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Top 10 Student Loan Strategies

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Student loans can be a confusing and frustrating experience, but we’ve put together some great strategies to help you through it.

1. Develop a plan for financial survival

  • Know what you borrowed, who you borrowed from, and who services your loans
  • Know where your money goes
  • Distinguish between needs and wants
  • Understand student loans
  • Minimize debt
  • Invest in your future
  • Keep good financial records

2. Know what you borrowed, who you borrowed from, and who services your loans

3. Know your grace period, deferments, and forbearance options

4. Pick the best repayment plan for your circumstances

5. Consolidation: Should I or shouldn’t I?

  • Option to combine federal education loans (not private loans)
  • Loans must be in grace or repayment status
  • Original loans are paid in full
  • New loan for the combined balances is issued with new terms, including a new interest rate that is fixed for the life of the loan
  • Learn more at www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.

6. Find out how much your loan is going to cost

7. Commit to keeping good records

8. Develop credit awareness

  • Understand the basics
  • Repay all accounts on time
  • Keep your debt load reasonable
  • Limit excess unused credit
  • Know the terms and conditions of a credit application

9. Avoid delinquency and default

Work with your lender to avoid delinquency, which can lead to:

  • Loss of federal financial aid eligibility
  • Withholding of federal income tax refunds
  • Inability to renew professional license (e.g. lawyer, doctor)
  • Negative credit history (will affect credit purchase of house, car, etc.)

10. Use your support systems

  • For an overview of loan repayment, deferment, forbearance, and forgiveness programs visit: www.studentloans.gov
  • For an overview of all of your federal loans, including amounts, interest rates, lender, servicer, status visit: www.nslds.ed.gov

By Online Learning Tips Staff

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