Managing Student Loan Debt

: Reese Baker & Associates

  Filed under: Loans

Managing Student Loan DebtThere is no doubt that Gen X and Millennials now face more debt than prior generations. The student loan debt problem is a real burden among young adults today. The effects are far reaching. Poisoning their take home pay and ability qualify for a home. While we can all agree that college should be more affordable, managing student loan debt can be done.

Managing Student Loan Debt

The harsh reality is that if you are attending college today you are likely to need a loan to cover the costs. However, that doesn’t mean you have to end up paying half of your future paycheck to a loan company.

The smart thing to do is to fund as much as you can yourself through family or by working your way through college. Gone are the days that students had a full ride to speed through courses in 4 years. The majority of students today take 6 years to graduate. This is because they work to earn money to cover living expenses. while also going to school.

Community colleges or online universities are also a great way to make college more affordable. Completing an associate’s degree online or at a local community college you can earn half of their credits at half the cost.

Students should also speak to the financial aid department at their university. There are many grant and scholarships available. Millions of dollars of unused money goes unclaimed each year. If you do have to take out a loan, shop around for a fixed interest loan.  Private loans should be avoided at all costs.  Government backed loans are often best.

Graduates often feel they need to repay immediately after graduation. You don’t have to rush. There is a six month grace period prior to repayment. This is a great time to start saving money. Save for an emergency fund or in case you become unable to make a future payment. If you can’t afford to make your payment, there are options like forbearance. A forbearance gives you a one year grace period break from payments.

Managing student loan debt is stressful.  However, there are options for keeping it out of collections and credit score harm. In most cases, student loan debt is not eligible for Texas bankruptcy and must be negotiated with the lender.