Adjusting to the post grad life can be difficult. Between moving back in with your parents, hunting for jobs and finding work in the meantime, the last thing grads are probably looking for is student loan advice. They’re just trying to take one day at a time and find their footing in the real world, making full use of the grace period that most loans come with. When that grace period ends, though, they’ll need any and all student loan advice that they can get.
So, here are three pieces of student loan advice to help put any grads monetary anxieties at ease.
1. Stay organized.
Knowing is half the battle. Grads need to keep track of whom their lender is, what their balance is, and the repayment status of each individual student loans. If the grad is unsure about any of these details, he or she can either ask their lender, or they can visit nslds.ed.gov. This is a great utility that lets you see any and all of the necessary information to keep organized. However, private loans are not listed on that site, but grads should try to find a recent billing statement, or the originally signed paperwork. Contacting your school’s financial aid department can help you locate that information as well, if these records are missing.
2. Don’t ignore the problems.
The reason it’s important to stay organized is so that grads can make sure to avoid delinquent loans, and eventually defaulting on them. Just like with any other kind of loan, whether they be home finance loans or bank car loans, running away from the problem can be seriously detrimental, and its effects can last your a financial lifetime.
After periods on nonpayment, loans go into default, which means that the lender can take action to recover that money like a wage garnishment or property seizure. When you default, the total amount of the loan becomes due and becomes significantly more and credit scores are ruined. Defaulting on loans can also put your cosigners into jeopardy as well.
3. Take action.
This is probably the most important piece of student loan advice to pass on to those panicking grads. People have health problems, can’t find jobs or have other unexpected financial challenges like the breakdown of their car. During these times, you can legitimately postpone some loan payments through processes like deferments or forbearance. If choosing these options, be aware that interest does accrue on any and all types of loans, which increases the total debt.
It might also be wise to speak to a lender about interest only payments or income based repayments, which are another viable option. Income based repayments can be as small as zero dollars when your funds are terribly low.
It’s important to give recent grads this student loan advice, as many of them will feel like they are lost in the wilderness without a map. Knowledge is empowering, and with the right student loan advice, grads will feel like they can get a grip on things. What piece of student loan advice did you find the most helpful? If you have any other piece of student loan advice that you’d like to pass on, leave it in the comments. If you have any questions regarding any of the student loan advice, feel free to ask as well!