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Options for dealing with student loans

This time of year is an exciting and sometimes nerve-racking time for college seniors on track to obtain their degrees. In the coming months, an estimated 1.9 million bachelor's degrees will be granted by post-secondary institutions.

Students in this transitional stage of life often experience anxiety over an uncertain future. On top of all the existential questions you may be facing lies one concern that is much less philosophical: student debt. Student debt is at an all-time high, and if you are among those graduating, you may soon be receiving your first bill from any student loans you might have incurred.

Dealing with your loans

The ideal situation for you as a college graduate would be landing a well-paying job you love that uses your degree. In this case, handling your student loan may not be as stressful. You can start your payment plan with your lender, and comfortably allocate a portion of your income to covering the cost.

However, the reality is not always so rosy for many college graduates. If you are without employment or are struggling to come up with your payments upon graduation, here are a few options for dealing with your student loans:

Grace Period

A grace period is a 6-month period after you cease attending school, when you don’t have to make payments on your loan. Not all lenders give borrowers the opportunity for a grace period, but if your lender does offer one, you may consider taking advantage of it, if you are still strapped for cash post-grad.

Deferment

If you are still struggling to come with cash after your grace period you can take on deferment as an option to postpone payments Deferment allows you to temporarily reduce payments on the principle of your loan. However, if possible, it is suggested that you continue to pay a reduced bill consisting of your accruing

Loan Forgiveness

Loan forgiveness is another way that you can deal with student loans. Loan forgiveness can come from a variety of sources. Some volunteer organizations offer loan forgiveness programs in exchange for work. Certain cities, as a means of attracting talented young people to relocate, will offer loan forgiveness relocation programs.

Consolidation

If you have forgotten all the different loans that you took on as an 18-year-old and are now finding that all your loan payments are becoming overwhelming, you might consider consolidating your loans. A consolidation can bring together all your student loans and give you one monthly payment. You can consolidate even if you only have one loan. However, this is a big decision and should not be made capriciously.

This list is by no means comprehensive. Be sure that you receive the proper consultation about your debt before making any decisions. You’ve worked hard to achieve your dreams and obtain your degree; take control of your student loans so that they don’t detract from your achievement.

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