In College and Starting Out

In college and just starting out as young adults, read along as these bloggers face a new stage and increased responsibility.

Student Loans - Waiting in Grace

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I recently graduated from college and am anxiously awaiting the month of October when I will begin to receive letters, e-mails, and phone calls about consolidating my student loans.  Until then, I will be counting down the days when my grace period will end.   When that happens, I certainly need to be prepared.         

My biggest concern is not having an actual job in October to help pay on my student loans.  While all of this is swirling through my head, so many questions come to mind.  How do I consolidate?  Will I get a good rate?  Should I defer if I don’t have a job?  How much am I going to owe?          

To help answer these questions, I decided to research as well as save some money, just in-case the proverbial job offer doesn’t come in time.  Since I’ve graduated, I’ve been saving 10% to 15% of each pay from a minor job I have now – depending on how much I get paid.  And, this money is solely for my student loan payments.          

To find out how much I owe, I went to my lenders’ Website and added my loans, fees, interest, etc, and found out my approximated interest rate (6.8%).  This gave me an idea of what my monthly payments are most likely going to be.            

I also keep an eye on my interest rate.  I watch to make sure that my approximated interest rate does not go up, if it does, it would probably be beneficial for me to consolidate early.  Researching information about student loan interest rates is beneficial, because there may be news out there warning that interest rates will be going up in a particular month.           

I also try to do whatever I can not to defer.  Deference allows you to suspend your loans, but you forfeit your current interest rate and accumulate more interest over time.  There are many different types of deferment plans and everything basically depends on you and your lender.  It can all become very confusing and overwhelming!         

In October, I will need to decide how long I want to pay on my loans.  Most people suggest going with the shortest time possible, because it cuts down the interest, but the payments would be much higher compared to a long term plan.  I need to figure out which plan is best for me.   

Paying back your student loans works best when you arrange plans that work best with your lifestyle and financial situation.  It is all very stressful, but I am finding that the best way to get through this is to do the research, prepare, and ask all the questions, to find what works best for me when I am out of grace. 

  • Helping family members with their debt can be good, but it can harm your credit in the long run. This is how I got myself into a financial jam. My family member promised he would pay me back, but that has not happend. I brought gifts for friend's birthdays and their children's birthday's, but the favor was never returned. Therefore, here I am trying to make better credit decisions to improve my financial savings goal and my credit.

  • Do you recommend any insitutions for Private loans while going back to school? I just recently left my full time job to go back to school full time and I am having the hardest time getting student loans!! I was able to get a car on my own but I have to have a co-signer for my student loan! Just doesn't seem to make any sense!  Do you have any thoughts on this????

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