Ameritech Financial Presents: 3 Things Not to Do If You’re Worried About Your Student Loans
For borrowers with student loans, the prospect of repayment may fill them with dread. However, borrowers of federal student loans — the majority of student loan borrowers in the United States, that is — have protections and options for paying back their loans. Ameritech Financial, a private company not affiliated with the Department of Education or any loan servicer, works with and for borrowers to help them choose and apply for a federal repayment plan that works best for them.
“Student loans can trigger a bad feeling in a lot of borrowers, but they really don’t need to be so scary,” said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President at Ameritech Financial. “We offer assistance to borrowers so they can keep calm and carry on with dealing with their student loans.”
Ameritech Financial offers some advice to borrowers who may be feeling worried about their student loans:
1. Do not panic.
A borrower with seemingly unmanageable loans may be prone to panic. However understandable, panic will not help with effective management of student loan debt.
Instead, get empowered with knowledge. Sometimes panic comes from the feeling of being out of control. The first step borrowers should take is to gain knowledge by logging into their Federal Student Aid account and verifying the student loans are in their name, pulling their credit report to cross-check any outstanding student loan accounts, and verifying their loan servicer or servicers. With this knowledge, borrowers can begin to take steps to pay back their loans. Clients of Ameritech Financial can always request help in verifying the information about their student loans: who holds their loans, who they should make payments to, and how much they owe.
2. Do not just suddenly stop making payments.
Borrowers who know precisely what their federal student loan situation is but still cannot make the payments might feel tempted to just stop. While this may put money back in borrowers’ pockets, unless they are in an approved forbearance or deferment period, they will become delinquent, and will eventually default on their loans. Default may set in motion an ugly process of recouping the funds owed, including wage garnishment, tax refund withholding, and more.
Instead, find a repayment plan with reasonable payments. Income-driven repayment plans can bring payments down to zero for qualified borrowers. In an IDR, a zero-dollar payment keeps borrowers in good standing with their loan and therefore out of danger of default. Payments are calculated based on a borrower’s income and family size, so payment amounts vary with the life circumstances of the individual borrower. Ameritech Financial provides services to help borrowers identify, apply for, and stay enrolled in payment plans that will keep them out of default.
3. Do not put life on hold of because of student loans.
Borrowers may feel pressured to hold off getting married because of sizable student debt. Or borrowers may feel guilty saving for a house if they are carrying a student loan balance. But important milestones can still be achieved with student loans. To be sure, every borrower should carefully consider his or her own situation before going ahead (or holding back) from significant life decisions. However, student loan debt need not be the sole reason for delaying milestones.
Instead, make room in the budget for both student loans and significant goals. Planning can go a long way towards achieving goals; yearly, monthly, and even weekly budgeting could trim unnecessary expenses and get a borrower on track towards a financial objective. Entering into a repayment plan that offers a reasonable payment relative to a borrower’s income may free up even more room in the budget. Ameritech Financial provides customized assessments of clients’ financial situations to better help them apply for and stay enrolled in federal repayment plans.
“Ameritech Financial provides the kind of service that gives our clients some peace of mind about their loans,” said Knickerbocker. “That’s the kind of company we strive to be: one that improves the quality of life for our clients.”
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of people with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Ameritech Financial is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR), and each representative on the phone has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
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