If you have been engulfed with student loan debt and are planning to ignore them, then you're doing a major mistake. Ignoring your student loan debt may lead you to serious problems in your future days. Creditors will not let you live in peace and the employers may reject your job applications. You can even be sued for the non-repayment of student loan debt. Don't want to face such a situation? If yes, then take a look at the article to gain knowledge on 6 intelligent tips that can help you pay off student loan debt.
Student loans – Ways to repay them
Go through the following lines to get acquainted with tips that can help you repay student loan debt:
1 Calculate your total loan amount
It may happen that you have taken out the student loans to finance your education a while back and have completely forgotten about the loan amount or your lender. However, it is crucial for you to know about the exact debt amount and type of educational loan you have taken out. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to repay them. Go through the notices you have received from your lenders in the past few years and check out the following things:
Student loans are mainly of 2 types – federal (PLUS loans, Perkins, Stafford, etc) and private. Each type of loan has different terms and conditions. So, take out your contracts from your files and read through the clauses all over again. Then create a list of the student loans you have taken out.
Amount you owe:
Once you have made the list of your loans, calculate the total amount you owe to your lenders. Check the payment notices which your lenders have sent you. Find out whether there has been any mistake on the part of your lender in calculation of the loan amount.
Name of the lender:
It might be the case that your original creditor have sold or assigned your account to a collection agency or other financial institution. Creditors can take such a step without taking any permission from you. So, contact your original creditors and know the status of your accounts. If the account has been sold to another financial organization, then you'll have to work with them.
2 Participate in the voluntary programs
If you have taken out federal student loans, then you can go for loan forgiveness program. However, in order to take advantage of loan forgiveness, you’ll need to participate in the following voluntary programs:
This program stretches over a period of 27 months. This program works on various fields like agriculture, education, environment, etc. Your loan can be lowered by around 70% if you participate in this program.
The program works on public service and education. You’ll be liable to get $4725 to clear your student debts a stipend as much as $7,400.
The main goal of this program is to eradicate poverty and illiteracy in the nation. You’ll be eligible to receive $4725 to repay your loans by participating in the program.
If you’re already working in a firm which provides essential services to the low-income communities, or a nurse, or a law enforcement officer, then your debt can be completely forgiven. You can contact National Association of Social Workers to get more details on this issue.
Apart from the above, you can try out other options as well to qualify for loan forgiveness program. You can work as a teacher in a low-income community and get around $4725 (in a year) to repay your federal student loans.
3 Go for a suitable payment option:
You can go for any of the following payment options to pay off your student loan debt:
Income based payment:
This option lets you repay your loan within a period of 15 years. Your monthly payment will be according to your income and family size. However, you can take advantage of this option when you have federal student loans.
If you have defaulted on multiple student loans, then you can go for this option. In this option, you can merge all your educational loans into one single loan with a favorable interest rates and payment plan.
Pay the full amount:
In this option, you pay the full loan amount all at once. Once you pay the full amount, you’ll become completely debt free.
Long term payment:
This option allows you repay your loan and interest over a period of 30 years.
You can go for this option when you can afford to make 9 time monthly payments. You’ll be required to make payments within 10 days of the due date. Once you have completed the payment schedule, you can qualify for new loans.
It is advisable to go for this option when you are sure your income will rise gradually. In this option, you’ll be required to make low payment in the beginning. But the payment requirement will continue to rise at a predetermined rate.
Here you repay your loans along with interest rates within 10 years.
4 Adopt a humble lifestyle
It is important to lead a humble lifestyle when you're in debt. Leading an extravagant lifestyle will not help you pay off your student loan debts. Rather it will make your financial situation worse. Make a budget and follow it religiously. Restrict the temptation of living in a big apartment or driving a luxurious car. If you can pay off your debts and lead an organized financial life in future, then you can have them one day without getting into any problem. Curtail your expenses where you can and redirect that money towards fulfilling your financial obligations.
5 Apply for a work-study job
A lot of good colleges offer work-study jobs to the students. The pay scale of these jobs is not bad. You’ll be eligible to get the minimum salary of your state. So, contact the officer dealing with the work-study jobs in the campus and get to know about the various aspects of the program. You can use the earned money to make payments on your student loans.
6 Open a savings account
The money you earn from the work-study jobs should not be exhausted completely. Use the major portion of the money to pay the interest rates on your educational loans. But you should save the remaining part. Open a high-interest savings account in a bank and deposit the money. Once you have saved a decent amount of money in your account, you can get in touch with a financial advisor and know about the interesting investment tips to double your money. Once you have finished your education, you may utilize that money towards payment of your debts.
Last but not the least, if you are finding it too difficult to handle your student loans, then you can negotiate with your lender to postpone your payment. You can also go for forbearance and ask your lender to give you a 3 months grace period. In these 3 months, you won't be required to make any kind of payment on the loan. However, you’ll have to show relevant documents (proving that you’re going through financial problems) to qualify for forbearance.