Loan officer shares tips to handle student debt

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

LUBBOCK, Texas — According to MSNBC, it costs around $13,000 for a full year of tuition including room and board, at a public university, or $28,000 for a private university.

Four years of that and you might run out of scholarship and grant money, which means you may have to pay a visit to a loan officer. You won’t be alone. Two-thirds of undergraduate and graduate students finish school with student debt, according to CNN Money.

Managing that debt, though, can be stressful. Staci Schiller, marketing program manager for Wells Fargo Education Financial Services, offered some guidelines to help graduates control their student loans.

She explained that after graduation a student has six months to begin paying monthly installments on their loan.

“They have that six-month grace period for a reason,” she said. “They may not find a job right away. Some folks might want to get established. Others might be ready to jump in right away.”

She said students might want to consider loan consolidation when payback time comes. That way, she said, students might be able to lump all their loans into one, which means one payment and one interest rate.

Keep the lines of communication open with your lender, Schiller said. By doing that students can stretch their loan out from 10 to 30 years by making smaller monthly payments, she said. That’s called a flexible consolidation loan.

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