Student Loans: How To Make The Most Of Them


The price of higher education can be sky high today. Very few people can afford to pay for college these days without any help. If you wish to pursue further education, student loans can help.

TIP! Always know the pertinent details of your loans. You must pay close attention to how much you owe, what the terms are and the name of your lending institution.

Make sure you stay on top of applicable repayment grace periods. This is the period of time after your graduation before your payment is due. You can get a head start in making timely payments by knowing what your grace period is.

Know your loan details inside and out. You must pay close attention to how much you owe, what the terms are and the name of your lending institution. These details all affect loan forgiveness and repayment options. It will help you budget accordingly.

TIP! If you were laid off or are hit with a financial emergency, don’t worry about your inability to make a payment on your student loan. Many lenders give you a grace period if you are able to prove that you are having difficulties.

Do not worry if you are unable to make a student loan payment because you lost your job or some other unfortunate circumstance has occurred. Most lenders have options for letting you put off payments if you are able to document your current hardship. Just be aware that doing so may cause interest rates to rise.

Grace Period

TIP! You don’t need to panic if a problem arises during repayment of your loans. Unemployment or health emergencies will inevitably happen.

Be mindful of the exact length of your grace period between graduation and having to start loan repayments. Stafford loans usually have one half year before the payments have to be made. For Perkins loans, you’ll have a nine month grace period. Other loans offer differing periods of time. Know when you will have to pay them back and pay them on time.

Paying off your biggest loans as soon as you can is a sound strategy towards minimizing your overall principal. If you don’t owe that much, you’ll pay less interest. Make a concerted effort to pay off all large loans more quickly. When a large loan is repaid, just start paying on the next ones you owe. This will help you decrease your debt as fast as possible.

TIP! Pay your loan off in two steps. The first thing you need to do is be certain that you are making the minimum required monthly payment on each loan.

Payments for student loans can be hard if you don’t have the money. There are frequently reward programs that may benefit you. Look at programs like SmarterBucks and LoanLink via Upromise. These are similar to cash back programs so that means you can get rewards that help you with your loan situation.

You can stretch your dollars further for your student loans if you make it a point to take the most credit hours as you can each semester. 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 to lower your loan amounts.

TIP! Pick the payment option that works best for you. Most student loan companies allow the borrower ten years to pay them back.

Make sure to understand everything about student loans before signing anything. Ask questions so that you are completely aware. Lenders sometimes prey on borrowers who don’t know what they are doing.

To expedite the process of a student loan, make sure the application is filled out accurately. Incorrect or incomplete loan information can result in having to delay your college education.

TIP! When repaying student loan obligations, prioritize them by interest rate. The loan with the most interest should be paid off first.

Stafford and Perkins are the best loan options. These are very affordable and are safe to get. They are favorable due to the fact that your interest is paid by the government while you are actually in school. The interest rate on a Perkins loan is 5 percent. On a subsidized Stafford loan, it will be a fixed rate of no larger than 6.8 percent.

There are specific types of loans available for grad students and they are called PLUS loans. They have an interest rate that is not more than 8.5 percent. While it may not beat a Perkins or Stafford loan, it is generally better than a private loan. This makes it a good option for established and mature students.

Particular Lender

Some schools have reasons that they may try to motivate you to go toward one particular lender to get a student loan. Some lenders use the school’s name. This is oftentimes quite misleading to students and parents. Your school may already have a deal going with a particular lender. Understand every aspect of your loan right off the bat.

TIP! The prospect of having to pay a student loan every month can be hard for people that are on hard budget already. That can be reduced with loan rewards programs.

Be leery of applying for private loans. The terms of such loans can be difficult to ascertain. Sometimes, you may not know until it is too late. You may then find yourself in a very bad financial predicament. Get as much information as you can. If you like an offer, see if other lenders will give you an even better one.

Do not depend entirely on student loans to finance your education. Keep in mind that you need to put money aside and investigate grants and scholarships that may offer you some financial assistance. The Internet is your friend here; you can find a lot of information on scholarships and grants that might pertain to your situation. Start right away to get the entire process going and leave yourself enough time to prepare.

TIP! To make the most of a loan, take the top amount of credits that you can. Full-time status is usually 9-12 hours per semester, so getting between 15 and 18 can help you graduate sooner.

It is important to remain in contact with the lender. This is important because you should know everything about your loan including what is stipulated by your repayment plan. It is also possible that the lender offers you advice with regard to repayment.

Find out what choices you have when it comes to repayment. If you are worried about making ends meet after you leave school, consider asking for graduated payments. Your initial payments tend to be smaller and slowly rise as you hopefully earn more.

TIP! Make sure to understand everything about student loans before signing anything. Ask to get clarification on anything you don’t understand.

While student loans can help make college affordable for a number of people, they must be repaid. Some people take out a loan but don’t consider how they are going to pay it back. Using this advice you can get your advanced education without going bankrupt.