If you finished college in May and have student loans, it’s almost time to begin repaying them. These tips from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) may help.
One of the smartest things you can do is pay more than your scheduled payment amount. The extra is applied to the principal, so you will pay less interest over the life of your loan.
You should let your lender know if you change your name, address or phone number; if something changes your status, such as going back to school; or if you have problems making your payments.
You have several repayment plans from which to choose. The standard repayment plan calls for equal monthly payments over 10 years. The minimum monthly payment is usually $50. Other options include:
• Graduated repayment, which starts with lower repayment amounts that get higher over the maximum 10-year period.
• Income-sensitive repayment, with monthly payments based on gross income.
• Income- based or income- contingent re- payment, with monthly amounts based on income and family size.
• Extended repayment, which lets you take up to 25 years to repay your student loans if you borrowed more than $30,000 and none of your loans were made before Oct. 7, 1998.
You will pay more interest over the life of the loan if you use any option other than standard repayment.
If you are having trouble making payments, contact your lender immediately. You may qualify for a deferment or forbearance, which can let you make lower payments or stop making payments temporarily.
KHEAA is the state agency that administers Kentucky’s grant and scholarship programs. It provides free copies of “It’s Money, Baby,” a guide to financial literacy, to Kentucky schools and residents upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, go to www.gotocollege. ky.gov. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call 800- 928-8926, ext. 6-7372.