Managing Student Loans

Before applying for a student loan it is wise to think about how you will be repaying the loan. Even though you may think you have many years ahead to solve that problem, the truth is that once you apply for a loan the loan terms are fixed and you will have to stick to them even if the circumstances change.

Avoid Future Problems
Today financial decisions will determine your future financial worthiness so you need to make sure you commit to a repayment program you will be able to honor. Otherwise you may end up defaulting on your student loan and damaging your credit for many years.

Try to Determine your Future Income and Expenses
Start by analyzing your future possibilities: what job opportunities you might have when you graduate? How much will you be able to earn? How much will you be able to save? How much will you have to spend? Don’t be too optimistic, keep it real and then determine a probable monthly installment for your student loan. Remember not to set it too close to your limits or any unexpected expense would turn it unaffordable.

Select the Type of Student Loan that Best Suits your Needs
There are many types of student loans so you should do your research before applying, not all of them will be suitable for you and you may find some loans more appealing than others. Most of them are not due till after graduation, sometimes even six months after graduation. However, you may find loans that are payable before graduation. If you have the money and don’t want the repayment schedule to last many years after graduation, you should choose these loans.

Get a Waiver from the Government Agency
When it comes to federal student loans or state government student loans, you’ll find that your debt can be reduced just by applying for jobs on certain areas designated by government agencies where the administration has special interest in satisfying specific needs. For further details contact the government agency that grants the particular loan.

Refinance your Student Loan to reduce the Monthly Payments
On the other hand, if your student loans are private, you can negotiate with your creditors if you can’t meet your monthly payments. You can always agree to a loan refinance where the loan length will be extended and the monthly installments reduced. Moreover, if market conditions have improved you could even get a lower interest rate and trim down your payments even more. Always keep an eye on interest rates; you can save thousands by refinancing.

Reach a Settlement to Reduce your Overall Debt
Another option is to reach a settlement with your lender where you will be able to get a reduction on the loan principal in exchange of keeping the current interest rate and schedule. This should be done only if you find yourself incapable of meeting your monthly payments. It is best if you foresee such a problem and agree a more suitable schedule from the beginning.