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Managing Student Loans on 10/30/2014

Grace Period Ending for Recent Grads

If you graduated from college in the spring, grace periods for your federal and private student loans are probably coming to an end. Most student loans have a six-month grace period before entering the repayment stage, so your first loan payment may be due in November or December.

YOUR PAYMENT IS DUE EVEN IF YOU DIDN'T RECEIVE A BILL.

When you graduate (or drop below half-time enrollment), your grace period starts automatically, as does your billing schedule once the grace period ends. Even if you’ve changed your contact information or the bill is lost, you are still responsible for making payments.

Federal Loans: Visit www.nslds.ed.gov to find out when your grace period ends and how to make payments.

Private Loans: Contact the credit union, bank, or other lender that provided the loan. If you don’t know your lender, check your free annual credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or contact your school to find out.

YOU HAVE OPTIONS IF YOU CAN'T MAKE YOUR PAYMENTS

If you fall behind on your student loans, it can have serious consequences, even beyond damaging your credit score. Your lender could request immediate repayment of the entire balance – including collection fees – and your paycheck and tax refunds could be seized. Consider these alternatives:

  • Federal Loans: Options include extended repayment, graduated repayment, income-based repayment, or even deferment or forbearance. See www.studentloans.gov for details.
  • Private Loans: Lenders are often willing to work with you to make payments affordable. Call your lender to talk about your options before defaulting on your loan.

CONSOLIDATE LOANS FOR SIMPLER PAYMENT OPTIONS.

Combining multiple student loans could mean fewer bills to pay and lower monthly payments. You can even consolidate federal and private student loans together for simpler bill management.* At SLFCU, you can consolidate loans up to $150,000 with cosigner release options and no prepayment penalties. Learn more.


*Certain potential benefits of federal student loans may be lost by refinancing those loans with a private student loan consolidation. Please review the terms of your federal loan(s) to determine if consolidation is right for you.

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