If you have a hard time repaying student loans, there may be several options for you. Before considering these, you need to make sure that you really have a hard time paying for them.
If you have a cell phone, cable, eat every week or every day, then you need to change your lifestyle until you pay off your loan.
If you lost your job, had a low-paying job, or had a hard time finding a job, you may consider one of these options to manage your student loan payment. You may also want to try these seven steps to pay off your student loans faster, as keeping your student loans low can hurt your finances.
Student loan consolidation
You may want to consider student loan consolidation as this process can reduce your monthly payments and lock in at a low-interest rate. However, it is important to understand that consolidation can extend the life of your loan and significantly increase the amount of interest you pay.
If you are consolidating, you might consider paying off a loan at a faster rate if you are in a better financial situation. You may need to consolidate into a Joint Direct Loan if you want to qualify for income-based payment options or loan forgiveness in the future.
Student loan consolidation may also be available for private student loans. Make sure you never consolidate your federal student loans into a private student loan, as you will lose many of the benefits that come with federal student loans such as income-based payments and hardship deferrals. If you are consolidating private student loans, be sure to research the lender and try to lock in a lower fixed interest rate.
You are allowed to have three years of unemployed deferral on your federal student loans. You can take advantage of this delay if you do not have a job.
Since you are only allowed three years, carefully consider your options before requesting a delay. During the deferral, the federal government will pay interest on subsidized Stafford loans. You will be responsible for paying interest on unpaid Stafford loans.
Delaying is not a permanent solution and will not reduce the amount you will eventually repay. However, it is a good option if you are in a financial situation where the money is tight and you know that things will improve soon, such as finding a job after being fired.
To qualify for a deferment, you must be current on your credit. Contact your loan as soon as you feel you will have to defer the loan. Don’t wait until you miss a payment.
Delaying Economic Problems
If you have a low-paying job, you may qualify to postpone economic hardship. This is usually for a period of time. Your lender will show you how long you have. If you qualify, take the opportunity to really focus on changing your financial situation. You can take the money you paid for your student loan and apply it to credit card debt. If things are really tight, you might not be able to wait for them. However, be careful not to add more debt to the picture.
If you qualify to postpone economic hardship, you will need to reapply for it every year. Make sure to note when that application is due and make sure that the delay continues. You are responsible for payments if they do not qualify even if you do not receive a notice that you did not qualify for.
The tendency is your last resort when it comes to paying back student loans. If you have difficulty making your payments, then you need to contact your lender.
They are usually willing to let you make a lower payment instead of putting the loan on default. This should be your last option. It is important to be open with your lender as they want you to pay off the money. By communicating with them when you have a problem, you can generally avoid not committing to a loan.
If you have a private student loan, survival is unlikely to be an option. It is important to pay off your private student loans as quickly as possible because they have higher interest rates and are not as flexible in working with you if you have difficulty making payments.
If you have a low income or large family, you may qualify for income-based payments. You must be a Federal Direct lender to qualify. The student loan will be based on a percentage of your income.
If you qualify for this for 30 years and make payments on a full-time basis, you can have a loan balance that is forgiven after 30 years. This is a good option to consider if you are struggling to make ends meet.
You must submit proof of income each year to remain enrolled in the program. You can also qualify for the Pay As You Earn Program, which operates the same way.