Most high school students begin getting student loan information long before needed. You might think such offers a blessing if the costs of college are freaking you out. But, you should think over a few things before you get into this kind of a debt.
Make sure you understand the true length of your grace period so that you do not miss payments. For Stafford loans, you should have six months. Others, like the Perkins Loan, allot you nine months. Other types can vary. Know when you will have to pay them back and pay them on time.
Choose your payment option wisely. In general, ten year plans are fairly normal for loan repayments. If that doesn’t work for you, some other options may be out there for you. You can pay for longer, but it will cost you more in interest over time. You might also be able to pay a percentage of your income once you begin making money. Certain student loans forgive the balances once 25 years are gone by.
When the time comes to repay student loans, pay them off based on their interest rate. The one carrying the highest APR should be dealt with first. Make extra payments so you can pay them off even quicker. Prepayment of this type will never be penalized.
For those on a budget already stretched to the max, the idea of a student loan can be scary. Loan rewards programs can help a little with this, however. For example, you can look at SmarterBucks or LoanLink programs from Upromise. These are essentially programs that give you cash back and applies money to your loan balance.
To help maximize the money you get from student loans, sign up for additional credit hours. As much as 12 hours during any given semester is considered full time, but if you can push beyond that and take more, you’ll have a chance to graduate even more quickly. This helps reduce the total of loans.
Many people will apply for their student loans without reading what they are signing. Ask questions so you can clear up any concerns you have. Don’t let the lender take advantage of you.
To keep from having your student financial loans delayed, it’s important to pay attention and fill out the paperwork correctly before submitting. If you make any errors on the paperwork, this can cause a hold up in your getting the loan, which could cause you to be unable to pay for school when the semester starts.
PLUS loans are available if you are a graduate student or the parent of one. The interest rate is no greater than 8.5%. While it may not beat a Perkins or Stafford loan, it is generally better than a private loan. This may be a suitable option for your situation.
Take great care when it comes to taking out private loans. Discovering the exact terms and fine print is sometimes challenging. You may not realize what you are signing your name to until it is too late. And at that moment, it may be too late to do anything about it. Learn as much as possible. If you are offered great terms, talk to other lenders and ask if they will offer the same terms.
It’s tempting to do it, but you should never make student loans the only path of paying for your schooling. Look into getting a scholarship or grant and explore other ways you can save money. You can find many places online that show you how to apply for grants and scholarships that will help you secure the money you need. Look as early as you can to have the greatest number of options.
To make sure that your student loan dollars go as far as possible, buy a meal plan that goes by the meal rather than the dollar amount. Rather than paying for costly meals each time you sit down to eat, you pay one flat fee that covers everything.
Talk to your lender if you want to gain insight on your loan. In this way, your lender will always be able to contact you with important information regarding your loan. Your lender will prove to be invaluable should you need more information.
Starting college means making important decisions, but none are quite as important as thinking about the debt you are about to take on. Borrowing too much at too high a rate can be a serious issue. So, it’s important to remember these tips when you go to college.