With the price of college increasing, it seems unavoidable that students will have to borrow money to complete their education. Federal student loan repayment is something millions of graduates are dreading. So how do you actually go about repaying student loans after you’ve received your diplomas?
It’s not as difficult as you might think. Just follow these steps to set up your federal student loan repayment!
The True Strategy Required for Repaying Student Loans
Step #1 – Choose Your Repayment Plan
The first step in starting your repayment is to actually choose your payment plan. If you haven’t spoken to your loan servicer about what plan is best for you (more on that later!) or didn’t choose a repayment plan already, you were probably opted-in to the Standard Repayment Plan. Take a look at Federal Student Aid’s overview of repayment plans to get an idea of what options are available to you.
But what if your repayment needs change? One of the great things about federal student aid is that you can actually change your repayment plan whenever you need. This can help ensure that you are able to make your payments while giving you control over how and when you pay.
Step #2 – Find Your Loan Servicer
The next step in repaying your student loans is to find your loan servicer. You won’t be writing a check to the government each month, you’ll actually be working with a financial institution who handles your loan. You can find your loan servicer through logging in to the FSA website – it’s that easy!
Why do you need to know your loan servicer? Since your loan servicer oversees your repayment, they are who you will contact if you need any assistance with your loans. This includes changing your repayment date or setting up automatic debits so that you never miss a payment. Plus it's best to actually know these things instead of it being some nebulous question in the back of your mind (getting answers to queries like that is #adulting folks.)
Step # 3 – Track Your Payments
The next step is to actually make your monthly payments. You should take an active role in your repayment schedule – set up a reminder on your phone, mark your payment date on a calendar, or set up automatic debits so that you don’t miss a payment.
You should also consider using a repayment tracker to help you visualize your progress. Download our FREE debt repayment tracker here!
If you are still having trouble repaying your loans, talk to your loan servicer about the options available to you. It may be possible for you to defer your loan payments for a few months while you get on your feet. Another option is loan consolidation – combining the balances of your multiple student loans to one monthly payment. This will take some of the hassle out of getting multiple payments organized each month.
Have another tip on how to repay student loans? Let us know in the comments!