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Are You Worried About Student Debt? Here’s What to Do

You’ve worked hard to get to college. You’re ready for a real career and your education is going to help you get there. But instead of feeling excited for this new chapter of your life, you feel anxious about the financial responsibility of paying your tuition.

Don’t worry—you’re not alone in that feeling. Almost every college student worries about the cost of education. To alleviate your stress, we’ve put together some tips to empower you to make the right decisions when you take on student debt.

Financial Aid Tips

Before You Borrow

  1. Look for free money first. Try to secure grants and scholarships before taking on debt. You won’t have to repay them, and many are offered on a recurring basis.
  2. Choose federal loans over private loans. Federal loans are overseen by the government, so they offer benefits that private companies won’t, such as fixed interest rates and reduced payment plans.
  3. Choose subsidized over unsubsidized. There are two different options for federal student loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are a better option because the government will pay the interest that accrues while you are in school, during your six-month grace period, and in most cases, while the loan payment is deferred. This means that when you graduate, the amount of debt you owe won’t balloon. However, subsidized loans are only offered to undergraduate students and the total loan amounts are capped. So if you need more money than subsidized loans allow, you may need to also take out an unsubsidized loan.

 

After You Borrow

  1. Use your grace period wisely. Once you graduate, you have six months until you are required to start making payments. Use this time to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your loans. Look into the different types of repayment options, including standard, graduated and income driven repayment plans. Pick the one that will work best for you, and if you have the means, start paying during the grace period. The sooner you start making payments, the sooner you will pay off your debt and the less interest you’ll pay over time.
  2. Defer if necessary. On the other hand, if you need a little extra time before you can start making payments, you can possibly request a deferment. If you’re eligible, you may be allowed to temporarily stop making payments without worry of defaulting on the loan.
  3. Consider loan consolidation. If you took out more than one loan during the course of your education, consider consolidating them into a single loan. With federal loans, your interest rate will become an average of your previous interest rates, and it could, in fact, be lower than what you started out with. By consolidating all the loans into one, you will also make only one payment instead of multiple, which is easier to keep track of.
  4. Enroll in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Did you know that if you pursue a career in public service such as nursing or medical assisting, your student loan debt may be forgiven after 10 years of making qualifying payments? You must work full-time for a qualifying employer, such as nonprofit organizations or a local, state, or the federal government agency. Visit the Federal Student Aid website to see if your job qualifies you for this program.

 

The cost of an education is truly priceless because the knowledge and skills gained can never be taken away from you. At Charter College, students who are eligible for federal student aid can connect with an Education Loan Specialist who can assist you with your loan and repayment options even after you have left school. To learn more about Charter College and all the career-focused programs we offer, call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form.

 

*Student loan assistance should be free! You should never pay for help with your student loans.