College expenses continue to soar and students are increasingly turning to student loans to finance their education. But the mistakes you make as a young college student can affect your later life so always make sure you understand the terms you are agreeing to. Keep reading to learn other ways to avoid costly student loan mistakes.
Start your student loan search by looking at the safest options first. These are generally the federal loans. They are immune to your credit rating, and their interest rates don’t fluctuate. These loans also carry some borrower protection. This is in place in case of financial issues or unemployment following your graduation from college.
Be sure you understand the fine print of your student loans. You need to know how much you owe, your repayment status and which institutions are holding your loans. These details are going to have a lot to do with what your loan repayment is like and if you can get forgiveness options. Budgeting is only possible with this knowledge.
Always stay in contact with your lender. Make sure you update them with your personal information if it changes. Also, be sure you immediately read any kind of mail you get from a lender, whether it’s electronic or paper. You must act right away if information is required. If you don’t do this, then it can cost you in the end.
If you’re having trouble arranging financing for college, look into possible military options and benefits. Even doing a few weekends a month in the National Guard can mean a lot of potential financing for college education. The possible benefits of a full tour of duty as a full-time military person are even greater.
Keep good records on all of your student loans and stay on top of the status of each one. One easy way to do this is to log onto nslds.ed.gov. This is a website that keep s track of all student loans and can display all of your pertinent information to you. If you have some private loans, they will not be displayed. Regardless of how you keep track of your loans, do be sure to keep all of your original paperwork in a safe place.
Paying your student loans helps you build a good credit rating. Conversely, not paying them can destroy your credit rating. Not only that, if you don’t pay for nine months, you will ow the entire balance. When this happens the government can keep your tax refunds and/or garnish your wages in an effort to collect. Avoid all this trouble by making timely payments.
It can be hard to figure out how to get the money for school. A balance of grants, loans and work is usually necessary. When you work to put yourself through school, it is important not to overdo it and negatively affect your performance. Although the specter of paying back student loans may be daunting, it is usually better to borrow a little more and work a little less so you can focus on your school work.
Limit the amount you borrow for college to your expected total first year’s salary. This is a realistic amount to pay back within ten years. You shouldn’t have to pay more then fifteen percent of your gross monthly income toward student loan payments. Investing more than this is unrealistic.
Knowing all of the pitfalls of student loans is the best way to avoid them. Don’t be afraid to ask a what all of the terms and conditions are and how they will affect your finances in the future. So keep the advice from above in mind and always borrow wisely.