Students struggle very hard to get into their dream colleges and put in efforts day in and day out towards their application procedures. They may even enroll in affordable, professional courses in fields such as accounting through which they can acquire help with financial reports, which will help get their loans approved with ease.
However common private or federal student loans have become off late, they are not the easiest to navigate through. They are a part of several college students’ payment plans and involve several steps beginning with filling out your application and eventually, paying your loan back after you have graduated.
Each family considers the prospect of college as a financial riddle. But, college graduates are known to have a higher amount of earnings and lower rates of unemployment in their lifetime when compared to high school graduates. Despite this, the benefits of a loan can only be derived by students if they don’t end up submerged in loan debt – which is why it is of utmost importance to understand certain things before making the choice to borrow money for school.
1. Borrow Only What You Need — And Can Reasonably Repay
Students pursuing undergraduate courses are allowed to borrow a maximum of $12,500 annually and around $57,000 in total under federal student loans. If a student wishes to borrow using a private loan, they may utilize the money for things such as tuition, fees, room, study material, and personal expenses, apart from an additional financial aid that isn’t required to be paid back.
It is vital to keep in mind and borrow the specific amount that keeps your payments at approximately 10% of your predicted (tax-deducted, obviously) monthly income. This means, if your expected annual income is $50,000, then your payments should not be more than $280 monthly – which can be calculated as being able to borrow around $26,000.
2. Know the Requirements for Loan Forgiveness
Do research to find out about programs that are unique to federal student loans that forgive your remaining student loan balance after you have made a certain number of payments. One such program is PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness).
Through this program, you can potentially get your student loan forgiven if you manage to work full-time for the government or for some non-profit organizations and are successfully able to make 120 qualifying payments during your tenure of employment.
Several students are not aware of this program and end up missing out on its benefits in situations where they qualify to avail themselves, such as working in the military. Find out about the terms and all recent updates on loan forgiveness so that you can continue to remain eligible.
3. You’ll Pay Fees and Interest on the Loan
It is understood that you are going to need to pay back a larger amount than what you had initially borrowed because of elements such as loan fees and interest.
Federal loans require a loan fee paid, which is usually a percentage of the total loan amount. Currently, the loan fee for undergraduate students opting for a direct student loan is 1.062%.
You will also be required to pay interest that accumulates on your loan, which will eventually add up to the total amount you owe when you begin the repayment procedure. The undergraduate loans have a current fixed rate, which is 5.05% – but it gets updated each year. Your co-signer’s credit history will help determine your individual rate for Private loans.
4. After You Agree to the Loan, Your School Will Handle the Rest
Finance students who look for ways to get into good universities are often tasked with making reports. To understand how to better create them, students can reach out to and seek guidance from experts online. They can get Assignment Essay Help from professionals which will ultimately help them secure the required grades.
Students are often urged to reach out to finance experts through enrolling for affordable, professional courses in accounting. Their loans thus get approved quite easily.
The loaned money will be paid to your school after you sign a document known as the master promissory note in which you agree to repay the loaned amount.
The money will be sent as well as processed through a financial aid office, regardless of whether it is a federal or private loan, which will then be applied to the student account.
Students then have access to the refunded leftover money, which they can use for all other expenses.
5. You Can Only Use Loan Money for Certain Things
The bottom line is that the money loaned to you can be used for expenses related to education only. You may not use it to buy a vehicle, or gadgets, get takeout, or say, fund a vacation.
Specifically, since this money is tied to the pursuit of education, you can spend it on books, clothes, transportation, grocery, boarding (if off-campus), personal supplies, etc.
6. Factor in Future Salary and Job Search When Borrowing
Make sure that you plan your student loans in accordance with the job you expect to land and the amount of salary you can reasonably expect. Oftentimes, students end up under mountains of debt just because they are unable to find suitable jobs to help pay off their loans – and may even end up defaulting.
Simultaneous with the process of borrowing, you should consider researching the salaries offered in the field of your choice so that you are aware of the amount you can offer to pay back.
It’s vital to have a backup plan, such as some saved up finances to help take the burden off you in case your job search takes a while. Just in case, if your financial situation is not exactly what you had imagined, you may choose to modify your repayment plan on federal loans or figure out with your lender what options are available in the case of private loans.
7. Understand the Consequences of Default
If it comes down to it, it is absolutely necessary to come to terms with the consequences of default – and it is even better to be acquainted with the know-how at an earlier stage as a precautionary measure.
Defaulting on loan repayments comes along with additional consequences – such as negatively impacting your credit score and eventually, hamper the approval to receive a credit card for a long period of time.
If you default on federal loan payments, the government can potentially garnish your federal tax refunds so that they can recoup the amount you owe. Defaulting on federal loans can also result in wage garnishment.
In the worst-case scenario, your career may even be affected – for example, if you are a medical practitioner, they may place a hold on your license and prevent you from working if you fall into default. Generally, employers look at credit and use the information to help them make decisions when it comes to hiring.
It may seem slightly frightening at first, but situations such as these make it that much more important to keep in mind to not get off track when you borrow for school and not fully understand what exactly it is that you are signing up for.
About the Author:
As an assignment expert, Jane delivers online sessions at Expert Assignment Help (UK), helping students with writing essays and assignments. She is also one of the co-founders and education consultants at Top My Grades. Beyond work, you can find her at community homework workshops as a volunteer helping students in need of private tutoring with their homework.