You?ve made it! You have finally graduate from college and are now ready to take over the world and earn a bundle. But hang on. Mom and dad are through financing you, you are still looking for a job, and it is time to repay your student loan. More than half of the graduates begin their first year out of college with a $20,000 student loan debt staring them in the face.
First of all you need to find a job as quickly as possible, but make sure the job pays enough. Jot down a record of loan liability. Unearth those old loan papers and read every term on there.
Make a careful and rational plan. Have a clear idea of what your daily expenses are, and know what you need to pay on your loan. A part time job may be in order until you find the job you wish for.
Avoid incurring more debt, including credit cards. Keep your lifestyle expectations realistic by knowing you can?t live like your parents yet. That will come. Cut down your expenses until your debt is paid. If you?re not married, share living expenses with someone including an apartment and car. Minimize eating out, cook at home, don?t send your clothes to the laundry, wash them yourself.
It is essential to establish good credit for yourself from the beginning. Failure to do so can haunt you for years to come. Make your payments on time and even a higher than minimum payment if you can. If you have debts other than your student loan pay them off in a timely manner as well. Debt consolidation should be at the bottom of your list.
If you can?t pay on time, you need to discuss it with your lender. Let him know you?re trying and are concerned. Maybe the lender can even advise you on how to budget better.
You should notify your lender if you move or change jobs. If your statement returns undelivered, it might damage your credit report. By the way, always check the statements for errors.
Don?t lie and try to sound professional. It?s important that you don?t borrow more than what you really need, and you need to assume responsibility for what you owe. Don?t let your expenses run out of your control. In the event that you are really unable to meet your payments, you can arrange for lower payments, and even ask for a period of extended grace.
A loan forgiveness program could be arranged with extenuating circumstances. The program would ensure that your loan is forgiven, but you would have to pay forward by volunteering in several community service efforts. You could serve in the military instead than paying.
Until you get on your feet, request that family members give you cash for birthdays or other special occasions instead of that tie or scarf you really don?t need. Avoid lending money to friends, particularly since you owe money yourself. It?s not uncommon to lose friends along with the money you let them borrow. The way you manage your student loan will, probably, weave the fibers of your financial future. Don?t give up on saving, and keep your eyes set on the future.
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