A recent television news broadcast featured a Harvard graduate who advised students to ignore their college debt. We strongly disagree and provide four good reasons that you must repay your student loans. On-time payments will help you:
- Stop or avoid collection phone calls and letters from lenders.
- Move out of default or delinquent debt status.
- Remove or stop negative credit reporting from lending agencies.
- Eliminate the need for wage garnishment.
4 -Point Road Map to Managing Student Loans
- Figure out what kind of loans you have. Go to National Student Loan Data System www.nslds.ed.gov or www.StudentLoans.gov with your pin and find out what kind of loans you have and what your balances are. If you don’t have your Federal Student Aid (FSA) pin number, go to www.fsaid.ed.gov to get your FSA ID.
- Know your options. School is over, but the learning never stops. You need to know the meaning of consolidating student loans. You need to know the significant differences between federal loans and. private loans. Take the time now to educate yourself by learning the language of loans. Talking with a financial advisor can help you understand what your creditors are saying when they contact you about your loans. Non-profit organizations, such as Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI), offer free financial advice from certified financial counselors to help you learn more about student loans and form a repayment plan, which is the next step.
- Develop a plan to repay your loans. There often are options available that can help if you cannot afford the normal repay plan offered by your lenders. You can learn more about them through financial counseling and performing your own personal research. Try researching at www.ed.gov or www.StudentLoans.gov. Make a plan and stick to it so you will eventually be debt free!
- Stick to the repayment plan you made after learning your options. Build in little rewards for yourself along the way so you will recognize and enjoy your progress with loan repayment. Engage family members and significant others in your life to help you stick to the plan.
Also, create a vision in your mind of what your life will be like when you are debt-free. Reminding yourself regularly of your commitment to that vision will help you stay the course on your loan repayment road map.