Preparing to repay your student loan | smart money

Mary Jo Lambert-Terry, managing partner at Yrefy, shared some tips for preparing for student loan repayments again.

PENNSYLVANIA, United States — An investigation by the Student Debt Crisis Center found that 89% of borrowers are not ready to start making payments again.

Pennsylvania borrowers specifically racked up $63.9 billion in student loan debt.

That’s why Mary Jo Lambert-Terry, managing partner at Yrefy, shared some tips for getting ready for student loan repayments again.

“One of the biggest things we struggle with is that there’s a lot of anxiety around student loans,” she said. “It’s a big number. It’s really scary whether you’re alone or you have a family. So what you want to do is know that knowledge is power, so you know at least what steps you need to take, and you know what programs are available to you.”

Over the past two years, those payments you’ve made have likely been allocated elsewhere in your budget, so it’s essential to take the time to update your information.

“You want to make sure you’re not on direct debit. Right? If you were making payments of $200, you don’t want money coming out of your account when you didn’t expect it. not for it to happen,” she said.

Lambert-Terry advises looking at the federal program options available if you are unable to afford what you were doing before. Part of this federal assistance includes the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining balance of your direct loans after you make 120 eligible monthly payments under an eligible repayment plan while working on time. full for an eligible employer, according to the official Federal Student Aid website.

You might even consider loan consolidation, says Lambert-Terry, which is a form of debt refinancing that involves taking out one loan to pay off several more.

“Now is definitely not the time to wait and see what happens,” Lambert-Terry said. “Take five or 10 minutes, late at night, early in the morning, see what you can get yourself into in a positive way. You have nothing to lose.”

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