Understand Your College Loans

adults college students young adults

Understand the actual cost of your education and your outstanding loans. Understand what you owe.

Login to your Loan account

Everyone should be able to login to the provider account that handles your loans. This is your responsibility. If your parents set it up, ask them to walk through it with you. How much have you borrowed? What are the interest rates? Are they fixed or variable? When do the interest payments kick in? Understanding these terms is crucial, so don't shy away from Googling or seeking help from a financial advisor.

What will the monthly payment be?

Don't let the numbers overwhelm you. Use online calculators or loan repayment simulators to estimate your future payments. This will help you budget and plan for life after graduation. The fact is, this is your debt. Set up a simple budget and see what your monthly finances will look like after school. What will that job pay??  What will be your Rent, Bills, Food, and that loan payment?  It might be a big shock. But ignoring it will help no one. 

Research Loan Forgiveness and Assistance Programs

If you're considering a career in education, good news! Several loan forgiveness programs and repayment assistance initiatives exist specifically for teachers. Research programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness, and see if you qualify for any state-specific teacher loan assistance. Every bit of forgiven debt is a victory won!

No one will care about your money more than you!

School loans don't have to be a life sentence. By understanding your costs, loans, and options, you can arm yourself with knowledge.  Embrace budgeting, explore repayment plans, and seek help when needed. Remember, financial literacy is your superpower.  Unfortunately, they often simply don't teach people about money basics in high school and college. Take this as an opportunity to be ahead of the pack!

Relax

This might be a depressing exercise. Take time and be patient. Not all students are smart enough to take time to think about these things now. Remember, you have choices. There are different schools and different programs. Every career has different requirements.  Some pay well and some don't. Some have ridiculous requirements and some don't. Some are easy to enter. Fields also change with the times. And remember, people change.  You will change.  You might not feel the same way about the career in 10 or 15 years.  That's ok.  It is very common to have multiple careers. Talk to adults and learn from them!

 

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