Caps and gowns, family gatherings and celebrations tied to one’s recent graduation are now photos on the shared drive. Quickly the end of college has turned into landing one’s first job and for some the continuation of the search. The change brings a new sense of freedom and responsibilities, including the educational debt, i.e. student loans. Yes, the repayment of Federal and/or Private Education Loan.
Whether you have launched yourself into your first job or still searching, new graduates need to get ahead of managing their educational loan obligations.
Graduates who borrowed to attend college and left in May are now in the final days of their grace period. A six (6) month grace period tied to Federal Loans Direct Loans and most Private Loan(s). The grace period is provided to assist new graduates time to identify their loan(s) obligation, who is managing the day to day loan servicing and to set up a repayment program based on current financial resources.
What if I do not know who to call or how much I owe? What can you do if you can’t pay? The following looks at these and other aspects of managing one’s educational debt after college.
How much do I owe and to whom?
Account information can be found in the mail that has arrived via the USPS or email. If for some reason it has been misplaced (wink, wink), individuals who borrowed Federal Direct Student Loans or other Federal Loan Programs (Direct PLUS – Direct Grad PLUS) can access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to learn how much and to whom one owes. To locate one’s Private Education Loan information one can either contact the college/university’s financial aid office or Annual Credit Report, a free service of the major credit reporting agencies. Included in this information for both Federal and Private loans will be information on the name of the Loan Servicer who manages the loan portfolio on a day-to-day basis for the lender.
How do I get started?
Once you know who and how much, you can set up your repayment schedule by either accessing your account online or by calling the Loan Servicer, the day-to-day manager of the account. A Customer Service Representative will work with you to establish a monthly repayment scheduled that will work to liquidate the loan as fast as possible based on one’s financial capable. It is a give and take, one that should be approached with candor and honesty, so the result is the creation of a repayment program that will be manageable and successful.
Can I consolidate or refinance my loans?
Yes, many individuals will look to the Direct Loan Consolidation Program and/or private refinancing options to assist with managing education loan payments.
The most common reasons are to:
- Reduce the monthly payment
- Lower interest rates
- Switch from Variable to Fixed Interest Rate
- Combine multiple loan providers (lenders/servicers) to one single loan provider
- Rehabilitate a defaulted Federal Loan
Federal Student Loan Consolidation
A benefit that is assigned to each loan issued under the Federal Student Loan Program providing borrowers with multiple repayment options, including standard and income sensitive repayment programs and resources to make modifications to one’s standard repayment schedule. Loans consolidated under the Federal Program continue to retain their eligibility. Learn more at Student Aid for other Direct Student Loan benefits.
Education Loan Refinancing
Typically associated with private education loans, refinancing allows eligible student and parent borrowers the opportunity to make modifications to the loan(s) to reduce interest rates and gain similar benefits list above.
What if I can’t pay?
From time to time individuals can find themselves struggling to make their monthly payment. When that occurs, it is critical to contact the Loan Servicer managing the loan portfolio. The call, maybe stressful but the result will be beneficial. Working with the Loan Servicer, you will have the chance to review your current financial circumstances and outline options to provide temporary relief and assistance. These can include modifying the payment amount, extending the term of the loan and/or postponing the
Dealing with one’s education loan portfolio for many is the first “huge” financial responsibility to be undertaken. It is a very important part of establishment of one’s financial and credit profile. Regardless of one’s individual circumstance, don’t delay. Make the call and get things going!!!
For more information call Get College Going today – 617-240-7350
As the summer quickly comes to an end it marks the return to school for high school students and the start of new careers for recent graduates. In this posting we offer some information, guidance and direction for not only high school students excited with the thoughts of starting a new school’s year, fall sports and reconnecting with classmates but also for those enrolled in college and exiting with education loan debt. We break the piece down into three categories, Before, During and After College. A little something for everyone!!
- Freshman & Sophomores – as the newest to the campus your activities should be geared towards establishing a strong foundation. Study habits and time management are two fundamentals to tackle while getting one’s bearings.
- Parents – If were talking college post high school it is important at this early junction to begin to learn about college cost and how to finance a 2-4-year college degree.
- Juniors – this is the pivotal year! Academics, academics and a lot of personal development. Junior year is the time when serious college planning Searching, visiting and evaluating college options need to begin as early as October of the Junior year.
- Parents – as your prospective college bound student opens up the doors to his/her college panning, you too must begin to evaluate the ability to finance a $30-$50,000 annual cost of education. The conversation, what is realistic based on family financial resources is critical.
- Seniors – if college after high school is the desired path, seniors need to be on high readiness to begin the semester strong, academically. It is also critical to maintain commitment to athletic and performing art responsibilities and other activities. returning will turn into a scramble as college selections, application deadlines and other parts of the college acceptance and financial aid process will be front and center.
- Parents – completion of the Student Aid Applications (FAFSA) and other college forms will require 100% of your attention. Calculating and understanding the Net Tuition Costs for the finalist of the college search is a must.
Much is happening on college campuses. New, first year students are arriving with nervousness and eyes wide open to begin their exciting college career. Welcoming parties (students and events) are there to usher in the new class and provide hands on direction. Campuses are alive with new student activities, 1st year student experience programming, sporting events and activities in the dorms.
- Parents – resist calling and checking in on your recent drop off. Students, new to the college experience need time to adjust, explore the campus, meet new classmates and get past their jitters. Give it a week to 10 days and then text a simple message: How are you doing? How are classes and your new experience going? Parent’s Weekend, held on all college campuses near the end of September and through the first part of October will be the time to take your first pulse check of your new college student.
If you are one of thousands of students who started and stopped attending college, this is the time to consider restarting. Becoming a Transfer Student! Upwards to 20% of a colleges’ 1st/2nd year student population leave school. The good thing is for every college/university that loses a student, that same institution is looking for a transfer student. Transfer students can bounce back to community college, and hit the restart button and/or move to a school on one’s original search list. Transfer students are in high demand. If you have been thinking about hitting the button, you can do it now!!
Upper class students are returning to campus to continue their educational experience. For some fine tuning of majors will be in order and others will be seeking out assistance and guidance to ensuring they’re on track to complete their degree. Degree completion is the goals and 4 years is the target. But if you do not know for certain where one is on the completion track, one could be in for a rude awaking. And the day to pick up one’s graduation packet is not the time to learn you have one/two/a full semester of courses to take to graduate. Find out now!! Don’t get surprised!!!
Returning to campus is also the time to investigate opportunities for internships, study abroad programs and other degree enhancements programs. If you have not been to Career Services why are you waiting. Stimulate your pathway to your job now. Make Career Services your best friend!!
Graduation has been over for months; the excitement is now turned to joining the workforce and seeing what arrives in the mail (email). For many recent graduates it is a message from an education loan servicer, the agent for the Federal Government or a private lender. For it is now time to arrange for the repayment of one’s education debt. Federal Direct and Private Student Loans are about to come due. The glorious six (6) month grace period is about to expire. Check out the links below to learn your rights, responsibilities and repayment options. Then pick up the phone, open the email and say hello.
Then pick up the phone, open the email and say hello – Someone on the other end will be happy to help!!
For more information on these and other admissions, financial aid and managing education debt topics, give us a ring at Get College Going