For many, getting a college education often means one thing: drowning in student loans. If you find yourself in that situation, too, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of ways for you to manage your debt. To learn more about how to get student loan debt relief, here are a few useful strategies.
You can consolidate your debt through federal loans or talk to a private lender about it. One of the best things about opting for this method is that you have a chance to negotiate for a lower interest rate on your loans. That often means you get to save on a few thousand dollars. All federal funds—with the exception of loans—provide a grace period of six months. That’s a bit of detail you’ll want to know. However, that doesn’t mean you can stop paying for the entire six months because the interest still accrues during that period, at least for most types of federal loans. Find out if that condition applies to the loan type you choose.
Try asking to get your monthly payment lowered by getting an alternate repayment plan. Assess your old one and if you make a case that shows the terms and conditions of that plan aren’t working out for you, then you could get a lower monthly payment. The new plan should be based on your income. It will usually include a pay-as-you-earn-scheme, so you expect that, too.
If you have no income at the moment, or you don’t have enough to meet your monthly payment, you might think about applying for deferment. However, check if you qualify for that. If you’re a student and you’re enrolled, even part-time, and you’re undergoing financial woes, you might get a lower interest rate. In some cases, you might not even accrue any interest for the months where you’ve been delayed with the payment.
This is similar to deferment in the way it works, except that you are required to pay interest even when your repayment plan is suspended. Students who face financial hardship bogged down with medical bills, or have employment changes might go for this option too. If you think this is a sound option for you, explore it further by talking to a credit counselor. Look for a financial expert to help you get a full understanding of this option, right along with everything else. That way, you’ll be in a better position to decide.
All the best programs and plans won’t work if you aren’t doing a thing to control your spending. Make sure you know where all your money is going. Make a list of all your expenses. That should tell you where you’re spending your money and on which areas you can cut back, so you can send in more money for your payments. By being smart with your financial decisions now, you’ll be that much closer to paying off your debt and enjoying a debt-free future.