Graduation? Here’s what you need to know about your student loans
The Ministry of Education offers a payment estimation tool on his website.
For some types of federal loans, interest accrues and is added to your balance at the end of the grace period. So it may be a good idea to make payments on these loans during the grace period, if you can, to prevent the balance from increasing. Interest does not accrue during the grace period on “subsidized” federal loans, which are based on financial need.
Additionally, Mr. Kantrowitz suggests that payments be debited automatically from your bank account. You’ll be less likely to be late with an invoice, and you might get a small discount – 0.25% or 0.50% – as an incentive.
For more tips on repaying student loans, see the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.
Here are some questions and answers about student loans:
What if I need more time before I start paying off my federal student loans?
If it is a short-term cash shortage, you can request a postponement or forbearance allowing a temporary pause in payments. If it’s a long-term issue, like a low-paying job, consider applying for a flexible repayment program, which ties monthly payments to your income, Ms. Asher said. A useful online tool for applying for such plans, the IRS Data Recovery Tool, has been disabled since March, but is expected to be available soon. (The tool will not be available to help borrowers complete the Free Federal Student Aid Application, or Fafsa, an important form of financial aid for those attending university, until the fall).
Do Private Student Loans Have Grace Periods?
Grace periods for private loans vary, so check with your lender. Sallie Mae, who manages her own loans, typically has a six-month grace period, although some of her loans may have longer loans, spokeswoman Martha Holler said. Sallie Mae typically sends notices alerting borrowers that repayment is about to begin – another reason to make sure your lender knows how to reach you, she said. Sallie Mae offers a online budget worksheet to help borrowers plan their repayment.
Do employers offer student loan repayment assistance?
Tuition repayment assistance is more common, but some companies offer student loan repayment assistance as a benefit for employees, so it’s worth asking your employer.