Since college costs are on the rise now, student loans are necessary for most young people, but they must learn about them. If you don’t have good advice, you may not get the best loan. Read on and learn what you should know.
It is important for you to keep track of all of the pertinent loan information. The name of the lender, the full amount of the loan and the repayment schedule should become second nature to you. This will help keep you organized and prompt with all of the payments you make.
If you have extra money at the end of the month, don’t automatically pour it into paying down your student loans. Check interest rates first, because sometimes your money can work better for you in an investment than paying down a student loan. For example, if you can invest in a safe CD that returns two percent of your money, that is smarter in the long run than paying down a student loan with only one point of interest. Only do this if you are current on your minimum payments though and have an emergency reserve fund.
When paying off your loans, go about it in a certain way. Always pay the minimum balance due. Next concentrate on paying the largest interest rate loan off first. This will keep your total expenditures to a minimum.
Keep good records on all of your student loans and stay on top of the status of each one. One easy way to do this is to log onto nslds.ed.gov. This is a website that keep s track of all student loans and can display all of your pertinent information to you. If you have some private loans, they will not be displayed. Regardless of how you keep track of your loans, do be sure to keep all of your original paperwork in a safe place.
Sometimes consolidating your loans is a good idea, and sometimes it isn’t When you consolidate your loans, you will only have to make one big payment a month instead of lots of little ones. You may also be able to lower your interest rate. Be certain that any loan you take out to consolidate your student loans offers you the same variety and flexibility in borrower benefits, deferments and payment options.
To keep your overall student loan principal low, complete your first two years of school at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution. The tuition is significantly lower your first two years, and your degree will be just as valid as everyone else’s when you graduate from the larger university.
Never sign any loan documents without reading them first. This is a big financial step and you do not want to bite off more than you can chew. You need to make sure that you understand the amount of the loan you are going to receive, the repayment options and the rate of interest.
The unsubsidized Stafford loan is a good option in student loans. Anyone with any level of income can get one. The interest is not paid for your during your education; however, you will have 6 months grace period after graduation before you have to start making payments. This kind of loan offers standard federal protections for borrowers. The fixed interest rate is not greater than 6.8%.
If you have yet to secure a job in your chosen industry, consider options that directly reduce the amount you owe on your loans. For example, volunteering for the AmeriCorps program can earn as much as $5,500 for a full year of service. Serving as a teacher in an underserved area, or in the military, can also knock off a portion of your debt.
Check with a variety of institutions to get the best arrangements for your federal student loans. Some banks and lenders may offer discounts or special interest rates. If you get a good deal, be certain that your discount is transferable should you decide to consolidate later. This is also important in the event your lender is bought by another lender.
If you take out loans from multiple lenders, know the terms of each one. Some loans, such as federal Perkins loans, have a nine-month grace period. Others are less generous, such as the six-month grace period that comes with Family Education and Stafford loans. You must also consider the dates on which each loan was taken out, as this determines the beginning of your grace period.
Don’t get greedy when it comes to excess funds. Loans are often approved for thousands of dollars above the expected cost of tuition and books. The excess funds are then disbursed to the student. It’s nice to have that extra buffer, but the added interest payments aren’t quite so nice. If you accept additional funds, take only what you need.
It is amazing how much a college education really does cost. Sadly, when a student takes out a loan, they may find themselves falling onto to hard times in the future. Luckily, the information here can let you know what pitfalls you can avoid.