There is hope and help with student loans. I know this from experience. Yes, I have student loans at my age. I wanted my PhD and taking out student loans was the only way I could get it. The place where I worked had a tuition reimbursement plan, but I was told that I did not need an advanced degree for my current position so I did not qualify. That is another sotry for another day.
My student loans were easy to get. Maybe a bit too easy Too easy because I did not fully educate myself on exactly how I was going to pay them back. I honestly thought that with this new degree I would get a high paying job and I did not worry about it.
Well, I ended up unemployed for two full years with student loans looming over my head. Trust me, that was not fun. The deferrments were easy to get until I started working. My student loan repayment was much more than my mortgage and car payment put together. The loans were easier to get than to pay back and I did not think about was how my student loans may affect my ability to retire. YIKES!
So now here is what I know now about student loans:
The people at Sallie Mae really want to help you. When a friend told me that I laughed because that sounded obsurd. I quickly changed my mind after breaking down and crying on the phone and having someone geniuenely seem to care about me. Or maybe it was that fact that the call may have been monitored. Who knows? all the matters is that I got the help I desperately needed.
There is a high rate of student loan default so they want to get all the money they can. Just pick up the phone and call them. Tell them your situation and listen to their solutions. I called and actually cried during the conversation because I honestly did not know how I was going to pay back my loans.
That is when I learned about income based repayment. Yes, there is a such thing as income based repayment. And yes I jumped on that immediately.
If you really cannot start paying your loan back when it is time consider asking for a deferrment or forebearance. Read the rules carefully. Call Sallie Mae and have your options explained by a counselor. I did.
You can consolidate your student loans. Be careful there are many companies out there and som charge a fee and you may lose some of your benefits. I called a few companies and asked many questions before choosing one.
There are loan forgiveness programs. Again, you have to ask the questions. There are a few different programs and you may qualify for one of them. If you do not qualify for one now do not lose hope because new programs are being developed.
The moral of this article is that the you should have hope and there is help for you.
- If you have student loans and repayment seems impossible start by calling Sallie Mae. Do it from a comfortable place. I did it alone in the my dimly lit bedroom. Hey, it worked for me.
- Do tons of research and ask tons of questions.
- Do not just let your loans go into default because the penalties are not pretty and they are generally not covered in bankruptcy.
I hope this blog gave you some valuable tips on how to have hope and get help your student loans at least until you land that great job and can pay them off with one HUGE check. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to open your eyes.