It is easy to say that a successful student loan borrower is someone who uses their loans for educational purposes and then pays them back in full in due time. There is so much more that goes into that equation. A successful student loan borrower has numerous good habits that help them not only pay their loans back on time, but they also carry sound judgements through to other parts of their life. Below are some of the healthy habits that successful loan borrowers have in common.
- Do not procrastinate. While there are options that can defer your student loan payments, paying them off as soon as possible is the best option. This will help your overall credit score, reduce your interest payments, and get you out from under you student loan debt quicker. Unless your financial situation absolutely dictates it, you should try to pay back your loans as soon as they come due.
- Keep communication lines open. Many borrowers do not realize how many resources they have to take advantage of. You should remain in contact with your loan servicer if you have any questions about your loans. There are also financial aid advisors at your school willing to give you sound advice. In addition, many schools will collaborate with outside debt management companies to provide students with accurate and helpful information to help them avoid loan default and delinquency.
- Finish projects. Students who graduate college with a degree or certificate are more likely to pay their student loans back than those that do not finish college. Obtaining a degree makes it easier to appreciate the value of your education.
- Never miss a payment. Much like a credit card, you should try to make at least some kind of payment every billing period, even if it is just the minimum balance due. This will keep you in the habit of paying on a monthly schedule, and even if it is a small amount, will reduce your overall loan principal.
- Seek and accept help if needed. Your loan servicer is always going to be your best option if you are struggling to make your loan payments. Do not let the burden of your student loans discourage you. There are many options available, and loan servicers truly want to work with the borrowers to ensure that loans are paid back in the easiest way possible.
There are many college students out there that have successfully borrowed and paid back their student loans. Every single one of them had some combination of the above habits (and other good habits that are not included here). Remember, if you borrowed the student loans, then it is your responsibility to pay them back in a timely manner.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS