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How to Get Relief From Your Student Loan

Updated on October 3, 2010

Average College Debt

Once you have graduated from college you will receive your first student loan bill in the mail. Educational loans must be repaid and most of the times with interest. If you received a grant or a scholarship you do not have to repay those monies. Most college graduates on average will see monthly payments around $200 because the average college debt for a graduate is around $20,000.

More and more students are taking heftier loans to make it through college. If you chose to take out several different kinds of loans you can get relief if the payments become overwhelming. You can stretch your payments out but you have to remember that you will be paying interest on the loan, which will increase the overall amount you will be paying in the long run.

Figure out what kind of student loan(s) you have.

  • Parent Loans (Stafford and Perkins)
  • Private Student Loans (PLUS)
  • Consolidation Loans

Consolidation Loans allow you to take all of your loans and clump them together at a lower interest rate with only one payment. The advantage of consolidating your loan is that you can lock in on a fixed interest rate and you only have to make one payment instead of several. Package your undergraduate loans if you foresee more loans in your future. If you choose to go to graduate school or a professional school you will most likely pay even more. Most graduate programs run $30,000 to $130,000. If you have a loan without a fixed interest rate you might see rates as high as 10% but you can lock into rates as low as 3%.

Consider your financial situation first.

Ask yourself if you need more manageable payments. Look to see how many payments you have left on the loans. How many different payments are you making in one month? If you are dealing with too much stress with your payments then go see your college’s financial aid office. Every college offers free service to their students with aids to calculate interest and cost. They can provide a student loan checklist to help you keep track of your debt.

Calculate How Much You Will Be Paying

When shopping around for a loan consolidation check out all of your options before signing up. The details of your loan will be specified to you in your agreement. Some lenders will encourage you to make payments on the interest while you are in school. Carefully go over all of your options and review your payment totals and interest rates. Calculate how much and how long you will be paying.

Reaching your goals of financial freedom, solid education and a successful career can be done if you take the time to learn about how to make your life more manageable.


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