What do people say about private loans. College students go off to college with a head full of dreams for their future. They are often offered many types of student loans that are all too easy to get. So they sign up without thinking if the future consequences. But keep the advice from this article in mind to avoid making a costly college disaster.
If you are having a hard time paying back your student loans, call your lender and let them know this. There are normally several circumstances that will allow you to qualify for an extension and/or a payment plan. You will have to furnish proof of this financial hardship, so be prepared.
Be sure you know about the grace period of your loan. Each loan has a different grace period. It is impossible to know when you need to make your first payment without looking over your paperwork or speaking with your lender. Be sure to be aware of this information so you do not miss a payment.
Be careful when consolidating loans together. The total interest rate might not warrant the simplicity of one payment. Also, never consolidate public student loans into a private loan. You will lose very generous repayment and emergency options afforded to you by law and be at the mercy of the private contract.
Look into PLUS loans for your graduate work. Their interest rate does not exceed 8.5%. Although it is higher than Perkins and Stafford Loans, you still get a much better rate than one that is private. For this reason, this is a good loan option for more mature and established students.
If a financial aid package doesn’t cover the whole cost of going to your chosen college, you may have to apply for a private loan. Look carefully at any private loan options. Research the best interest rates and loan terms before you decide to sign anything.
Make sure you keep track of your loans. You should know who the lender is, what the balance is, and what its repayment options are. If you are missing this information, you can contact your lender or check the NSLDL website. If you have private loans that lack records, contact your school.
Know your grace periods so you don’t miss your first student loan payments after graduating college. Stafford loans typically give you six months before starting payments, but Perkins loans might go nine. Private loans are going to have repayment grace periods of their own choosing, so read the fine print for each particular loan.
Do not default on a student loan. Defaulting on government loans can result in consequences like garnished wages and tax refunds withheld. Defaulting on private loans can be a disaster for any cosigners you had. Of course, defaulting on any loan risks serious damage to your credit report, which costs you even more later.
Avoiding a student loan disaster can be achieved by borrowing wisely. That may mean that you might not be able to afford your dream college or that you may have to adjust your expectations of college life. But those decisions will pay off in the future when you get your degree and don’t have to spend half of your life paying back student loans.