bill to pay each month. You may have to pay slightly more than one of your regular bills, but altogether you’ll likely end up paying less. You could also get a lower interest rate with debt consolidation, which means you’ll pay less overall. If you have a good credit score, you’re in a good position to get an excellent interest rate.

Consider an Alternative Repayment Option

If you take stock of everything you owe and you just can’t make the payments every month, there may be an alternative option for you. You may qualify for an income-driven repayment plan, which is based on the amount of income you earn every month. You could end up having your monthly loan payments capped so that you can pay less every month, and have the total duration of your loan extended so that you have more time to pay.

Try for a Scholarship

If you’re still in college, it’s not too late to get a scholarship. You don’t have to be a freshman, either – even seniors can qualify for certain scholarships and grants. Keep an eye on current offers and don’t hesitate to apply for one – even if it offers a small amount, that’s money you won’t have to pay back in the future.

Search for a Job that Offers Loan Forgiveness

Certain jobs, like those in the public service industry, come with loan forgiveness, which means your student loan debt will be wiped clean. If you get a full-time job with the U.S. government or with a non-profit, you could end up being offered loan forgiveness. Note that in order to qualify, you’ll have to have a good record of making several of your payments on time.

If you don’t plan well, you could end up paying your student loans even into retirement. Figuring out your financial plan as early as possible can mean the ability to have financial freedom long before most people do, and the easiest way to accomplish this is with professional help. John E. Pytte and his team are experienced attorneys who can help you get your student loan debt under control. Call us today at 912-231-2313 or fill out an online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.