Student loans can be a blessing when you need them to pay for education, but they can be a burden when you are in repayment. And, sometimes, it is hard to know the best way to deal with student loans. Should you defer repayment if you can? Can you get an income-based repayment plan? Can you consolidate your loans? The rules change frequently, and the right answer might not be clear. There are a ton of resources available on the internet to help you increase your knowledge about student loans.
The official student loan website is Federal Student Aid. They have a large section called Repay Your Loans. Within this section, you can learn about repaying your loans, loan servicers, repayment plans, loan consolidation, deferments and forebearances, forgiveness, cancellation and discharge, default, and resolving student loan issues. While the Federal Student Aid webpage is the big granddaddy of the available resources, there are plenty of other websites that also contain useful information.
The Student Loan Borrower Assistance webpage has lots of resources to help de-mystify the student loan repayment process. Sections include repayment, bankruptcy, cancellation and collections.
The American Student Assistance organization helps you find the right repayment program for your situation. It also offers the SALT money coaching program to help you consider your loan repayments as part of your overall financial situation.
StaffordLoan.com is directed towards federal Stafford loans, but it includes information about other loan products as well.
There are many ways to manage your repayment requirements so that they are not a burden for you and your family. There is even a loan forgiveness program for those who work in certain public service jobs, and the military qualifies for this. It requires a sign-up, plus ten years of on-time payments, but if you are planning on serving anyway, might as well have the loan balances forgiven eventually. What a deal!
If you have student loans, the most important thing is to keep informed about your repayment situation and any special programs that might apply to you. The websites listed above will give you the rules and regulations. You should also do an internet search on “student loan repayment” plus the month and year of your search to get news articles with the most up-to-date strategies for using the rules in the best ways to help you.