Planning your route to a college degree doesn’t happen overnight. It requires extensive research and brainstorming. After all, even should you not make the right decision for your career, you’d still have to repay the student loans.
Exploring and applying for financial aid itself is a pretty cumbersome task and often:
- Requires a lot of documentation
- Gets you stuck following different formalities
- Go hunting to determine reliable student loan plans
Also, note that student loan repayment is a much more challenging aspect of availing financial assistance. This is because you cannot surely predict your financial status, interest rates, and employment plan after college is over. To an inexperienced post-graduate just stepping in the real world, it can prove very discouraging and depressing.
However, a few smart maneuvers and techniques can help you reduce your student loan payments effectively. These are not illegal or under-the-table kind of tactics. Instead, they are about wise budgeting and smart utilization of your rights and connections. Allow us to enlighten you with the ones listed below:
Sign Up for an Alternate Repayment Plan
Make alterations to your Standard Repayment Plan as per your convenience. There are options for individuals who don’t qualify for income-based repayment plans or are looking for lower monthly bills. You can opt for the Graduated Repayment Plan or Extended Repayment Plan.
The Extended Repayment Plan allows you to repay your student loans over a more extended period – may be as long as 25 years. To qualify for it, you must have $30,000 in Direct or FFEL federal loans. Similarly, the Graduated Repayment Plan allows you to pay off all your student loans in about ten years. But ensure that you’d be comfortable with a set increase in monthly installments every two years.
A better alternative could be to apply for income-driven repayment plans. Those allow you some breathing space, so you can manage monthly expenses. It can take about 15-25 years to pay off your student loans through them. You can find many income-driven plans depending upon payment amount. However, you must also consider the fact that you might have to pay a higher amount collectively under these plans. That’s because of the interest that accrues over the period of loan payments.
College students often look forward to receiving their financial aid refunds but for all the wrong reasons. Students often misinterpret the refund check that is handed over to them as extra pocket money. You don’t realize how helpful the returned money can be. In short, you could use this money to pay off your college loans. It can be like a head-start for you. Use your financial aid refund wisely.
Don’t know how? Let us enlighten you, so that you can make the best use of it during and after college years.
Additionally, being responsible enough may even get you a reduction on the interest rates on your student loans. You can get as high as a 0.25% discount on your interest rates. For that purpose, you must make all your payments consistently and before the due date. This may seem like an insignificant change. But it can really affect your overall savings.
Get Help from Other Sources
You’ll be surprised to know that your connections can get you a reduction on your student loan payments! All you must do for this is make a formal request. Often, employers, too, facilitate fresh graduates in repaying their student loans. Make sure you check up with your HR department and benefit from this offer. The Society of Human Resource Management estimates 4% of employers offer financial assistance to their employees.
Moreover, your profession can qualify you for repayment assistance as well. It is common for high-earning professionals, like doctors, lawyers, and MBA graduates, to receive a generous amount of financial support to repay their student loans. Although to compensate, you might have to dedicate some of your career to serving in rural or remote areas.
You can also request your state to help you, but that depends on the county you’re residing in. Some states adopt this technique to attract professionals to the area. North Dakota is one of them. It offers up to $6,000 to STEM professionals in repayment assistance programs.
Are you a female in the STEM field? Check out these 2020-2021 scholarships for you.
Consolidate Your Federal Loans
Many students apply for scholarships besides the FAFSA. Also, they pay their college fees by availing various micro-scholarships.
Are you facing trouble getting financial aid? Let us help you receive it with these tried-and-tested secrets.
However, paying off many different student loans can be pretty hectic. You have to keep track of all the due dates and the payable amount. A smart way to resolve this is by getting a Direct Consolidation Loan. It allows you to take out the total amount for your current federal loans. Hence, you can aim for a low-interest rate.
Nevertheless, you must take care because the amount of funds for Direct Consolidation Loan varies between federal and private loans. Aside from that, you can also lose many benefits while applying for the consolidation of private loans.
If you’re in search of better insight into the Direct Consolidation Loan, here are some factors that you should consider.
Refinance Your Student loans
While many of the above ways are applicable to federal student loans, refinancing is an ideal option for those that have private student loans. In refinancing, you have the opportunity to take out a new loan. And when you do that, you can revise your repayment terms, including the monthly installments and interest rates. However, go forth with this plan with vigilance and care. Most importantly, explore all your options and compare all offers until you find the best lender for you.
When exploring scholarship plans to pay off all those student loans, always have reliable, professional support and guidance. We are only a few clicks away. For more information and assistance, contact us here.