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5 Things You Need to Know About Paying Your Student Loans

Published: June 13, 2016

Your education is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. That’s why you need to make certain that you don’t neglect the student loans that helped you attain it. Here are 5 things you need to know about paying your student loans.

1)      Not paying is NOT an option. There are some scary consequences associated with student loan default. From wage garnishment—when the Government takes money directly from your paycheck—to a poor credit score, student loan default can cost you big time. Not paying your loans can cause long lasting damage to your credit and make the cost of borrowing money for your future purchases, like cars and homes, more expensive.

2)      The longer the term of your loan, the more you will pay. Interest adds up and can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. That’s why any time you can, it’s wise to pay money toward your loans. You received a tax refund? Use it to pay down your debt. A bonus at work? Put it toward the principle of your student loans.

3)      Staying organized can help you avoid default. It’s really important that you pay your loans on time, every month. One way to ensure this is to set up autopay so your payments are deducted from your bank account when due. If you can’t keep a consistent balance in your account, then make sure to write your payment check every month when your bill arrives. Or set a calendar alarm that gives you plenty of time to remit. And be certain to let the lender know if your address changes. Just because your bills is “lost in the mail” doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay it.

4)      You may be eligible for alternate or even reduced repayment options. Income based repayment plans consider your income when formulating your loan payments. You may also be able to consolidate or even renegotiate the terms of your loan. If you qualify for a direct consolidation loan, you could combine several federal education loans into one to simplify your payments. If you have private loans, you may be able to negotiate better interest and terms.

5)      Watch out for debt relief scams. If you’re having trouble making your student loan payments you may be tempted by promises of 3rd party debt relief companies. These companies often say they can reduce or eliminate part of your debt –for a fee. What you need to know is that they can’t do anything for you that you couldn’t do for yourself –for free. And that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

At Charter College, we care about your education and your future. That’s why we want you to know all you can about your student loans. Our Education Loan Specialists are also available to answer any of your questions or concerns regarding your financial aid. Contact us here to learn how we can help you now.