It’s no doubt that graduating from college is a major accomplishment. However, when you know you are going to leave with a bundle of student loans that need to be paid back, your stress level just keeps rising. With the cost of education rising, you may owe a shocking amount of money. It’s important to put together a good plan, so you know how exactly you’re going to pay this off.
The first step is to figure out how much money you owe and who you owe it to. There might have been loans that were taken out when you first entered school, but these are just as important as the most recent ones. This information is most likely with your lenders and your school’s financial aids office. Look through the paperwork and figure out the types of loans, how much money you owe, and to whom.
Next step would be to write up a budget. Make a note of any money coming in and going out, including salary, rent, food, etc. Figure out ways to decrease spending and how to start saving more money. It could be helpful to put a certain amount of money aside from each paycheck every month.
Do some research and learn about different types of repayment options. When you graduate, you get a six-month grace period where you don’t have to pay your loans. However, the longer you wait to pay it off, the higher the interest rate. You have various options to choose from, a few are to pay in full, standard payment, or graduated payment. Before making a decision, get on the computer and look around at different sites to learn about these options. Pick whichever would be best for you.
Through all of this planning and budgeting, do not forget to relax and to not panic. There’s no doubt that this is a stressful time, but if you follow these steps and stick to your plan, you’ll have your loan paid off in no time. Just get in the habit of thinking down the road and into the future, so when the time comes, you aren’t struggling to stay afloat.
Every summer, Archana works at Kumon, a math and reading workshop, tutoring children between the ages of three and 18 in these subjects. She used to be enrolled in this program herself, so this allows her to connect with the students and give them the one-on-one help that they need. Archana is also currently a member of NC State’s Psychology Club, Rotaract Club, and EKTAA (NC State’s premiere South Asian Student Organization).
Archana was born in India, and moved to North Carolina with her immediate family when she was 7 years old. She speaks mostly Tamil, the native language of South India, and English in her home. In addition, having taken Spanish classes since 6th grade, she can speak and understand it pretty well too. Archana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, listening to music, and going to the gym. She also loves to travel, and hopes to travel the world one day and learn about all the different cultures!
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