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Student Loans: The Unfortunate Necessity

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NMSU chapter.

When it comes to deciding whether or not to attend college, where you want to attend, and what you want to major in, the important considerations do not stop there. The biggest one to consider as a college student is how you are going to pay for it. This is something, from my experience, that is not thought about much until the moment comes. The moment when you are applying for college and financial aid. This is when the reality sets in. How can I possibly afford to pay for all my school expenses? Will I receive enough to pay for tuition, books, etc? What about living expenses? And the questions go on and on. If you are fortunate enough, you can figure out how to pay for all of this without accruing to much in student debt. But for many, the anxiety about how much you owe goes to the back of your mind until you are done or finishing up your degree and have to search for employment.

And that is okay. As college students, we have so much to worry about during the course of our studies that worrying about how we will pay for all of our debt is just too much on top of everything else. If you can of course the best option is to start paying it in school but if you can’t and have to wait until you are out of school that is an option as well. Some options to consider if you find yourself having issues repaying your loans are Forbearance and Deferment.

o Deferment According to studentaid.ed.gov, this is “a temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, the subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, the subsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans.” It is best to see if this is an option for you before you leave your loan unpaid. Another option is:

o Forbearance This is known as “a period during which monthly loan payments are temporarily suspended or reduced.” We all have times where we can’t find job, money is tight, and overall our situation is just horrible. Thankfully there are solutions for times such as this.

The biggest hurdle out of this is when you are unable to pay during school or soon after you have completed your degree. This is when the scary situation of defaulting on your loan appears. This can be a situation you never thought you would find yourself. The situations that has you thinking: What do I do now? Well I am here to tell you that if you find yourself if this situation,

it is not the end of the world. You have options. There are ways to take care of this that will not have you in a state of constant anxiety. Options such as:

o Loan Rehabilitation This is an avenue through which you can pull your loan out of Default status. The option is suitable for Direct Loans and FFEL Programs Loans. The guidelines for agreeing “in writing to make nine voluntary, reasonable, and affordable monthly payments (as determined by our loan holder) within 20 days of the due date, and make all nine payments during a period of 10 consecutive months.” Loan Rehabilitation for a Federal Perkins Loan is available but slightly different. “You must make a full monthly payment each month, within 20 days of the due date, for nine consecutive months. Your required monthly payment amount is determined by your loan holder.” Remember to contact your loan holder for this option as soon as possible.

o Loan Consolidation This is the final option when all those above are no longer available for you. There are many requirements for this option so make sure you have gone over them in detail before proceeding. This option “allows you to pay off one or more federal student loans with a new consolidation loan”. Remember that there are different requirements with each type of loan. In other words, the same rules won’t apply with a Federal Perkins Loan and a Direct Stafford.

Overall, these are options for you to consider when it comes to your student loans. Along with the message that if you struggle or happen to find yourself in a tough position, don’t worry yourself sick. There are options and the best thing you can do is take action.

References https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/default/get-out

Graduate Student in the M.A. for Rhetoric and Technical Communication program.
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