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