Once you graduate from college, your student loans will become payable after a six-month grace period. This period allots time to find a job in order to find the financial means to begin paying back your loans. When the time comes for you to pay your loans, how do you know who to write the check to? How much do you need to pay? Paying back your student loans can be overwhelming and confusing at times because there are several different student loan servicers out there. The actual lender and the student loan servicer are sometimes different, making it hard to know how to even go about paying your loans.
Check with Your Online Servicer
It is a good idea to check with your online servicer for information about your loans. Your servicer will be able to give you information about your repayment plan, and it will also be able to answer any questions that you have about your loans such as how much you owe, minimum payments, and options for forbearance or deferment. The problem is that you don’t just pick a servicer. Instead, you are assigned to a servicer to manage your student loans.
How to Find Your Servicer
Finding your servicer isn’t too difficult, you just have to know where to look. Servicers for federal loans and private loans will also be different, so keep this in mind. Your private student loans will be serviced by the lender directly in most cases, so contact your private lender and talk to them about your student loan balance and repayment plans (if you have any private loans).
For all federal student loans, you can start by going to the website for the National Student Loan Data System. This is a system that keeps records for all federal student loans. Once you are there, you will select the Financial Aid Review option, and accept their terms and conditions for using the site. To login to the site, you will need your FSA ID. Once you get logged in, you will see information about each of your student loans including the type of loan, amount of the loan, and any interest charges and outstanding student loan balance. You can click on your loans to find out contact information for your particular servicer.
Staying in Touch
When you determine your particular student loan servicer, you will be able to create an account with them directly. Create a user ID and password on their website which will allow you to stay connected with your loans. You will input personal information including your name, address, and other identifying information. This will allow the servicer to be able to send you information about your loans and stay in touch with you. Staying in touch with your federal student loan servicer is of the utmost importance, because it helps you to stay on the right track with keeping your loans current and out of default.
Many servicers also have options for you to make your payments directly from your checking or savings account each month automatically. Some of them even give you a bit of a break with your interest rate if you sign up for these automatic payments towards your account. You can also get alerts that let you know when your payment is due each month if auto-pay is not an option that you are interested in.
Staying connected with your student loan servicer serves a lot of purposes, not just for you to know where to send your payment in each month. They can help you with any of your needs including changing your terms for repayment, applying for deferments, or advising you on how to obtain better terms.As you can see, staying on top of your student loans doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavor. In fact, if you stay organized and in touch with your student loan servicer, chances are you will have a pretty successful experience when it comes to paying back your student loans. Just remember, if you are ever in a situation where you cannot pay your loans on time, you need to contact your servicer. They should be able to help you to keep your loans from going into default status. Once loans go into default, it can really do a number to your credit and can also hinder other financial moves in the future. Don’t fall behind and let this happen to you!