Managing Student Loan Debt


Managing Student Loan Debt


It's important to be smart about repaying your student loans.

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Think ahead when applying for financial aid

As you apply for financial aid each year, keep in mind that any loans you borrow must be paid back, while grants and scholarships typically do not. Limit the amount of loans you take on, and you’ll have less to repay after graduation.

Also, keep in mind that there are different types of loans. With federal subsidized student loans, for example, the government pays the interest that accrues while you’re in school. But with unsubsidized loans, that interest gets added to your loan balance, leaving you with more to pay off.

Be sure to pay close attention to the interest rate and the terms of any loan before borrowing—especially if you decide to take out private loans (not offered through the government). Even one percentage point can have a big impact on your final balance.

Ways to Limit Your Student Debt
  • Apply for multiple AIU and/or other grants and scholarships
  • Request loans only for the amount of your school bill, not the maximum available

Track your loan balance while in school.

When you’re busy getting your degree, it’s easy to forget that your loans will be waiting for you at graduation. Each year, when you apply for financial aid, take a few minutes to look at your overall loan balance, interest rates, and repayment terms. Having this information in mind can help you be sure you’re making the right decisions about your financial aid.


Know when your loan payments start

It’s generally expected that student loan payments won’t start until after graduation. But if you know the exact dates for each loan you take out, you can be sure to avoid late fees or other issues.

Use an online calendar to enter all your repayment dates in advance and receive alerts, so you never miss a due date.


Learn about the types of loans you have

Your financial aid packages might include more than one type of loan, so it’s important to know the differences among them. (Learn more about federal Stafford loans on the Federal Student Aid website .)

Questions to Ask About Each

Are you responsible for interest that accrues while you’re in school?

When is the first payment due?

Could the interest rate change (“variable”) or is it set permanently (“fixed”)?

Which loans can be consolidated after graduation?


Think about consolidating your federal loans

A Direct Consolidation Loan lets you combine multiple federal student loans into one loan.

There are pros and cons to consolidating. For example, consolidation will give you one monthly payment, but it might also cancel out some of the benefits of certain loans.

Before you consolidate, be sure to carefully consider whether it’s right for you. The official Federal Student Aid website can help you understand the ins and outs of loan consolidation.


Talk with your Student Loan Specialist

After you leave AIU, you will have access to a Student Loan Specialist who will stay in touch with you about the repayment of your student loans.

The specialist will provide you with information regarding grace periods, deferment, forbearance, and more. They’ll provide you with all the information necessary to set up a payment plan with your lender that suits your individual needs.

Click here (http://www.mymoney.gov/) for a free government sponsored website full of activities,  articles and videos with clever money-saving tips and games designed to turn you into your own financial guru while still having fun.


Don't forget:
Classes start October 3!