Have you developed a loan payment plan?

College will be over sooner than you know it, and the loans will be due only six months after you graduate.  If you’re one of the lucky ones who lands a job right after graduation, paying back your student loans may not seem so stressful with the benefit of your steady income. If not, the loan bills will still come in the mail and the part-time job you work likely will not suffice with all your other bills and expenses. Yes, there is the option of deferring your loans for another six months, but that will not stop the interest form piling on. That is why developing a loan payment plan now is important.

While in college, planning for the future is essential to post-graduation success. Without planning for the future, the real world will hit you harder than a runaway freight train and there is no way to stop the pressures of reality. The loans you take out now can affect you for most of your adulthood. The amount you have borrowed over the years will decide the monthly payments, acquired interest, and how long it will take you to pay off your loans. So what is your plan? How can you ease your financial burdens before college is over? Here are a few ideas.

First thing is to learn how to budget your money. College is a tough place to really save money but if you can cut out little expenses here and there - like eating out frequently, going out with friends, frequenting bars, and small things like that - you can really start to build a savings account. A way to help build on this would be to work part-time. It may seem like too much with a full course load, but it doesn’t have to be. The job will likely be part-time, and you could even find a job at the college, which may be more flexible around your schedule and you would not have to leave campus. There are many positives to working while in school. You are earning cash and keeping more of your time occupied so you’re less likely to spend unnecessarily.

With the money you earn during college, the best idea is to start paying your loans back now, within reason. Contact your lender and find out what your current balance is and how much interest is tacking on to your bill monthly. Find out the minimum payment for the loan and begin to pay it monthly. This will lower your payments after college, and will teach you self-discipline, which will come in handy when you graduate.

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