Student Loan Management after Graduation

Responsible student loan management after graduation is one of the best ways to keep yourself out of financial trouble when you have debt from student loans. 

Talk to the Lender

If you haven’t already done so, after you graduate, you need to be in touch with the lenders of your student loans in order to devise a student loan management and repayment plan. If your debt is from federal student loans, you may be eligible for debt forgiveness.  In order to participate in a debt forgiveness program, you will need to make a time and career commitment to the US government, depending on your field of study and training. If you took out private educational loans, the government still might be able to assist you with specific repayment programs that help graduates with student loan debt.  Either way, you should plan to discuss your specific situation with the loan provider so you are both on the same page and you know what will be expected of you regarding repayment.

Make a Reasonable Plan

What counts as a reasonable student loan management plan? A reasonable plan is any one that will make the repayment process as painless as possible, given your personal financial situation. If you do not have steady work lined up immediately after graduation, you might be able to defer the start of repaying your loans. Many federal and private lenders offer a grace period of up to 6 months post-graduation when you are not expected to repay the student loan. Take advantage of this grace period to have a talk with the lender about what you will do when the grace period is over. If you do not have a grace period and face the prospect of unemployment, you should tell this to the lender. They might treat your specific case with some leniency. Whatever your situation, you need to figure out a reasonable plan of repayment on a monthly basis that won’t destroy your finances or credit. The lender can help you do this in an effective way. After all, it is the lender's goal to get the money back, so they will do everything they can to make this happen.

Do Not Delay Repayment

Delaying the repayment of your student loans past the grace period, if there is one, can have dire consequences for your financial future. If your loans are federal student loans, you can rest assured that the government will do everything in its power to obtain the repayment of the loan, including taking money from your tax refunds or having your employer fork over a percentage of your wages straight to the government as loan repayment. If the student loans are private, the lender will still go the distance to obtain the repayment. Whatever the case, delaying repayment of your student loans can ruin your credit score, greatly hurting your chances of being approved for loans or mortgages for any future car or home purchases. To avoid this situation, student loan management is necessary. It can keep you and your finances on track.

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