Student Loan Payment Suspension: 5 Tips to Prepare for Repayment
The suspension of student loan payments and interest has been extended through January 31, 2022! While we’ve enjoyed that sweet relief for the past 22 months, the Education Department has said that the latest extension will be the last.
Follow these five tips to prepare yourself for repayment:
1. Practice making payments until January 31, 2022
Do you remember what it was like to make monthly student loan payments? Yikes! Depending on when you’re reading this, you may have a few months to adjust before payments are required again. In the meantime, “practice” making those monthly payments. However, instead of putting them toward your federal loans, put them toward a High Yield Savings Account (like my favorite one at Ally Bank). Then, in February, you can decide to put the funds you’ve accumulated toward the loans OR toward another financial goal (like fully stocking your Emergency Fund!)
2. Update your information with your student loan servicer
Much has changed in the past 22 months since the loans entered relief, amiright? Check in with your student loan servicer to ensure your information is updated, especially your home and email address!
3. Refresh your repayment goal
It’s time to hunker down, my friends, and refresh that repayment plan! First, though, reflect on what is most important to you. Would you rather pay off your loans ASAP? Pay the least amount for your loans over time? Or would you like a lower monthly payment? Once you have a goal in mind, simulate different repayment plans. Use the loan simulator at StudentAid.gov to view repayment strategies that don’t involve refinancing. Next, compare the strategies you generated to refinancing offers from companies like SoFi, CommonBond, or Earnest. Refinancing COULD help lower the cost of interest; however, keep in mind that it would eliminate some of the protections provided by the federal government, such as the student loan relief you’ve enjoyed.
4. Explore forgiveness programs if you work in public service or if you’re a teacher
If you work full-time for the government or not-for-profit organization, or if you’re a teacher, consider pursuing a forgiveness program like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF). These programs are incredibly easy to mess up, so be sure to do your research or work with a financial advisor!
5. Stay vigilant against scams
Those scammers get smarter every year! Be sure not to fall prey to any of the hundreds of student loan scams that are floating around right now.
The next few months offer some good opportunities to prepare for student loan repayment. If you would like to discuss how the Commas team can help you navigate this and other financial situations, please reach out.
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