When you are grappling with student loans it could be of some solace to know that you are certainly not alone. Individuals who passed out in 2016 are carrying $37,173 on an average in terms of student loan debt. As per https://www.nbcnews.com, there are 44.7 million Americans who are having student loan debt. By the end of 2018, the total American student loan debt amounted to $1.47 trillion. Student loan debt is a reality because of many reasons. You would need to pay astronomically high tuition fees while switching majors, stopping and again starting school, getting transferred to a college which would not be accepting your credits.

Many students fail to realize the gravity of the situation and often treat student loans as ‘free money’ and lead a frivolous lifestyle. Moreover, student loans could rack up interest swiftly if you falter in making the payments. You would get a huge student loan debt if you wish to pursue higher studies such as graduation, doctorate or other professional degrees to establish a successful career. A law school graduate has on average $125,000 in terms of student loans. A dental school graduate has $241,097 on an average in terms of student loan debt.

Massive student loans could be quite overwhelming. Here are some expert tips to pay down your mountain of student loan debt.

Understanding Your Loans

You must understand the finer details of your student loan debt irrespective of the size of the loan. You have to know who your creditor is and how much you owe to him. This could be a challenging task if you have massive debts. You could always seek expert debt assistance and advice from reputed debt relief organizations such as NationaldebtRelief.com.  You must understand the precise details and terms of your student loans. You must identify the loans that are eligible for unemployment deferment or economic hardship deferment. You must identify loans that qualify for an income-based repayment program. Most importantly, you must know each loan’s interest rate. All this goes a long way in helping you determine if debt consolidation is the right choice for you since you would be getting a lower interest rate.

You Must Not Overlook & Waste the Grace Period

Once you have graduated, you would be getting a grace period before you are required to start paying off year debts. You must not waste this time. Instead, you must devote the time to meticulously research and evaluate your loans. Understand what you need to pay back and if possible it is a good idea to put the amount to be paid back into separate savings account for kick-starting your emergency fund. You would be able to rely on this money in the scenario you lose your present job or encounter unanticipated expenses. Moreover, during this grace period, you get used to curbing your expenses and leading a life on a budget. As well as what type of work environment do you prefer?

Look for a Job that Would Pay off Your Debt

You could start looking for a job that offers you student loan forgiveness. Several careers are accompanied by incredible amounts of student loan debt like lawyers, medical professionals, and even veterinarians and these professionals could choose certain jobs that would be offering them loan forgiveness. Moreover, you could enjoy more opportunities in the field of education, law enforcement, social work, speech pathology, and therapy provided you are employed by a qualified nonprofit. Some employers would offer to help their employees by offering student loan debt repayment as an incentive package.

Choose a Specific Payment Plan

You must opt for an income-based loan repayment plan in the case of federal loans for making your massive debt repayment far more manageable. As per the ‘Department of Education’, you would be qualified for the income-based debt repayment plan provided your total student loan debt is more as compared to your annual salary. You may choose loan calculators that estimate your loan payments per month.

Consider Debt Consolidation

You need to do a proper evaluation of repayment plan options to determine if consolidating all your federal loans could be the right option for you. It would roll all your borrowed student loans that you had used every year while in school or college into a single loan with one company or creditor and just a single monthly payment.

You must opt for debt consolidation provided you are getting a lower rate of interest. Student loan consolidation would make things a lot easier and more convenient to keep track of your single debt consolidation loan. You would not incur late fees or miss a payment as you do not need to juggle with several debts and, multiple monthly payments, interests, and due dates.

We know that federal student loan debt consolidation would be combining multiple federal loans and roll them essentially into one via the assistance of the ‘Department of Education.’ Federal loan debt consolidation could extend your loan repayment term to effectively lower your payments and not your interest rates. We know that federal loan debt consolidation does not necessitate credit requirement. You could enjoy lower payments and a single loan bill.

Federal Student Loan Debt Consolidation

Simply go to studentloans.gov and log in. Look for “Complete Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note” and click on it. You must finish furnishing all the details and fill in the application in a single session. Hence, you need to keep all necessary documentation or paperwork ready. You could examine what documents you would need to produce well in advance by browsing the section “What do I need?” You need to devote approximately 30 minutes to fill out the application. Enter all the loans you wish to consider and those that you do not wish to consolidate. You need to go ahead and choose the specific repayment plan of your preference. Choose a precise repayment timeline depending on your actual loan balance. Alternatively, choose an income-driven debt repayment plan. You would be required to fill out a separate repayment request form if you are choosing an Income-Driven Repayment Plan. You must read carefully all terms before you submit the form online.  You need to go on making the loan repayments till your provider sends you a confirmation that consolidation is complete.

Private Student Loan Debt Consolidation

Private student loan debt consolidation is often referred to as refinancing. You would combine your multiple student loans into a single new loan from a private agency. You would be saving some money provided your new private loan comes at a lower rate of interest. Your credit history and financial history including credit score, job history, income, and even educational background would be dictating your new private loan terms and interest rate while you are refinancing. You would need typically a credit score that is over 600 for being eligible for the debt consolidation loan.

Conclusion

Financial experts advise you to avoid consolidating your private loans with federal loans. It is a good idea to consolidate separately and take out a separate private consolidated loan and a separate federally consolidated loan. Debt consolidation spells ultimate freedom from student loans!

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