Categories: Student Loans

What You Can Do to Stay Ahead of Student Loan Payments

Staying ahead of your student loan debt and making your payments on time is easier said than done for a lot of people. Over 33 percent of borrowers are currently struggling with federal student loan delinquency, according to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website. Therefore, it may seem as if the odds of staying ahead of that debt instead of falling behind are against you. However, here are a few steps you can take to beat those odds.

Educate Yourself on the Process

You need to first learn how financial aid and student loan repayment works in the first place. Many people seem to handle their student loan debt like other forms of debt, such as their credit card payments. However, there is a number of different repayment plans and options that can used as tools to prevent federal student loan delinquency long before the first student loan payments are even due.

After graduating from college, make sure that you take the exit counseling sessions seriously. During those sessions, such important terms as “forbearance” and “deferment” are discussed thoroughly, according to US News. If you do not take the time to educate and inform yourself about the overall process, you will start off behind and need to catch up.

Choose the Appropriate Repayment Option

When initially selecting the repayment option for your student loan debt, it can be very easy to choose the most “attractive” deal. However, make sure that you balance that “attraction” with logic and reasoning.

Some people are attracted to the shorter term, higher student loan payment options but simply cannot afford to keep up with the payments. Others are attracted to extending the repayment terms as much as possible without paying attention to the fact that their interest payments exponentially increase with each passing year. Federal loan payments are based on a 10-year repayment plan. Based on your current income and other factors, you can discuss other options with your lenders and adjust the loan accordingly, according to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).

Aim for the Highest Interest Rates First

Target the student loans with the highest interest rates first. As mentioned above, the interest rate of your loan will cause your balance to grow continuously with each passing year. By paying attention to the math involved, the need to pay the debt off as quickly as possible becomes crystal clear. To lighten the long-term load and prevent federal student loan delinquency, focus on targeting the debt with the highest interest rate first and then work your way down the list of other loans. You might have to pay out more money upfront, but this approach will also save you a lot of money in the long run, according to

Communicate with Your Lenders

Do not avoid or try to hide from your lenders, ignoring their phone calls and disregarding their mail. Staying in communication with them, especially when you are struggling financially, is the wisest course of action. If you find yourself falling behind on payments, your lenders will be able to share vital information about available options and assistance with you.

If you are struggling with student loan repayments, or feel stuck in your current situation, it’s time to get a free case evaluation with attorney Chad Van Horn.

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Chad Van Horn

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