Top Ten List for Taking Control of Your Student Loan Debt

  1. Keep good financial records. Get organized and keep all your student loan documents together - now and after graduation.
  2. Stay in touch with your loan provider. Address change? New phone number? Your lender needs to know!
  3. Know what you owe. As long as your lender has your current contact information, you will receive periodic updates detailing your outstanding balance, payment due dates, etc. You may visit the National Student Loan Data System at NSLDS.ed.gov to view a centralized listing of your loans.
  4. Open your mail and read it. Don't assume correspondence from your lender is junk mail. Read everything - even the fine print.
  5. Take advantage of flexible repayment options. Work with your lender to determine which option best meets your needs.
    • Level
    • Graduated
    • Income-sensitive
    • Extended
    • Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
  6. Make monthly payments on time. Many lenders offer incentives for timely payments - particularly via auto-debit.
  7. Pay online. It is a fast and convenient way to make your payments. Your payment will post to your account faster. No more lost checks! You can also sign up for paperless billing so that you never lose another bill.
  8. Consider consolidation. Consolidating multiple student loans into one loan simplifies payments.
  9. Avoid default. You may be able to defer or suspend your monthly payments depending on your circumstances. Defaulting on your student loan will ruin your credit history!
  10. Beware of credit cards. It may seem like easy money, but double digit interest rates and late fees can wreck your budget and damage your credit rating!