With student loan debts possibly being over $30,000 once a student graduates, it’s important to plan ahead of how to successfully pay off your student loan debt and not feel the financial pressure. Here are a few techniques to successfully manage your student loan debt.
Get an Accurate Measure of Your Debt
Before you graduate from school, calculating your total and up to date balance can keep you in the loop of how much you have borrowed and what you are looking at being responsible for paying back. If you are starting after you have completed school, do so as soon as possible.
Contact your school and ask them to send you a copy of your financial aid history. This will have each disbursed loan and grant amount sent to the school. You can also ask your lenders for a copy of your account balance. Finally, log onto the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) to pull your electronic history of your disbursed financial aid. Be sure to contact any private lenders as well to get their copies. Now compare the three and verify the accuracy of your account balance. If there are any inaccuracies, contact the lender as soon as possible to get everything straightened out.
Create Your Financial Plan
Now that you have calculated all of your loan balance, you can create yourself a budget. The true budget needs to consist of your student loans, current living expenses, and any additional debts. However, first we will just calculate your monthly living expenses and current debts and subtract that from your monthly income. Be sure to leave room for entertainment expenses and money to put into a savings account.
The number you reach afterwards should be positive. If not, and you are in the red, you need to come up with a plan to get yourself out of your current debt situation. If you are in the green, congratulations, this amount can be used towards paying down your student loan debt. Now you have a number to bring back to your student loan lenders.
Go Over Repayment Options with Lenders
Contact your student loan lenders to decide on your repayment plan. You already selected a plan when you completed your Master Promissory Note. However, you are at liberty to change your repayment plan. There are four basic loan repayment options, all of which can be switched to another plan at any time. Be sure to go over options with your lender if you are not able to make any payments.
For additional assistance to understand your repayment options as well as the application process, visit www.collegedebtsolution.com/Federal-Loan-Consolidation
Find Out if You Qualify for Incentives
Make sure to talk to your lender regarding incentives. Most will lower your interest rate if you select an automatic payment plan. Another incentive is the loan forgiveness program. Working in a public service job in a low-income community or volunteering at these jobs, can student loan debt. Visit the College Debt Solution to find out more about the Loan Forgiveness Program.
If you need to strategize on paying your loans off, target paying your private loans off first. Their interest rate may be higher thus increasing the amount you pay back substantially more, if you cannot afford to pay more on it. Also, you may not have access to other loan incentives like multiple payment options.