Steps for managing your student loan debt


  1. Consider student loans only after you have researched all the sources of free financial aid (including scholarships, grants and work-study).

  2. Consider all the loan programs available, and compare all your options before making a final decision. Only consider alternative/private loans as a last resort.

  3. Plan an in-school and after-school budget before you take out your first student loan.

  4. Determine how much you can afford to borrow and how much you can realistically repay.

  5. Estimate your student loan payment so you will know how much you will be expected to repay each month.

  6. Establish a good credit history by repaying your student loan on time.

  7. Contact your loan holder about any changes in your status or anything that may affect your ability to pay your loan. These changes may include transferring to another school, changing your name or address, leaving school, or graduating.

  8. Consider deferments or forbearance if you to need to adjust or suspend your payments temporarily. You also might be eligible to change repayment plans.

  9. Look into a Direct Consolidation Loan if you want to consolidate several loans or types of loans into one loan.

  10. If you have an issue you've been unable to resolve with your school, loan holder, or guarantor, contact your student loan ombudsman.