Know your loans. At minimum, you should know how much you owe in student loans, what the interest rates are, and what your monthly payments will be.
Know your grace period. The grace period is how long you can wait after leaving school before you have to start making payments. Not only does the grace period vary with Federal student loans, it varies even more with private loans.
Stay in touch with your lender. If you move, change phone number, email address, or other personal data, be sure to tell your lender immediately. If your lender needs to contact you and can’t, it can end up costing you a great deal of money.
Keep an eye on your loans while in school. It’s very tempting to ignore your loans while in school, especially since you don’t need to make payments on them until you graduate. With that said, as college tuition and student loan debt increases, it is worth trying to pay down the loan while in school.
Pay off the highest interest loans first. In the simplest terms, the loan(s) with the higher interest rate(s) is costing you more money. While a Federal loan may seem daunting because the total amount is so high, put your extra money toward the higher interest loans as you will save more in the long run.
Take advantage of special benefits offered by your lender. These benefits can come in the form of interest rate reductions, principal reductions, or other offers. Lenders use these benefits as a reward to borrowers who consistently make their payments on time, use their automated payment system, or take advantage of other tools created by the lender to better manage monthly payments. Taking advantage of these benefits can help you pay off your loans faster and save money.
Consider consolidating your loans. This is an approach to managing student loans that has become more and more popular in recent years. Whether you have one loan or one dozen, consolidating all of them into one loan can potentially save you a great deal of money down the line. But remember that consolidating your loans into one doesn’t make the debt go away. Rather, it’s all in one place.