Almost all students depend on federal and private student loans to pay for college. Getting these loans is relatively easy, which is great as it helps you get the funds you need for higher education. But that money is not free. Whatever you borrow has to be returned with interest within the time set by the lender. Not bothering to understand how and when to pay that money back is a big mistake.
If you miss that first student loan payment, you’ll pay a late fee fine and interest on the outstanding amount. This will push you further into debt before you’ve even started paying back your loan.
Here’s what you should know about when your first student loan payment will become due and how to make that payment.
Unlike most other types of loans, repayments on student loans don’t start immediately after disbursing the funds. Most student loan repayments start only after you graduate. This is to allow you to focus on your education while you’re in college. After graduation, lenders usually offer another six months grace period to give you time to find employment and start earning.
You most likely would have taken more than one loan every year that you were in college. By the time you graduate, you’ll have several loans, each with a different payment due date and payment amount. It’s almost impossible to remember details of each loan and when the first payment is due.
In most cases, lenders will send you a bill with details of your loan and date the first payment is due. In the event that you don’t receive the bill for whatever reason, you still have to make this first payment. That means you can’t rely fully on this notification to act as a reminder. You have to be proactive about it and set your own reminder. You also have to make sure that you have the funds ready by the due date to pay that first bill.
If you’ve graduated recently, your first student loan payment will be coming up soon. The first thing you need to do after you graduate is to take stock of all the loans you’re dealing with. Then you need to determine when the first payment is due, how much is due, and who you need to send the check to. To check your federal student loans, log in to your Federal Student Aid account. Once you log in, you’ll find details of each loan and the loan servicer for that loan. The most important thing to make sure your contact details are correct. This is especially important if you moved after finishing school. The lender will send the bill for your first payment to the address mentioned in your account. You want to make sure it’s the right one.
Next, create a spreadsheet with details of each loan. Include separate columns for the loan amount, payment due date, payment amount, interest rate, and the loan servicer’s name and contact details. Now you know the date that your first payment is due and how much you owe. If you need any help, you can always contact your loan servicer and ask.
Your private student loans will not be listed in your FSA account. You’ll need to look for these separately. The best way to do this is by checking your credit report. You can submit a request for a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Your report will have details of all your credit card and loan accounts. It will also have details of the relevant lender against each loan account.
Make a note of all your personal student loans and the lender’s contact details for each account. Contact each lender directly and ask them about your first repayment amount and due date. Also find out how that first payment needs to be made. Each lender has their own way of handling payments. Some may allow online payments while others may only accept check payments. Make sure to find out so you have everything you need when you have to make the payment.
If you moved after graduation, make sure to update your contact details with each lender individually. This will ensure that you don’t miss any important notifications from them.
So now you know when your first payment is due for each student loan account. The next step is to get ready to start making those payments.
Before you make your first student loan payment, you’ll need to set up accounts with each federal loan servicer and private lender. This is easy to do by registering with each loan servicers or lender’s website. Bookmark the payment site and keep the login details handy. You have everything you need now to start making those payments.
Making each loan payment individually can be very time-consuming. It also increases the chances of forgetting a deadline. Setting up autopay is a much better option. This service automatically transfers your monthly payments from your bank account to your lender’s account on the date you set. This ensures that you don’t miss any payments.
As an added bonus, lenders also offer a 0.25% interest rate discount if you enroll in autopay. Setting this up at the outset could save you thousands of dollars in interest over the loan term.
The last and most important thing of all is to make sure you have sufficient funds to cover all payments. If you don’t, you must inform your lender in advance. Most lenders will work with you to find a solution that works for both parties.
We hoped you enjoyed this article! Remember, you canand potentially lower your monthly student loan payments and save money.