Student Loans: Advice For College Students

Going to college is quite expensive. Most people cannot pay for college on their own. A student loan will help you pay for your education.

Make sure you keep track of your loans. You should know who the lender is, what the balance is, and what its repayment options are. If you are missing this information, you can contact your lender or check the NSLDL website. If you have private loans that lack records, contact your school.

If you are having a hard time paying back your student loans, call your lender and let them know this. There are normally several circumstances that will allow you to qualify for an extension and/or a payment plan. You will have to furnish proof of this financial hardship, so be prepared.

Try getting a part-time job to help with college expenses. Doing this can help you cover some of your student loan costs. It can also reduce the amount that you need to borrow in student loans. Working these kinds of positions can even qualify you for your college's work study program.

Never ignore your student loans because that will not make them go away. If you are having a hard time paying the money back, call and speak to your lender about it. If your loan becomes past due for too long, the lender can have your wages garnished and/or have your tax refunds seized.

Learn the requirements of private loans. You should know that private loans require credit checks. If you don't have credit, you need a cosigner. They must have good credit and a good credit history. Your interest rates and terms will be better if your cosigner has a great credit score and history.

Try to make your student loan payments on time. If you miss your payments, you can face harsh financial penalties. Some of these can be very high, especially if your lender is dealing with the loans through a collection agency. Keep in mind that bankruptcy won't make your student loans go away.

The Perkins and Stafford loans are the most helpful federal loans. They are the safest and least costly loans. They are a great deal, because the government covers your interest while you are still in school. The Perkins loan has an interest rate of five percent. Subsidized Stafford loans have a fixed rate of no more than 6.8 percent.

Student loan deferment is an emergency measure only, not a means of simply buying time. During the deferment period, the principal continues to accrue interest, usually at a high rate. When the period ends, you haven't really bought yourself any reprieve. Instead, you've created a larger burden for yourself in terms of the repayment period and total amount owed.

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.

Student loans make college more affordable, but they do need to be paid back. Many borrow without thinking of how they'll repay them. As you can see, you do not need to go broke in order to attend college.