If you recently graduated or completed your program of study, congratulations! You studied hard, worked long hours and survived. Of course, you still have a few things on your plate and one of those is the reality of repaying your student loans.
Take time out to plan
Pretty soon you’re going to have to make some big decisions. You should start by sitting down and identifying some goals. What is it you want to do over the next couple of years? The next 10 or 20? You don’t have to have all of the answers now, but it will be helpful to have an idea. Look at things such as your expected lifestyle and when you hope to reach different financial milestones.
Eventually you’ll want to eliminate all (or at least the majority) of your debt, but for most people at this stage of their lives that isn’t possible. Instead what you want to do is leverage your debt. For example, look at the debt you have and find ways to pay off the debt with the highest interest rates first.
Stay with the program
The advice on this site will give you valuable insight into how you can successfully repay your student loans and achieve your other financial goals. To help you decide on the best repayment plan for you, we will focus on the following six elements:
- Identifying your short- and long-term goals
- Establishing your personal spending plan
- Understanding the repayment terms of your federal loans
- Picking the repayment plan that’s right for you
- Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a borrower (including deferments and forbearance)
- Keeping good financial records
Where to find information about your federal loans
You can obtain information about most of your federal student loans from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at:
- Toll-free telephone: 800-4ED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
- Website: www.nslds.ed.gov