While you can still vividly remember your name being called and the president of your college shaking your hand as if it had just happened yesterday, the fact is, that day was nearly three months ago now! You have been a college graduate for almost 90 days. You are 90 days richer in real life experiences. You are also 90 days closer to having your first student loan bill come in the mail. That six month grace period doesn’t seem like such a long time anymore! Whether you have been planning for your student loan payments since graduation, or thinking about them now has thrown you into a complete and utter panic, check out these ways you can prepare yourself for the day you have to begin paying off those four years of wisdom.
Find Out What You Owe
If you haven’t already looked into how much money you owe, and how much your monthly payments will be, now is the time to do it. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s easier to just pretend your debt doesn’t exist for as long as you possibly can, but believe it or not, taking control of the situation will feel better! You can find out what you owe in federal loans by logging onto My Fed Loan. Take a deep breath, and click on the link.
Create a Budget
Now that you know what you owe, and you lived to tell about it, it’s time to take a look at your budget. All this means is getting an idea on what you’re making and what you’re spending. You can start by making a list of all of your bills as well as how much you spend on things like rent, gas, and food. Use online banking, or your past receipts for some guidance. Once you have completed your list, add up the total amount you spend each month. Subtract it from your income. This will give you an idea on whether or not your student loan payments can currently fit into your budget.
Adjust Your Budget
If you can comfortably fit your student loans into your budget, then nice job! You can congratulate yourself on being a super financial planner. However, many will find that their student loan payment isn’t affordable given their current financial situation. In this case, you will first want to see where you can adjust your budget. What can you cut back on? What can save you money?
Adjust Your Payment Plan
Sometimes, no amount of budget adjustments could allow you to afford your student loan payments as they are. In this case, you will want to explore one of the numerous alternate payment plans at your disposal. You can research and switch your payment plans at My Fed Loan.
If your grace period is up, and you have yet to find a job that allows you to pay even the minimum amount possible on your loans, you have the option to defer for six months.
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