Dealing with student loan debt is tough. Student loan debt is causing graduates to drown in debt and stress from these loans is not just effecting them financially but mentally and emotionally too. There is a constant growth in debt. Talking about students graduating in 2014 is indebted with almost $33,000. These numbers just would not stop there, because with every year students will be opting for hefty amounts in loan either federal or private. While these scary stats are enough to prove that student loans or any other kind of loan will only leave you burdened but when there is no other option available apart from this then one should find ways to keep this loan load as light and manageable as possible.
Take advantage of your grace period:
We all know how loan payment made during grace period, deferment or forbearance help in decreasing the total amount you’ll be paying till your entire loan life. Why? The reason is interests during grace period or deferment are not charged, this helps in lowering your principal balance. When interest starts to grow, that interest is then based on a smaller balance, eventually dropping the total interest you have to pay. When you make payments based on loans charged with interest during grace or deferment period, it also reduces your overall obligations. However the most feasible plan is to pay your interest with along with the repayments but you would want to make payments in a way that reduces the principal balance, rather than the interest; this is where deferment or grace period helps you out.
Understand your loans:
One of the most common mistakes students make is that they opt for loans without knowing and understanding their loans. When it comes to loans people usually are in a hurry to take out the money they urgently need. While this urgency is understandable, it should not stop you from ignoring trivial details about the terms and conditions of your loans. There are many hidden terms and conditions that most people avoid and trust their loan providing company in such cases. Before you sign all these loan contracts, make sure you are familiar with every little detail that you’ll be agreeing for.
Understand Your Payment options:
Federal loan providers provide counseling sessions for people to understand repayment policies and their rights; don’t skip these counseling sessions in any case. If you want your loans to be less of a problem and more of a problem solver then its better you explore every feasible payment option. The kind of loan you’re applying for comes with its own repayment terms. However, there are several other debt relief options you can choose from to help ease your loan. Once you are aware of your payment options, choose the best from among them. Don’t get confused with the many options you get, just see your income scale, budget and how much relief that plan is offering you.
Continue to live a “college lifestyle”:
What most students do is they ruin their college life when they have loans on their hand. How? Fretting about their hefty loan package and just planning every single thing around it. This just not affects their academic life but social life too. While it is a wise choice to plan ahead but compromising everything for your loans is not a wise choice. You just have to properly strategize everything in order to get what you want later.
Stick to a budget:
The best way to enjoy your college life while still saving some for the future is to plan a proper budget and then stick to it. Don’t get tricked by the credit cards and try to avoid them as much as possible. Choose “needs” over your “wants,” so that it doesn’t disturb your budget.
Make a smart debt repayment plan:
Nothing should start without a plan, especially not your loan repayment. Plan before when it is finally time to repay your loans. This way, you’ll know in exactly what time you’ll be covering up your entire loan along with the interest. Not just this, proper planning will let you understand which repayment option will be most practical. A smart plan will include your monthly income, your general life expenses, a repayment plan, and the amount from your budget deducted to make your monthly loan repayments.
Earn more money:
Look for options to increase your income, to help you save before it is finally time. While you’re still studying, look for part time job opportunities; this would not just help you with your personal expenses and savings but will also add up to your resume. If you are unable to manage a part time job along with your busy study schedule, then holidays are the best time to work it out a little. The more you earn, the more you’ll save and spend.
What most people don’t know is that volunteering opportunities or public service jobs like nursing and teaching can benefit the most from repayment plans. Some nonprofit organizations offer recent grads to volunteer and thus providing them overall or partial relief over their loans. There are many such organizations available helping out students in clearing their debt and are creating awareness about the value of public service.
Don’t tack on more big debts right away:
When you have big numbers to pay in student loans, opting for bigger debts or mortgage is the most mindless mistake people make. One thing people with loans to pay, should understand is that loans over previous loans is not going to help you with problems but will further create more difficulties.
To overcome your debt burden, the best thing to do is keep things simple from the start. A properly devised plan even before you opt for loans will not just help you in choosing the right loan program but will keep you at bay with the repayments and interests. Following these basic rules of thumb will not only make your loans less worrisome but will help you maintain your budget at a very early stage of your life.