Student Loan Tips for Recent Grads

by Mariana Ashley

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With college graduation comes blowout parties, congratulatory cards, excitement, and the onset of “real world” panic. While a college education provides young adults with the knowledge and know-how to survive in the professional world, it also harbors massive debt and real world anxiety. Stepping out into the world with a college diploma, massive student debt looming over your shoulders, and a job hunt to begin can seem like a daunting task. Though managing student loans is never fun, it does not have to be difficult or stress inducing. Follow these tips and tricks to student loans to ease the post college graduation panic.

Prepay Your Loan

Many individuals chose to lower their monthly student-loan payments early on. One way to do this is to consolidate your loan and another way is to extend your repayment. While these two options can offer some short-term relief, they may reap long-term problems. Extending your repayment means that you will be making payments over a longer period of time and therefore will be paying more interest. At times extension is necessary, but if possible it can be financially beneficial to hold off.

Ideally, you should attempt to make the suggested monthly payment plus a little extra whenever possible. Even a mere 10 dollars extra a month can make a huge difference and save you a handful in interest charges. If you must take steps to lower your payment, you should try to increase it again at the soonest possible moment.

Pay Attention to the Grace Period

Fresh out of college, young post grads tend to treat things like English 101. By this I mean, we are constantly looking for extensions on “assignments” and procrastinating as long as we possibly can. While getting away with this student mentality works for some things, it can be disastrous when applied to student loans. Pay close attention to when your grace period ends on your student loans. While some borrowers expect their first student loan payment before your first real world paycheck, others give you a six month or so grace period. Be mindful of when this grace period is up and consider not procrastinating for once.

Consolidate Carefully

Though this header kind of nails it on the head, I’ll go into more detail. Consolidating your loans may be the thing to do depending on your situation. Whether it is or is not the route you need to take, considering it carefully is essential. With such high rates, there is less incentive to consolidate your loans this year. Consolidation does mean that you only have to keep track of one payment to one lender as opposed to keeping track of four different payments and four different lenders. So, evaluate your situation and your way of dealing with things.

If you think that you will significantly benefit from having only one thing to keep track of then take that route. However, be mindful of fixed-rate loans. With fixed-rates, consolidating may not work to your advantage. Do your research. Consider both what is better for you financially and what is better for you personally.

While student debt is a stressful matter, you are fully equipped to manage it. Take things in stride. Make careful and educated decisions. Post grad life is never as glamorous as you once thought it might be, but it is a time for excitement and growth. Take your college degree and make something of yourself.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.

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