5 Tips to Manage Student Loan Debt

If you are like a majority of college grads out there, chances are you have some student loan debt. Here are 5 simple and easy tips to help you keep that student loan debt under control:

1. Make sure to pay your student loan payments on time.
If you cannot afford your full student loan monthly payment you need to contact your student loan lender immediately.

2. Review Your Student Loan Repayment Options.
There are many different programs and repayment options for student loans. Contact your lender to see which student loan repayment options you qualify for. Some of these options may end up saving you quite a bit of money per month. Some of the options are as follows:

Graduated Repayment Schedule – This repayment schedule is designed knowing that borrowers should make more money as they progress in their careers. Payments are initially lower and then increase later in the repayment schedule.

Income-based Repayment – This repayment schedule is designed for borrowers who may be experiencing financial hardship manage their monthly payments. It may extend the repayment period past the standard 10-years and offers loan forgiveness to borrowers who have made 300 qualifying payments on/after July 1, 2009.

Income Sensitive Repayment – This is the most flexible plan, but it can be the most expensive in the long run, and you must reapply annually. The monthly payment amount will be established based on your gross monthly income and student loan debt.

3. Change your payment due date.
This sounds simple, but if you are always late because your paycheck doesn’t coincide with when your student loan payments are due, simply contact your lender to set up a different due date.

4. Student Loan Consolidation
Consolidation is not for everyone, but it can be a big help if you decide it’s the right option for your situation. Consolidating can extend how long you have to pay off student loans. This can really reduce your monthly payments, even by as much as 50% or more. Also with consolidation, you will only have one student loan bill per month.

5. Deferment or Forbearance
Before you simply stop paying your student loans do to lack of funds consider deferment or forbearance.

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