Student loans can seem like an great way to get a degree that will lead to a prosperous future. But they can also be a costly mistake if you are not being wise about borrowing. You should educate yourself about what student debt really means for your future. The tips below can help you become a wiser borrower.
Always stay in contact with your lender. Let them know if your number, email or address changes, all of which occur frequently during college years. In addition, be sure to open and read all correspondence that you receive from your lender right away, whether it arrives electronically or via snail mail. Do whatever you must as quickly as you can. It can be quite costly if you miss anything.
If you have extra money at the end of the month, don’t automatically pour it into paying down your student loans. Check interest rates first, because sometimes your money can work better for you in an investment than paying down a student loan. For example, if you can invest in a safe CD that returns two percent of your money, that is smarter in the long run than paying down a student loan with only one point of interest. Only do this if you are current on your minimum payments though and have an emergency reserve fund.
Be careful when consolidating loans together. The total interest rate might not warrant the simplicity of one payment. Also, never consolidate public student loans into a private loan. You will lose very generous repayment and emergency options afforded to you by law and be at the mercy of the private contract.
Consider using your field of work as a means of having your loans forgiven. A number of nonprofit professions have the federal benefit of student loan forgiveness after a certain number of years served in the field. Many states also have more local programs. The pay might be less in these fields, but the freedom from student loan payments makes up for that in many cases.
You should shop around before deciding on a student loan company because it can end up saving you a lot of money in the end. The school you attend may try to sway you to choose a particular one. It is best to do your research to make sure that they are giving you the best advice.
Once you leave school and are on your feet you are expected to start paying back all of the loans that you received. There is a grace period for you to begin repayment of your student loan. It is different from lender to lender, so make sure that you are aware of this.
Sometimes student loans are the only way that you can afford the degree that you dream of. But you need to keep your feet on the ground when it comes to borrowing. Consider how quickly the debt can add up and keep the above advice in mind as you decide on which type of loan is best for you.