Student loan help is available to those who are struggling with higher education costs. There is financial aid for those with Pell Grants, those who qualify for need-based financial aid and those who have both subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. But what about the rest? Will unsubsidized student loan debt interfere with earning that college degree? And, if so, how do you pay for your education? Consider these resources and find out exactly how to deal with your student loan debt.
There are many ways to receive help with your student loan debt, many of them either free or much cheaper than simply ignoring the situation. You may apply for a partial income-based repayment plan, usually for long term relief, or forbearance or suspension for a temporary period. For many students, a deferment can be the answer to their problems. A deferment allows you to avoid paying any federal student loan interest for up to six months, during which time you pay nothing towards your loans. While this sounds like a good idea, deferments are granted on a case-by-case basis and generally have strict criteria.
Many scholarships and grants to cover part of a student loan’s interest. Talk to your adviser about whether any of your eligible grants may cover the cost of your unsubsidized or subsidized student loans. If you are taking out a federal loan, you will probably qualify for need-based financial aid, which covers part of any unsubsidized student loan payments. Contact your financial aid office for more information. Some student loan programs automatically take advantage of any income-based repayment plans, but others require you to apply. Talk to your student loan office to find out what program will work best for you.
For many students, the option of deferment is attractive because it allows them to avoid making any monthly payment while they wait to finish school. A student who goes back to school and completes an approved college degree program at a four-year university is normally allowed a grace period of six months after graduation in order to work toward establishing a more stable financial situation. Usually, deferment will give the student enough time to establish a new job or begin paying off other debts before the six-month grace period ends.
A similar option for federal student loans is a lower interest rate. In many cases, federal loans offer better loan interest rates than their private student counterparts. In some cases, however, it may be worth paying a slightly higher private student interest rate to get a lower interest rate on your federal loan. There are many different factors that go into determining which college loan offer is the lowest. Private loan interest rates are based on a number of different factors, such as your credit score and the amount of time you have to repay the loan.
If you are working towards a college degree but need financial assistance, you may be able to qualify for a federal loan or federal grants that will reduce your overall monthly payment. For example, if you are going to be a teacher, you may have a chance to qualify for teacher loan forgiveness – here, your Stafford loan may forgive your lender the amount of interest they have charged you over the years. This saves you money in total and allows you to make a lower monthly payment.
Many students find that the best way to handle their loans is to use a student loan consolidation company. These companies will work with you and your lender to establish a repayment plan that is right for you. These companies often charge a fee, but working with a good loan consolidation company could save you thousands of dollars in interest. To find a list of reputable companies in your area, you can visit the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In conclusion, there is no need for you to feel trapped by high monthly student loan payments. Student loan consolidation is one option that gives you peace of mind and allows you to make lower payments in a shorter period of time. However, you do need to consider all of your options and explore both federal and private student loans before deciding which to consolidate. With careful planning and a little help from an expert, you can achieve lower payments and still meet all of your financial obligations.