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Old 01-15-2004, 04:50 PM   #1
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HELP: Student Loans...

OK, I need some advice about student loans. My parents never had any (my dad never finished school and my mom lived at home and had enough scholarships) and I don't have any close friends with student loans, so I don't know much about them. I'm wondering what's the best way to go about paying them back. Right now I'm a sophomore and owe a little over $20,000 on four different loans. Two of them are federal ones that do accumulate interest, but they don't send bills so we'll forget about those for the moment (ignorance is bliss, no?). The other two are the ones I'm concerned with. Last year's loan I have been paying interest on so it's not gone above the original principal, and this year's has just been sent in so interest is starting this month. I don't want to make a huge financial mistake and regret it later. Do you pay them off one at a time? Or try and keep up paying the interest on both and put a little extra towards the principal of both whenever you can? Or, just ignore them until I'm done with school? Anyone been in/currently in a similar situation? I don't know anyone with loans so I've run out of people to ask. Any advice???
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:46 PM   #2
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I don't know if you've done this already, but can you make an appointment with someone in the financial aid office at your school? Maybe there is someone there that you can sit down with and go over this in person.

I hope this helps
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:47 PM   #3
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I only have one student loan. Due to a mistake on their part (Sallie Mae) they started collecting before I graduated... they're supposed to wait 6 months after graduation... or at least that's Sallie Mae's policy. I was able to afford it so I didn't complain and started sending in payments even before I was finished with school. So if you can afford it, I suggest you don't wait until you're done with school.

Do you have other debts? Like credit cards? I ask because usually student loans have fairly low interest rates while credit cards have high interest rates. Any extra money should go to credit card debts so you can pay them off sooner and save on the finance charges. Then you can worry about paying off the loans.
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:53 PM   #4
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sallie mae, I know her, I write her a check every month

anyway, I know it's frustrating, I wish I better understood my loans so I could help more Lies
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:38 PM   #5
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I don't have any credit cards. All I have is a free checking account that comes with a debit card, and my paychecks are directly deposited every two weeks. Is there any advantage to credit cards since debit cards are free and accepted pretty much everywhere now?

Kelly, it helps just to know there are other people out there in the same situation (i.e., parents not helping with diddly shit EVER)
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by kellyahern
I don't know if you've done this already, but can you make an appointment with someone in the financial aid office at your school? Maybe there is someone there that you can sit down with and go over this in person.
I haven't tried, but honestly I'm not so sure about FinAid's capabilites as far as personal counselling. I only say that because everytime I go in and ask about a specific loan or scholarship, they just grunt and hand me a packet with the basic info.

I'd just like to sort this out soon b/c Ellen and I and a few others have picked out our house, so as of June 1 I'll have a monthy rent/cable/utility bill to figure into the mix.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I don't have any credit cards. All I have is a free checking account that comes with a debit card, and my paychecks are directly deposited every two weeks. Is there any advantage to credit cards since debit cards are free and accepted pretty much everywhere now?
.

No, there's no advantage to credit cards. You can buy things you can't afford, but that's not an advantage when the time comes to pay back what you owe.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
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Lies,

1. Yes, make an appt with someone at Financial Aid asap!

2. Check out the Direct loans web site. (http://ed.gov will get you there). You can get a pin # and check your account regularly! And don't be afraid to call them whenever. They love it.

3. What do you mean, they don't bill you? Who are your loans though? Isn't it the Dept of Ed? I get bills I think quarterly on interest, and I recommend paying that off as soon as you get it, so it doesn't capitalize! The $$ can really skyrocket it you let it capitallize.

4. Staying away from credit cards is very good advice. You're wise.

Good luck! LMK if I can help more.



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Old 01-16-2004, 10:30 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Sherry Darling

3. What do you mean, they don't bill you? Who are your loans though? Isn't it the Dept of Ed? I get bills I think quarterly on interest, and I recommend paying that off as soon as you get it, so it doesn't capitalize! The $$ can really skyrocket it you let it capitallize.
I have one CitiAssist (The Student Loan Corp.) and another through somewhere else (I forget) and they bill me monthly. The other two are the ones the school sets up, I think they are called Stafford, the Federal ones, and they don't bill you at all until you're done with school, but I think they still charge interest....?

Oh, and I just went to that link you posted. I DO have a FAFSA pin, actually I have to reset it my mom said since it has my dad's old e-mail. He fills out my FAFSA forms once his tax info is returned to him and then calls me so I know when I have to do the "electronic signature" thing.
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Old 01-17-2004, 04:27 PM   #10
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mmm, debt...

stay away from credit cards as long as you can.

I agree, go make an appointment with a financial aid person, and get bitchy if they just try to get you to go away by handing you packets.
If you can afford some payments now then I'd go for it, but there's nothing wrong with waiting til after you graduate and have an actual job... mine are all deferred until after I graduate.

I have a related question though... I'm planning on going to grad school, do deferred loans get deferred until after you get out of grad school, if you decide to do such a thing? Cause I doubt I'd make enough in grad school to pay for them...
Though I have to go down to financial aid myself, I spose I could just ask them.
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kristie
I have a related question though... I'm planning on going to grad school, do deferred loans get deferred until after you get out of grad school, if you decide to do such a thing? Cause I doubt I'd make enough in grad school to pay for them...
Though I have to go down to financial aid myself, I spose I could just ask them.
Kristie, I think student loans can be unpaid until six months after NOT being a full time student. So I would say that since you'd be a full time student in grad school, you wouldn't have to pay yet.
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:19 AM   #12
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No, you don't have to pay them while you're a postgrad. Which reminds me that I have to switch my loans from undergrad from economic hardship to in school deferment....
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:16 AM   #13
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Kristie, you do have a request a deferrment though. There's a form. And remember, the interest doesn't stop accruing. But no, you don't have to pay them in grad school. I sure ain't.

Lies, that's it exactly. I'd really recommend that, and the advice about getting bitchy if need be is good. Someone at your school gets paid to help you with this. My counselor is pretty good, actually. Make sure you understand and you need to pay when and why. I also recommend keeping your own records and copies of everything. My school's student record's office is notorious for losing stuff.

Good luck ladies!

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Old 01-20-2004, 03:59 PM   #14
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hm, ok I went to FinAid today, the bitchy lady was still there and scared me away again. I asked her to have a FinAid officer fill out the bottom of an application and she got all snobby and was like "WELL usually we send that all in together" (the Guardian wasn't signed b/c Dad is in Montreal) so she gave the paper back and said to bring it in when it's complete and was like "duh, it's not due till April" even though I want them to look at LAST year's FAFSA I'm not an IDIOT POO ON HER

But I got SOME good news. Turns out, my GPA is now high enough to move up a bracket, I just have to re-apply for my old scholarship once interim courses are finished. Also, I applied for five other scholarships today and as soon as my dad can stop in a sign it, that can be submitted.
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