6 Things Student Loan Borrowers Must Do After Graduating
When you graduate, you need to get ready for your student loans to enter repayment. Here are the six things you should look for after graduating college.
1. Know when you should start paying your loans
In most cases, you’ll have six months after you leave school or drop below half-time. You have nine months for Federal Perkins Loans. You should take this time to start planning how you will be repaying your loans.
2. Create a budget
This will help determine how much you can realistically afford to pay monthly toward your student loans. If you can pay more than your monthly amount you should aim to pay as much as you can while remaining financially secure.
3. Consider loan consolidation
If you have multiple servicers, applying for a direct consolidation is a good approach to take. It can lessen the confusion of having to pay multiple servicers on multiple dates. Consolidating your loans if they are not already direct loans will let you qualify for repayment programs as well.
4. Set a goal for repayment
After you know how much you can afford to pay each month set a goal for repaying your loans. Do you want to pay as much as you can to pay it off faster? Or do you want to pay your minimal payments? Keep in mind, in general, if you’re lowering your loan payments you’re choosing to extend your term.
5. Select an affordable repayment plan
After you set your goal you can figure out which repayment plans are right for you. To start you will be placed into a Standard Repayment Plan which will get your to pay off your loans in 10 years if you make all your payments.
6. Know whether you are eligible for loan forgiveness based on your employer or your job
You may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you’re employed by a government or a non-profit organization and make 120 payments under an income-driven repayment plan you will receive loan forgiveness.
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