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.
It is important for you to keep track of all of the pertinent loan information. The name of the lender, the full amount of the loan and the repayment schedule should become second nature to you. This will help keep you organized and prompt with all of the payments you make.
Do not hesitate to “shop” before taking out a student loan. Just as you would in other areas of life, shopping will help you find the best deal. Some lenders charge a ridiculous interest rate, while others are much more fair. Shop around and compare rates to get the best deal.
Choose payment options that fit your financial circumstances. A lot of student loans give you ten years to pay them back. You may discover another option that is more suitable for your situation. For instance, you can take a longer period to pay, but that comes with higher interest. Therefore, you should pay it once you make money. Sometimes student loans are forgiven after 25 years.
Before applying for student loans, it is a good idea to see what other types of financial aid you are qualified for. There are many scholarships available out there and they can reduce the amount of money you have to pay for school. Once you have the amount you owe reduced, you can work on getting a student loan.
Pay extra on your student loan payments to lower your principle balance. Your payments will be applied first to late fees, then to interest, then to principle. Clearly, you should avoid late fees by paying on time and chip away at your principle by paying extra. This will reduce your overall interest paid.
To keep your student loan load low, find housing that is as reasonable as possible. While dormitory rooms are convenient, they are often more costly than apartments near campus. The more money you have to borrow, the more your principal will be — and the more you will have to pay out over the life of the loan.
Taking out a PLUS loan is something that a graduate student can apply for. The interest isn’t more than 8.5%. Although this rate is higher than that of the Perkins and Stafford loans, it is lower than the rates charged for private loans. This is the best option for mature students.
You should consider paying some of the interest on your student loans while you are still in school. This will dramatically reduce the amount of money you will owe once you graduate. You will end up paying off your loan much sooner since you will not have as much of a financial burden on you.
Make sure that you understand the serious implications with taking a student loan. This means that you should not miss too many payments, as it could lead to delinquency and default. This can greatly impact your credit score and could prevent you from getting more loans that you need in the future.
To get the most value out of your student loan funds, make the most out of your full-time student status. While many universities consider you a full-time student if you take as few as nine hours, signing up for 15 or even 18 hours can help you graduate in fewer semesters, making your borrowing expenses smaller.
Understand that taking on student loan debt is a serious obligation. Make certain you understand the terms and conditions of your loans. Remember that late payments will cause the amount of interest you owe to increase. Make firm plans and take definite steps to fulfill your obligation. Keep all paperwork pertaining to your loans.
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.