Everything You Should Know about Paying Back Student Loans

April 4, 2019

Whether you take out federal or private student loans, and whether you graduate or not, if you go to college, everyone has to pay back their student loans. When it comes to paying off these loans, almost everyone becomes anxious. Considering how much debt you could end up in, there are some things you should know before starting to pay.


Photo: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash 


There are two different types of loans that you can look into when trying to pay for college: federal loans and private loans. Federal loans are made up of three separate kinds of loans: Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans. Private loans are typically done through a bank or through some other financial institution.


The process of paying back your student loans doesn’t start until either you graduate or until you drop below half time enrollment at your institution (and even when you graduate you can have more time before paying). A grace period allows a set amount of time before you need to begin repayment. Loans like Direct Unsubsidized and Direct Subsidized loans typically have a six month period where you do not have to repay after graduation. This is a time where you can actually enjoy graduating college and do not have to worry about beginning payments for at least half a year.


In some instances there is also deferment. Deferring your loans allows you to temporarily stop repayment on loans or reduce your monthly payments. However, not everyone is eligible for deferment, and if you are eligible, there are still some types of loans that you have to pay interest on during your deferment period. Deferment is a good option if there is something that is temporarily creating an issue when it comes to loan repayment. Deferment can also apply to those who are in active military service, serving in the Peace Corp, or even enrolled in a graduate fellowship program.


Loan forgiveness can also be granted to individuals who participate in certain types of work after graduating. Volunteering for AmeriCorps or Peace Corps can allow some to be qualified for loan forgiveness. Along these lines, being a full-time teacher in a low-income community or even being employed in the public sector at a tax exempt organization can qualify you for loan forgiveness.


When it finally comes time to paying back your student loans, there are multiple approaches that you can take. The standard repayment plan for loans takes 10 years to fully pay off. The plan that is chosen can also be based on how much you make monthly after graduating, which can help you from going completely broke. There is also the option to switch your payment plan at any point in order to better suit your needs. The loan servicer that you go through should provide a schedule for when loan repayment should begin, the frequency of payments that need to be made, and each amount that is due.


The amount that has to be paid depends on a few things, including the type of loan that you received, how much money you borrowed, and the interest rate that is on the loans themselves. When thinking about repaying student loans there are a lot of things to consider, and there are a lot of ways to avoid spending too much money. Looking for scholarships and applying to as many as possible is a good way to pay as little as possible. And if all this seems like too much money and too much of a hassle, you could always consider not going to college at all and avoiding the potential mountain of debt.


Ryan Molloy is a 20 year old student at Emmanuel College as a Major in Communications and Media Studies and pursuing a Minor in Writing. He is also a Staff Writer for Emmanuel’s newspaper, The Hub. He spends most of his time in the library and you’ll never see him without headphones in listening to music on full blast. Ryan hopes to pursue journalism upon graduation and hopefully be able to cover international events. Robert Kukla is a college senior pursuing a career in publishing and/or journalism. He takes pride in his nerdiness, some of his favorite things being Disney, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Ever since a young age Robert has always developed a passion for books and the written language. And it wasn’t until he enrolled back in school in 2017 that he realized his true potential and an even deeper passion for wanting to be a writer.


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