Thursday, 12 January 2012

Student Loans For College Should Be Borrowed With Discretion

A friend of mine decided when she was in college that she would take out loans to the tune of more than $100,000. I borrowed rather liberally, as well, but I soon discovered that student loans for college should be borrowed with discretion.

One thing that I found out when I first started out is that student loans for college are relatively easy to obtain. This can be a good thing and a very bad thing, especially when asking an 18- or 19-year old to make a decision about how much money they think they need. I decided for two straight years that I was not going to work to help pay for college, but was simply going to live off of the loan refunds that I made and focus on studying. Now, I wish I could go back and change that.

Another friend decided that she was going to borrow student loans for college very sparingly and work full time at a supermarket to help defray her college costs. She had a partial scholarship, which certainly helped, but she had to pay a lot out of pocket. At the time, I thought that was ridiculous, because I was under the delusion that I would actually get a job once I graduated that would pay me enough to repay my loans with relative ease. While some of my classmates who majored in such areas as business and finance certainly did, I, as a psychology major, did not.

I am very fortunate in that I have worked in a couple of areas that have allowed me to make a fairly substantial income to supplement the one that I earn from my 9-to-5 job, but it is still not as easy as I would like for it to be. student loans for college have taken a lot from my banking account, and while I am certainly happy to have a degree, I really wish that I had planned better.

Now, on the flip side of this, some of us could not have gone to school without student loans, and I was one of them. I had two scholarships to the university I attended, and it still was not enough. That is why I don't want to seem like I am ungrateful for the student loans for college that were available to me at the time, because they really helped. What I am saying is that if I had to do it all over again, I think I would have planned a little bit better and not borrowed quite so much. I think it would make it a lot easier on me today.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Student Loans Can Be Cleared in More Than Just One Way

Lenders tend to share the same opinion that student loans should be offered on more flexible terms that other loans. This is great news for students, who might otherwise seriously struggle to handle the financial pressures. But, the loans will have to be repaid eventually, meaning the debt hangs over them until graduation.

The idea of the scheme is that a student graduates, gets a job and then repays the loan, by which time the interest built up will be substantial. In fact, loans for students are highly flexible because even when it comes time to pay, the repayment schedule can be negotiated.

Not only that, but periodic payments when a student is flush, usually after the summer break spent working, helps to reduce these loans to cover student expenses and fees. In fact, there are a number of ways in which graduates can repay their loan debt.

Repaying Independently

The most obvious method is to simply pay the student loan off though an agreed monthly repayment plan. This can usually be done automatically, with the money required simply taken out of the salary figure deposited into an account on pay day. This works well because of the structure, but the only catch is the graduate needs to have found a job.

The advantages to lenders offering loans for students is that they tend to develop a healthy relationship with their young customers. But part of developing that relationship is to be flexible. For that reason, it is possible for students to meet with their loan officer and work out an affordable repayment scheme.

The fact is that loans to cover student expenses and college fees can add up to quite a lot over the course of university life. By the time of graduation, the student might own $150,000. So, negotiating a workable repayment solution is essential. It may take 15 years to repay the loans, but it can be more easily handled that trying to pay the sum over 5 or even 10 years.

Debt Consolidation

Of course, it is possible too that student loans came from a number of sources. For example, the loan from one lender for $25,000 was added when extra cash was required, of $5,000. Perhaps one or two other loans were picked up along the way, as particular financial difficulties cropped up.

The sheer number makes it necessary to consolidate all these loans for students into one management figure. This simplifies the situation, reduces the repayment amount, and can effectively lessen the financial burden.

Unfortunately, because the lenders have already been patient in issuing loans to cover student expenses and fees with a repayment delay of maybe 5 years, the interest rate can be high. Over 20 years or more, the total interest paid can be huge, but the important thing is that the repayments are manageable, and not a struggle.

Alternative Payment

There are other ways to pay student loans, without having to actually pay any money. For many, this is a very attractive prospect, but of course nothing is for free in this world. The scheme involves a graduate either serving their debt in the armed forces or doing community service.

This method is referred to as loan forgiveness, and allows the graduate to write off a large portion of these loans for students each year, and over a number of years pay it off completely.

Under the GI Bill, for example, military service will wipe as much as $20,000 off the debt, while a further $5,000 per year will be removed from the total owed if the graduate teaches in deprived urban areas or in isolated rural communities.

In this way, loans to cover student expenses end up helping to get these same students involved in community activities.