Now that the Class of 2023 has graduated, I am here to offer some advice to help navigate the process of student loan repayment.
May 22, 2023
By Presley Hill ’23
Graduation has come and gone. With it may come... student loan repayment. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Understanding how to prepare for loan repayment can make it seem less ominous.
Know Your Loans
Before we get too ahead of ourselves talking about repayment plans and budgeting for your plan, it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into. Your first step in your student loan repayment journey should be determining how much you owe and who you owe.
If you used federal loans, you could find all the information you need on how much you have borrowed and how much you owe at www.studentaid.gov. You can also find out who your loan servicer is. Your loan servicer is your point of contact for any questions regarding your repayment. To find this information, you can look under your account dashboard on www.studentaid.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1 (800) 433-3243.
Learn about the different repayment plans
Before deciding on a repayment plan, try using a loan simulator to give you more direction into which plans you are eligible for. When deciding on a payment plan it is good to know the types of plans available to you. Plans offered for federal student loans include:
When choosing the right plan for you, it is important to think about your short-term and long-term financial wellbeing. While repayment plans with low payment amounts may seem desirable for your current budget, it could ultimately hurt you in the long-term as your interest rate will cause you to pay more than if you made a higher payment up front. However, as a recent college graduate going into the workforce, those higher payments may not be feasible. This is why it’s important to make a budget and thoroughly research each of the plans available to you. See what fits best for you! It is also important to note that your repayment plan can be changed. So, if you go for a repayment plan with a lower rate to start and then end up earning more than you anticipated, you can increase your payments.
Communication is key
Staying in contact with your lender is a great way to stay up to date on your payments. Make sure your contact information with your loan servicer is always up to date. You don’t want to miss any valuable correspondence concerning your loans!
It is also important to stay in contact with your loan servicer because life is unpredictable. Things happen and there may times your finances aren’t in the spot you anticipated them to be and paying your loans may not be feasible. In times like this, the last thing you’d want is to default on your loans, so be sure to communicate with your lender to figure out a solution.
Being transparent with your lender shows that you are a trustworthy borrower. and they’ll be more likely to work with you on your repayment plan. Remember, you can change your repayment plan at any time!
Presley Hill ’23, who earned a degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, is a Student Financial Wellness Peer Educator. Follow the Student Financial Wellness Peer educators us on Instagram @unewhavenfinwell to keep up with the latest information and updates. You can also find them on myCharger in Student Resources and under Financial Wellness.