Once you’ve graduated and are getting ready to leave school, it’s important to plan how you will repay the student debt you’ve accumulated. Knowing the different repayment options and payment deadlines can be stressful, but following our checklist can help prepare you.
The first step is knowing when you will need to start making payments. For most loans, you will have 6 months after leaving school or graduating until you need to make your first payment. During this 6 month period you should begin considering what your financial situation is going to be how much you will be able to pay each month.
If you have different loans and would like to combine them to ensure you only have one monthly payment then you should look into consolidating your loans.
Choosing a repayment plan that benefits you is the most important. Paying off your debt as soon as possible is ideal and under the 10-Year Standard Repayment plan you can do so in 10 years. However, if you find yourself unable to keep up with the amount each month then you may want to consider an income-driven repayment plan which would take you more time to pay your loans, but you’d have a lower cost each month. Fortunately, if your income increases or you’re able to afford higher monthly amounts you can switch your repayment plan.
When you do start making payments you should always make them on time. Most loan providers allow you to enroll in automatic payments, in which they will automatically take the amount out of your account each month.