It is so hard at times when you are a college student to remember about student loans when you have to deal with homework, tests, a love life and all of the other distractions. Pretty soon college is over and now you are fully responsible to take care of those student loans that you have put on the back burner for four years. This can be a scary task when you see thousands of dollars staring you in the face.
There are going to be some important steps to take when figuring out how to pay off this student loan. We are going to take a look at some simple, but somehow easily neglected questions that put a lot of graduates in trouble for their financial future. Pay attention because your credit may be at stake here.
1. What is the name of the loan?
Many students are young and need some guidance on how to get a loan and they usually go to their parents or a trusted family member for some help. This is good, but also can be bad if you don't pay close attention to how you are getting the loan and through whom.
You need to know what type of loan you have because it will be crucial in finding out how you make your payments and what terms and conditions you have agreed to for the repayment of this debt. Some loans like the PLUS Loan actually will be the responsibility of the parent, which is a very nice gesture and make sure to help out when you can.
Some of these loans may be federal loans such as a Stafford Loan or a Perkins Loan. Others may be private loans created by lending companies or banks. Some of these may be easier to consolidate if you get into a bind down the road and you are looking to minimize your scheduled payments.
The easiest way for you to figure this out is simply to look at the statements that could come monthly or usually each semester. If you have lost this information or if you have changed your address then I would suggest that you contact your financial aid office for your college you are attending. If they don't know for sure then they will definitely let you know who to get in contact with.
2. How much do you owe total?
Usually if this is a federal loan then the amount offered to you is decided by the Department of Education according to the school you are attending and your financial circumstance. They may give you more than what you need or end up giving you not enough and require you to get another student loan.
Whatever happens, these statements each month you receive will let you know what you have been offered and what you owe. Many times you will not be responsible for the loan until after you are done with school. Now some private loans may not give you that benefit in return for better interest rates, so you will have to decide what you can pay and when.
3. Whose pockets am I filling?
When you get a loan, it will come attached probably to a certain bank. That bank may sell your loan to Sallie Mae, which is the government agency created to help market student loans for the country.
They may keep it or sell it off to someone else. Whatever happens to your loan, you will be notified in your statements and your terms will stay the same as long as you keep your side of the terms. Be aware that some companies or organizations may go after you harder than others so make sure your payments are a priority and preferably automatic.