You Got To The Top! You graduated from college after four long years and you’re ready to conquer the world and make your fortune. Hold that thought for a moment. Mom and Dad have cut the purse strings, you don’t have a job and you have a student loan to repay. Over 50% of college graduates begin their life out of college $20,000 in debt.
Find a job as quickly as possible but be particular as financially feasible. Be clear about your loan liability. Find your old loan papers and read the terms.
Plan smartly. Figure out your daily expenses and how much you need to pay to satisfy your loan terms. You may have to find a part time job until the job of your dreams comes along.
Stay away from further debt, especially credit cards. You can’t expect to live the lifestyle of your parents just yet. You will in the future, it’s only a matter of time. Curtail your expenses until the debt is paid. Unless you are married, it would be a good idea to share living expenses and maybe even a car with a friend. Don’t go out to eat and avoid bringing your clothes to the laundry.
It’s important to establish a good credit rating from the start. If you don’t, it could follow you the rest of your life. Honor payments on time, and if you can, pay a little more than just the minimum payment. If you have any other debt, try to pay that down as well, as soon as you can. You shouldn’t even consider debt consolidation until you have run out of options.
If you are having trouble meeting a payment, let your lender know. Inform the lender that you are doing your best and that you are worried. The lender could even offer some budgeting advice.
Also inform your lender if you move or change jobs. If their statements to you are returned it will not look good on your credit report. And don’t forget to check your statement for possible mistakes.
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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