Many of us are being crushed by student loan payments. The best way to repay your federal student loans depend on your situation. There are several programs available if you meet certain criteria. If you have a federal loan and are having trouble making your payments, you may be able to re-negotiate the terms of your loan, and you have a few repayment options. Contact your lender for more information about:
1. The standard plan. You are automatically enrolled in this option. You will be paying your loan off in 10 years, making equal payment each month.
2. Graduated plan. You start out making lower payments. Then as your income increases, so do your payments, over a ten year period.
3. Extended repayment. If you have more than $30,000 in debt, you can extend the repayment out over 25 years.
4. Income-based. If your loans are waaaay more than your income, you may be able to make reduced monthly payments. After 25 years, the balance is sometimes forgiven.
5. Income-contingent. This almost the same as income-based, but a little less forgiving.
6. Consolidation. This plan will allow you to combine all loans, and repay them over 30 years.
Did you know that you can reduce you interest rate on your student loan by.25% if you set up automatic payments on your federal student loans? You can access your loans by visiting myedaccount.com. Just login and choose KwikPay to set it up.
If none of these programs works for you, apply for deferment or forbearance. Deferment will allow you to stop making payments for a year. Interest still gets applied. Forbearance will allow you to stop making payment for up to 5 years. You may qualify for economic hardship, active military duty or being a part-time student. In any case, do not just stop making payments. You will be considered delinquent if your payment is 21-30 days late. After 60 days, you will be reported to the credit bureaus. If you default, the federal government can assign you to a collection agency, demand payment in full, or garnish your wages.
If you do not have any student loans, think hard before borrowing the money. Consider attending a community college, or state university. The cost of these schools is usually significantly lower than private universities. Unless you are considering an Ivy League school, the college that you attend will matter much less than your grades when it comes time to find a job.
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