We all knew this was coming, and now it’s here. Student loan disbursements will begin in a couple of weeks. This can be a problem for many people as they have become accustomed to not paying these obligations and have changed their spending habits accordingly. A ray of hope for the college graduate is that there is still time to make some adjustments to personal budgets to once again meet the repayment requirement. Some things can be done immediately.
- Review your loan information
Gather all information related to your student loans. Familiarize yourself with the type of loan you have, interest rates, repayment terms and the officer’s contact details. This enables the borrower to better understand obligations.
- Update any contact details that have changed
If you’ve moved since the moratoriums were created, check with the loan servicer to make sure all contact information is up to date. This includes your postal address, email address and phone number. It allows you to quickly receive critical communications and payment reminders.
- Review your repayment options
Federal programs offer different options such as standard repayment, income-driven repayment plans or extended repayment plans. Assess which plan best suits your financial situation and goals.
- Consider refinancing or consolidating
If you have several loans with different interest rates, you may want to consider consolidating or refinancing your loans. Consolidation combines several loans into one simple payment process. Refinancing means that you obtain a new loan with a lower interest rate to replace your existing loans.
- Set up automatic payments.
Consider setting up automatic payments with your loan servicer. It ensures that your payments are made on time and sometimes allows you to qualify for an interest rate reduction.
- Research your credit card rewards program
Consider paying off your student loans with a credit card. This is a safe way to transfer large amounts of money for your refund to get lost in the mail. If you’re going to use a credit card, take a look at the rewards program. The student loan amount you pay may enable you to qualify for service rewards such as a discount card for gas or any other good or service you need.
- Seek professional help
College debt can threaten someone’s financial well-being; you don’t want that to happen. It sometimes helps to have a professional, someone familiar with college loans, to help you resume payments. Nationwide Prepaid Legal Services has a financial wellness benefit that employers can consider to help their employees.
Certified counselors are available
Countrywide has a nationwide network of certified advisors who are experienced in financial wellness issues. These financial guides who are familiar with college loan programs can help people as they start making payments on their loans again.
Financial situations change over time, and a person’s budget may be different than before the moratoriums. A nationwide counselor will do a budget analysis to help the person develop a strategy to meet all personal expenses, including college debt repayments. It may mean moving money from one column to another, but a nationwide advisor is there to help. The advisors are also familiar with the various repayment program options. A financial wellness plan member is encouraged to ask as many questions as possible.
We also ask potential customers to develop a financial wellness benefit. We explain our options, including college aid, and let decision makers choose which benefits will be part of their unique financial wellness plan. In addition, we provide administration and membership services. The result is a very practical benefit that employees will appreciate.
There is no reason for anyone to panic. We all knew the repayments would start again one day, and now that day is approaching. A person can adapt to the situation and arrange repayments with the help of a nationwide adviser. Our other options can help in other areas, such as medical bills and planning to buy a house. Feel free to contact us at your convenience if you are interested in what we offer.