How to Stay on Track with Your Student Loans After College

As the price of college rises, more students are beginning to take out student loans. Unfortunately, many of these students have not been educated about the proper repayment methods. If you find yourself nearing the end of your college experience and don’t know what to do, don’t fret – the four tips below will help you.

Keep a Calendar

One of the easiest ways to get behind on your student loans if to forget when they come due. While it may not seem like much of an issue, late fees can stretch out your repayment by years if you aren’t careful. Keep a calendar of due dates, including dates when your grace periods end. This will keep you from falling behind and allow you to make your payments on time. If you have the ability to do so, schedule as many of your payments as possible to come out automatically – this will give you a bit of a safety net if you are the forgetful type.

Pay Actively

US News & World Report reminds students that they should be actively paying if they aren’t actively borrowing. This doesn’t just mean that you need to make an interest-only payment, either – pay more than the minimum if you can so you can get out from under your loan burden as quickly as possible. The faster you pay, the less you will pay in the long run – accrued interest will end up being the bulk of your payments if you only pay the minimum amount each month.

Look at the Options

If you have federal student loans, always make sure you pay attention to the repayment options. From accelerated schedules to income-based plans, there are always methods available that can fit your income. Federal student loans are remarkably easy to work with, especially if you are willing to work with the loan provider before your loans actually come due. Don’t fret if you feel like you can’t repay the loan as quickly as you like – there are plans out there that can help you. It’s always better to pay something rather than to pay nothing.

Don’t Hide

Student loan debt can feel crushing, but the worst thing you can do is try to hide. Your student loans cannot be discharged by bankruptcy, so you’ll end up having to pay them one way or another. Rather than dealing with collections, the Department of Education recommends you contact your loan provider as quickly as possible. You may be eligible for a deferment in some cases, or reduced payments in others. No matter the case, the first call you make should always be to your loan provider so you can figure out your next steps.

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