So you are about to graduate from college or university with your degree. Congratulations! But the nagging thought you have that weighs you down is, "How am I ever going to repay my student loans?"
The best thing you can do to deal with this is to come up with a plan, so that when the payments fall due, you will be ready. Here are some things you should do that will help!
- Get Organized. The first thing you need to do is go through all of your records to know what loans you have, for how much, and when payment must start. For your federal loans, the best place to go is the National Student Loan Data System, which lays out everything you need to know about your Stafford, Perkins, and Graduate PLUS loans.
- Contact Your Loan Servicer. Be proactive; go to them before they come to you. Your loan servicer is the company that will be collecting payments on your student loan and are also there to provide support. With your federal loans, the servicer can help you choose a repayment plan, understand loan consolidation, and complete other tasks related to your federal student loan.
- Try On Different Plans for a Good Fit. The U.S. Department of Education offers many different repayment plans for federal loans, so it can be very easy to choose one that is a good fit. See what the payments would be per month for Income Based Repayment (IBR), graduated, extended, and graduated extended plans. If you do nothing, you will be placed in a ten year fixed plan.
- Pick the Best Plan for You. Once you try them all out, then pick the one that is most affordable. Remember that you can always switch to a different one later if circumstances change. If you choose IBR for your federal loan, the type of job you get might also allow you to have forgiven an unpaid balance.
If you live in New Jersey and would like help figuring all this out, please feel free to give me a call at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site. I would be happy to be of assistance. For more information on student loans, download my free book, I graduated; Now What? A Guide to Dealing with Your Student Loans.