With the possibility of federal student loans defaulting, how do you reduce student loan payments? There are many options available to the graduate with student loan debt relief. It is important that a plan of action be developed early before a financial difficulty arises.
Many of the plans available will reduce student loan payments by at least 50%. Income-based repayment plans for many students will reduce student loan payments by reducing the amount by which they are subsidized each year and for most of them this does so substantially. The long term effects of subsidized defaults are serious, they have severe long term implications and no one really should default on federal education loans. Another benefit of these types of plans is that your credit rating will not suffer from not paying your bills.
When you are in school, there are many ways to reduce student loan payments. For example, you may qualify for what are known as Income Based Student Loan Repayment Plans. With an income-based student loan repayment program, you make certain payments based on a percentage of your after school income. This type of plan can help you get back on your feet if you are having difficulty making your student loan payments. Typically, once you begin repaying your subsidized or unsubsidized loans in your interest rates will go down and your subsidized payments will become subsidized.
If your goal is going back to college as a result of financial hardship, there are also options available to you. Many graduate students use student loan deferments to reduce their payments while they complete their post-graduate studies. Student loan deferments are a grace period following graduation, where the student does not have to make any payment on their loans. There is a limit to the number of deferments you can have in a year and usually your loans are not able to go into deferment until you have graduated. The time span for this type of deferment varies depending on your graduate school and the government.
Another option for borrowers with high interest loans is to take advantage of what is called a forbearance plan. A forbearance plan allows you to suspend your student loan payments while you work on paying off your loans. The money that is saved can be used for tuition costs. Students can apply for forbearance either while they are in school or after graduation. Usually you are only allowed to apply for one forbearance per academic year but typically it is more difficult to qualify for than a deferment.
When you use either a deferment or forbearance, you will not be repaying your loans for a long time. Because your loans are not going into repayment, you will be able to pay off your debt more quickly. However, when you use these plans, you will need to pay off your debt within a much longer time frame.
Both deferment and forbearance can have a big impact on your student loan payments during the life of your loan. This is why it is important to consider how much money you will be paying in student loan payments over the next decade before you decide to take any of these plans. Many students mistakenly think that these plans will help them get out of debt quickly. While this may be true, the time it will take to repay these loans in a shorter period of time can be far longer than if you had simply applied for a lower student loan payment. If your goal is to pay off your debt quickly, you should focus on applying for a lower payment plan and then continue to make your payments on time until it is paid off.
If your goal is to reduce the amount of time that you have to repay your student loans, another option to consider is refinancing your loans. If you qualify for an interest rate reduction, your payments could be substantially reduced. If you choose to apply for a refinancing, your lender may also offer to reduce the interest rates that you are currently paying, which could save you even more money over the life of your loan.