Six Secrets To Gaining Control Over Your Student Loans


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Are you getting crushed by student loan debt? It is possible to gain control over your burden. Here are some things you can do to lower your payments and manage your debt more effectively.

1. Move to another state

It might seem extreme, but moving to another state could make it easier for you to pay off your student loan debts. Some states offer assistance programs to help residents repay their loans. Many offer incentives to new residents, as well. Do a search online to find out about these opportunities.

Before you make a move to take advantage of a loan repayment program, consider all the factors that could impact your finances, including your earning potential in the new state, job opportunities in your field, the cost of living (especially housing and transportation) and state and local tax rates.

2. Sign up for automatic payments

Most lenders provide discounts for people who sign up for automatic payments. Simply connect your savings or checking account to your loan, and you could lower your rates by 0.25 percent. It might not seem like much, but it can add up over time.

Example: For a $30,000 in student loan at a seven percent interest rate, you’d save almost $500 over its lifetime if you receive a 0.25 percent discount for taking advantage of automatic payments.

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3. Always pay on time

Making all your loan payments on time could help you avoid late fees and qualify you for a discount on your student loan interest rate.

Some lenders lower rates by 0.25 percent rate if you make your payments on time for a period of three or four years. Again, it might not seem like a lot, but the savings could add up depending on the size of the loan and repayment term.

4. Check into getting help from your employer

Many employers offer student loan repayment assistance to attract high quality employees. Employers typically match your loan payments, similar to the way retirement plan matching programs work. Taking advantage of this free money can help you pay off your debt faster and save a significant amount of money.

Check online or ask someone in your human resources office if your company offers a student loan repayment program.

5. Refinance your loans

When you refinance your loans, you take out a new loan with a private lender for an amount equal to your current ones. The new loan can have a different repayment term, interest rate and monthly payment. You could select a longer repayment term to lower your monthly bill. In addition, you might qualify for a lower rate that decreases the interest you pay over the lifetime of the loan..

Not everyone qualifies for refinancing. If you find it difficult, ask a friend or relative with good credit and a high income to co-sign the new loan for you.

Get advice from a few bankers to see if this could be a smart move for you. They can help you find terms and rates aligned with your personal circumstances. Always comparison shop to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal for you.

6. Seek out repayment help

Believe it or not, there are countless legitimate assistance programs to help people repay their student loans. Depending on your what you do for a living and where you live, you might be able to find several you qualify for. Many affinity groups and local organizations offer them.

Start by doing a search online for repayment assistance programs. You’ll be surprised by how many results come up.

It is possible to get out from under your student loan burden. You owe it to yourself to explore your options to get relief.

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