Student Loans: Conclusion
By Reyna Gobel
Let's recap what we've learned about student loans:
- How to pay for college is as complicated and as important a decision as which college to choose, what to major in and whether to live on or off campus.
- Only borrow what you can afford to pay back after graduation based on income estimates in your career field.
- Filling out a FAFSA form is crucial to securing student aid.
- Exhaust federal funding options before applying for private loans.
- Most private loans have variable interest rates, and initial rates vary based on yours or your cosigner's credit rating.
- The standard federal loan repayment program lasts 10 years.
- Public service employees and others with low incomes have additional options for repayment based on annual income.
- Federal loan programs offer options for postponing payment during a financial hardship situation.
- Federal consolidation can extend your loans up to 30 years.
- Consolidating private loans is the best way to secure a fixed interest rate on your private student loans.
- Managing your student debt borrowing based on what you can afford to repay is the best way to get an education and avoid financial trouble down the road.
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You may not be able to afford to pay your student loans, but the long-term consequence to your credit score be disastrous.
The manner in which you use your credit cards may affect your credit score more than the number of credit cards you own will.