Taming Student Loan Debt With Prepayments

Today, two-thirds of college students leave school with at least some debt from college loans. The average debt is approaching $25,000, a figure that includes not just the original amounts borrowed but, for most students, accumulated interest as well.

For students who hold government-issued federal student loans, repayment on those loans won’t begin until six months after graduation, at which point most students will enter a standard 10-year loan repayment period.

Loans That Sit, Getting Bigger

While a student is enrolled in school at least half-time and during the six-month grace period after the student leaves school, even though payments on federal school loans aren’t required, interest on the loans continues to accrue.

If the loans are unsubsidized, the accrued interest will be added to the loan balance and capitalized, and the student will be responsible for paying that interest.

With subsidized federal college loans – which have smaller award amounts than unsubsidized loans and which are awarded only to those students who demonstrate financial need – the government will make the interest payments while the student is in school, in a grace period, or in another authorized period of deferment.

The bulk of most students’ college loan debt will consist of unsubsidized loans – loans that get larger as time goes by and you make your way through college, simply because of the buildup of interest.

Preventing Interest Bloat

As a college student, there are steps you can take, however, to counteract this ballooning of your school loans. There are several ways that you can manage your student loan debt and rein in the added burden of accrued interest charges, both while you’re in school and after graduation.

Seemingly small steps can help you significantly reduce the amount of college loan debt you’re carrying at graduation and could shorten the amount of time it will take you to repay those loans from a decade to seven years or less.

1) Make interest-only payments

Most student borrowers choose not to make any payments on their student loans while in school, which leads to the loans getting larger as interest charges accumulate and get tacked on to the original loan balance.

But you can easily prevent this “interest bloat” simply by making monthly interest-only payments, paying just enough to cover all the accrued interest charges each month.

The interest rate on unsubsidized federal undergraduate loans is low, fixed at just 6.8 percent. Even on a $10,000 loan, the interest that accumulates each month is just $56.67. By paying $57 a month while you’re in school, you’ll keep your loan balance from getting bigger than what you originally borrowed.

2) Make small, even tiny, payments on your principal

Beyond keeping your loan balances in check while you’re in school, you can actually reduce your debt load by paying a little bit more each month, so that you’re not just covering interest charges but also making payments toward your loan principal (the original loan balance).

Loan payments are typically applied first to any interest you owe and then to the principal. Payments that exceed the amount of accumulated interest will be used to reduce your principal balance. By paying down your principal balance while you’re still in school or in your grace period – even if it’s only by $10 or $15 a month -you’ll reduce the size of your college loan debt load by at least a few hundred dollars.

And by reducing your total debt amount, you’re also reducing the size of your monthly loan payment that’s going to be required once you leave school, as well as the amount of time it’s going to take you to repay the remaining loan balance.

3) Don’t ignore your private student loans

If you’re carrying any non-federal private student loans, use this prepayment strategy on those loans as well.

A few private education loan programs already require interest-only payments while you’re in school, but most private loans, like federal loans, allow you to defer making any payments until after graduation. As with federal loans, however, interest will continue to accrue.

Private student loans generally have less flexible repayment terms than federal loans and higher, variable interest rates, so your private loan balances may balloon much more quickly than your federal loans and can quickly spiral into the tens of thousands of dollars. Making interest-only or principal-and-interest payments will help you keep your private loan debt under control.

4) Look for non-loan sources of student aid

As you make your way through your second, third, and fourth years of college, if you find that your monthly student loan interest payments are creeping up beyond what you can comfortably pay, that may be a sign that you’re relying too much on college loans and your debt load is becoming more than you can manage.

Take steps to reduce borrowing by seeking out scholarships and grants, cutting down on living expenses, or finding part-time work.

As a student borrower, you should never lose track of how much you owe in school loans. By maintaining a continual connection to your student loan balances through monthly prepayments, you’ll have a better sense of where you stand financially throughout college and after you graduate.

A sound prepayment strategy will also help you establish good credit and plan for your financial future, knowing that your college loan balances are manageable and your school debt is under control.

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A Detailed Overview Of Student Loans Without Cosigner

One of the options that students can take advantage of to pay for their tuition fees are student loans without co-signer. Sadly, there are so many students out there without the relevant information on the best way to apply for these loans. As such, most of the applications for student loans without co-signers end up not being approved which mean more problems in financing their education. Actually, students can apply for both private loans and loans supported by the federal institute.

Steps to follow to qualify for the loans

First of all, when thinking about student loans without co-signer, it is essential that you read and thoroughly comprehend the eligibility form before you fill out the required details. This provides some insights on how to convince the lender of student loans without co-signer to avail the loan to you by showing that you are certainly qualified for the loan. After reading your form, you will be in a position to explain precisely all the requirements as per the forms specifications. This will also ensure that your application form is accompanied by the necessary and required documents. These and many other punctual actions can result in the lender responding appropriately to your application.

Some important things to know

Something very important you need to do in relation to student loans without co-signer is to be truthful when applying for loans without co-signer. Honesty is a virtue that every lender will reward as they easily understand your personal situation. Also ensure that all your credit bills and other debts are settled on time as missed and delayed payments can really frustrate your chances of qualifying for the loans. In fact, if you have a bad credit history and score, then you can as well count your application for loans without co-signer as unsuccessful.

Know your options

When it comes to student loans without co-signer, there are several options that students can consider and apply for them accordingly. To start with, the federal government offers some few programs on loans without co-signer. For instance, there are Pell Grants which are given to students that are in dire need of assistance to pay their tuition fees. Essentially, this form of loan does not require the students to repay back the money and it is one of the best options for loans without co-signer if you can qualify for the grant. Still, the government also offers Stafford Loan under this program but unlike the Pell Grant loan, this one must be repaid back as it is not free money.

Another option of accessing student loans without co-signer is applied via private lenders in the country. For those students who opt for this route, it is essential they have a loan co-signer when entering into an agreement with the private lender. Your chosen private lender then critically examines the credit report you have availed. This will help in evaluating your application and most importantly the lender will then determine the kind of risk that you pose in having the loan awarded to you. For applicants without a credit history, then the lender will require that a family member Co signs the loan agreement before you are awarded the loan.

Essentially, Stafford loan does not need a co-signer all thanks to the process followed when borrowing the money. As such, loans without co-signer actually do not involve examination of your credit score or history. However, the lender will be interested to know the specific degree program that you are enrolled in, the income of your parents and lastly, the school that you will be attending. According to the government, every parent is required to contribute to the education of their children. As such, they will use the income to ascertain the extent in which a given parent will afford to pay for the tuition fee in a year.

After this, the government then decides exactly how much money they are going to give the student. Basically, federal loan covers for books and tuition and sometimes, the student housing cost will also be included in the package as well. However, the student must be residing in the campus for the housing cost to be covered by the loan. Where the student opts to live outside campus, he or she will then be required that they look for other alternative options for meeting the cost of rent. This is only exceptional where their choice of housing is a form of college or university arrangement.

Instructions/steps to follow

First of all, it is essential that you search for info regarding student loans without co-signer and you need to note that you should follow in the category of traditional students. The, the most crucial step in getting student loans without co-signer requires that you fill FASFA or simply, Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the form not only gives you an access to loans without co-signer but you also benefit from grant money. Stafford loans are either unsubsidized or subsidized and this is a function of who will be meeting interesting cost while you study. Sanctioned amount can be extremely low and only available to the seriously needy students only. Then there are also Perkins loans which are designed for students in extreme need of financial aid and in addition to have minimum interest rates, they also have longer loan repayment terms. The non traditional students can still look for other ways available for accessing student loans without co-signer which are still available to them provided they are able to prove that they deserve financial aid.

Summary

When you secure student loans without co-signer, you are basically not going to be awarded a huge sum of money as such largely due to risk factor associated with student loans without co-signer. However, there are many reasons why you must consider applying for student loans without co-signer as they come with additional benefits compared to typical loans that are hard to qualify for. Graduate students have higher chances of benefiting from student loans without co-signer and are highly encouraged to ensure that they apply for them accordingly.

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