For many of us, when we enter college, the furthest thing from our minds is the amount of student loan debt we’ll have to pay back when we graduate. The hope is that our degrees and college experience will help us land a high-paying job right out of the gate. While true for some, most of us are faced with the harsh reality that it takes time to build a career and eventually earn enough income to be financially stable. Most of us leave school owing around $30, 000 in student loans and when that first payment is due, it can be a rude awakening. The knee-jerk reaction is to call our loan servicers and request a forbearance or deferment. In most cases, the loan servicer will approve the request without giving us any information about the consequences of doing so. We’re typically so relieved to avoid having to make payments, we don’t even ask if there are other options, and the servicers certainly didn’t offer this information up.
Student loan counseling was established to ensure that borrowers are aware of ALL of their options so that they can pursue the one that’s in their best interest and that will save them the most amount of money. When you speak to a student loan counselor, they will review your budget and all of the federal student loan repayment plans that you may qualify for. They’ll show you what your monthly payments would be if you were to change plans or consolidate, and help you create a strategy that works for your specific circumstances. Even if you haven’t made a payment in years, our student loan counselors will help you design a budget to take advantage of the government’s loan rehabilitation program, which can bring your loan out of default, end garnishments and tax refund seizures, and give you the peace of mind that you’ve been looking for.
Some of the options that you may qualify are:
- Reduced monthly payments
- Loan consolidation, cancellation, and forgiveness
- Income-based repayment plans
- End garnishments and tax levies
The first step in the process is to speak with a student loan counselor. You can set up your appointment either by calling (888) 661-7910, or by completing the form on this page. A Cambridge counselor will discuss your situation and go over your options. Whether you’re interested in forbearance or deferment, loan forgiveness or cancellation, changing repayment plans or consolidating – even if you’ve been through the federal websites and don’t know what you want - your counselor will be ready to review all of your options with you, one by one. The advantage you’ll have in talking to a non-profit counselor is that we’re also prepared to look at your entire budget, to see if there are any other options that can help you manage your money better. There’s no reason to let student loan payments overwhelm your budget, especially when there may be options to bring your federal loans under control.