Poor-Man's Guide to Paying Off Student Loans

If you are having trouble paying off student loans, you are not alone. Instead of stressing over how you are going to manage making the payments, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of the payment, or even put the payments on hold for a while you work toward a more stable financial situation. 

Apply for Forbearance

Forbearance will stop your loan payments temporarily and can be applied for online, over the telephone, or by mail. Unlike a deferment, there isn't much that needs to be done to get a forbearance. There is a limit to how much forbearance time you can take on your loans. 

Apply for Deferment

This stops the loan payments for up to 12 months at a time. It must be applied for, but there are several different types of deferment, including an in school deferment for those who are still in school, a working mother deferment, and an economic hardship deferment.

Get an Extended Payment Plan

This reduces the monthly payment amount through extending the loan term.

No matter what you do, continue to make an effort to make some sort of payment, to prevent the loans from going into default, because this status will harm your credit, potentially cause you to lose tax refunds, and maybe even garnish your wages.



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