If you are a recent college graduate, then you likely have a lot of different things to juggle in your life. Simply finding a decent job and affordable housing is a struggle for many young people right now, which means that it might be hard to even remember that you will soon need to start paying off your student loans.
If the mere thought of paying off your loans fills you with anxiety, don’t worry—there are plenty of different things you can do to get a better handle on your loans, owe lest interest and have them taken care of more quickly. From a CPA in Sacramento, CA, here are five things every recent grad should know about student loans:
- Grace periods: Even lenders know that not every college student has a job waiting for them after graduation, which is why loan repayment grace periods exist. A loan grace period is a period of time after graduation during which you are not yet expected to start repaying your loans. In theory, by the time your grace period ends, you should have a job and some stability. Grace period lengths differ depending on the lender, but are typically around six months.
- Repayment options: Most lenders will set students up with the typical 10-year repayment option, but it is important to know that you will have the opportunity to change the terms of repayment if you so choose. The main upside of a longer repayment period is that you have lower monthly payments, while the major downside is that you could end up paying a lot more interest on your loans.
- Information changes: If your email address, physical address, phone number or any other pertinent contact information changes, be sure to inform your lender as soon as possible. If your loan payment is late and your lender cannot reach you, it may result in a hefty fine, and they might even send debt collectors after you.
- Communicating with your lender: With that in mind, it is important to note that you should not be afraid of communicating with your lender. Things come up in life, and lenders want to work with you to ensure that the repayment process is mutually beneficial. If you are worried about being late or short on a payment, it is always better to talk to your lender than to try and hide from them.
- Loan forgiveness: Depending on where your career has taken you, there is a chance you will be able to opt for loan forgiveness, meaning you will not have to repay a portion or all of your student loans. For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program forgives all loans due after 10 years for those who work in the government or nonprofit sector.
Whatever questions or concerns you have about your student loans, it is important to remember that you are not alone. For more personalized student loan advice from an experienced and friendly CPA in Sacramento, CA, please get in touch with Yoder & Co., CPA