When it comes to student loan repayment, there are some definite do’s and don’ts. The wrong choices can affect you for many years to come, which is why it is wise to invest time in learning the most you can about repaying your loans. Whether you just finished college and you are facing student loan payments for the first time ever or you have spent years battling this debt, it is never too soon or too early to implement better practices.
Here at IonTuition, our goal is to make student loan repayment as simple as possible. We assist businesses who are interested in offering student loan repayment as a benefit to their employees. If you are in the throes of paying back student loan debt, working with a company that offers student loan repayment as a benefit is an extremely helpful perk to have. As you go about repaying your loans, check out these five pitfalls of student loan repayment and avoid these blunders.
#1: Relying on Deferment
If you are facing a large amount of student loan debt, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, panic, and simply turn to deferment as your last ditch effort. However, while you can utilize deferment for a period of time while you get your feet under you, it is not wise to rely on this as a long-term solution. Deferment is meant to be utilized during a hardship or for those who return to school.
In the long run, deferment won’t save you from your debt and eventually, time will run out. In most cases, you can only qualify for deferment for a period of time. When that time is out, you have to go back to paying on your loans. If you are facing economic hardship, deferment might be a good choice. However, if the situation you are in is not going to change with time, it is far wiser to look into other options, such as income-based repayment plans or refinancing. If you aren’t sure what to do, contact a financial advisor for assistance. They can help guide you to a better plan than simply applying for deferment over and over again.
#2: Not Planning For Your Long-Term Future
While student loan debt might make it hard for you to plan for your long-term future, don’t let its presence stop you from investing time in what will happen down the road. Sticking your head in the sand can be satisfying in the moment, but eventually, you need to face the music.
Even though it might require juggling your budget, it is worthwhile to find a way to plan for your long-term plans. Do you plan to stay in the same city for years? Do you plan to buy a house? What are your hopes for retirement? While you might feel too young to worry about the distant future, now is the time to start putting plans into action. Figure out how you can start working towards those goals, even as you pay back your student loans.
#3: Forgetting a Loan
This might sound extreme, but it is easy to misplace loan information and forget about some of your student debt entirely. The problem is that while you might forget about a loan, it won’t forget about you. Be sure that you keep a detailed and organized record of every student loan you have taken out. Create a document with all your login information, account numbers, and other relevant data on your student loans.
One of the best ways to keep track of all your student loans is to consolidate them into one place. If possible, utilize a system that allows you to pay all your loans from a single dashboard. For example, here at IonTuition, our student loan repayment benefit plan includes a platform that makes it simple to pay all your loans in one place. Setting up automatic payments will also ensure you don’t forget a loan for a few months.
#4: Not Keeping Your Information Up To Date
Have you moved recently? Did you get married and change your last name? Any time that your information changes, make sure you keep your student loan companies up to date. Forgetting to update phone numbers, addresses, and name changes can result in a headache down the road. While you hopefully won’t ever miss a payment, if you do, you need to be notified right away.
Go through your student loans and check all the information on record. Does everything match your current situation? While it is a hassle to update your info every time you move or change phones, it will save you a lot of grief in the long run.
#5: Assuming You Can Just File Bankruptcy
In some cases, people assume that at the end of the day, if they can’t pay off their student loans, they will simply declare bankruptcy. While this might seem like a “get out of jail free” card, it won’t actually work the way that you think. Federal and private student loans are virtually impossible to get rid of through bankruptcy.
In order to get rid of student loan debt via bankruptcy, you have to go through an array of proceedings to prove that repaying the loans is presenting an undue hardship. The problem is that different judges will interpret what that means in very different ways. If you could possibly make payments on your student loans, a judge is not going to allow you off the hook. It is extremely rare for anyone to get rid of their student loan debt through bankruptcy, which makes this a less than ideal backup plan.
Student Loan Assistance Programs
Here at IonTution, we know how difficult repaying your student loans can be. We are passionate about making the process easier and helping you avoid the common pitfalls that many people face. If you are interested in learning more about our student loan assistance program, talk to our team about how your company can implement this outstanding benefit. We hope to assist you with making student loan repayment less stressful and more attainable.