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Paying Back a Student Loan

Updated on October 12, 2011

Finishing College and Paying back Student Loans

Time flies wen you are busy and in college, and before you know it the time has come to pay back the loans that you took out.  This is critical in your life to do the best you can to pay back these loans, for you will pay the least amount possible by paying it off as fast as you can. 

Exit Counseling from college is something that is required by the federal government for those that have borrowed money from them.  This must be done prior to graduation, and it is great to understand what to expect in the future.  It has a lot of useful information on the student loan repayment process, and it helps to choose the best repayment option for paying back the loan. 

Collecting your documents and making a file of them all together is something you will want to do.  Whether in a notebook, or a manila folder, keep all of these things all together.  This might include your student loan promissory note, paper statements, and any possible notifications or other legal types of documents you have collected over the years having to do with student loans.  If you are late on a payment, or have defaulted or are coming close to it, you might hear about it just once in the mail.  Keep all these things together for your own benefit and protection.  If there are major outstanding payments, or someone is going to take action against you, you will want to know about it in the mail so you can deal with it. Ignoring things doesn't help anyone in these cases. Heaven forbid if the worst should happen and you should die or become disabled, someone can help share the news of what has happened to you with the lenders.  Its just a good idea to keep all your loan documents in one place. 

Keep track of payment dates

You definitely want to pay attention to when your grace period ends, and when the payments begin.  The PLUS loans need to start being paid on 60 days after disbursement.  This may not be the case if the person borrowing has arranged for either deferment or forbearance.  Some recommend putting notes on your calendar for the first several months until you get into a good habit of paying. It is so much better to learn the lesson of paying on time early on.  You will literally get to keep more of your own money, rather than pay a lender for just being late. 

Many lenders will take payments online.  Ask about possible interest rate reductions for borrowers that have automatic debits made from accounts.

Also, if you should move or get other new information, let your lender know.  Always stay in touch.  Some offer incentives for staying in touch online, as many graduates sometimes move around quite a bit. 

Review your obligations you promised to fulfill

Make sure you completely understand all your obligations and ask questions if you don't.  This could save you a lot of money.  Understand when your first loan payment is due and what happens if you are late, etc. 

When is a loan delinquent?  Technically, the day after the due date the loan is delinquent.  Many lenders show a 30 day late status even once you are just one day late.  If you miss two or more payments you are 60, 90 days late, etc.  They can send a delinquent account to credit bureaus, and that something you don't want to happen.  They might consider you in danger of defaulting on your loan if you are just late a couple of times.  An FFEL loan can go to default after missed payments for 270 days or 9 months.  While that is a little longer time period, it still sneaks up quickly.  You might be thinking that you are just not able to pay, so you don't.  They don't look at it like that, and you need to be in communication with them. 


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Lyricwriter. I wish I could tell you more for online classes loans, but is one, or is another. I would do a search, "loans for online classes" as there has to be more on that now than ever. Its just not something I have spent a lot of time on myself. Great question and I hope one of those sites helps you. Glad you stopped by, thank you for the comment.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Another useful article. I take classes online and I am needing a loan Do you know who I should go through? Thanks

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Brandonhart for stopping by and the comment.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Rpalulis! I bet you ARE glad, and good for you. I think its worth it for the education and everything else that comes with that.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Excellent tips on paying back student loans, I am so glad I am all done with that!