Consider these 5 tips before making your first student loan payment


Congratulations! You’ve finished college and gotten your dream job. As you start your future, you’ll want to figure out your monthly budget, which includes paying back your student loans. Before your six-months’ grace period is up, consider these five tips to make your student loan payment part of your monthly routine.

Assess your monthly payment

Now that you’re finished securing your student loans, you’ll know what your monthly payment amount will be. If that amount is more than you can budget for right now, you can consider switching to an income-driven repayment plan. Based on your income, these plans lower your monthly payment. It may take you a little longer to pay back your loan, but the amount you pay each month won’t break your budget.

Consider consolidating

If you have multiple loans, you may end up with more than one payment each month to different lenders. Having all these loan payments due throughout the month to different lenders could become a big headache. Consolidating your loans provides a simplified monthly payment that will keep you from wondering, did I pay that student loan? All payments will be in one easy-to-remember, consolidated amount, and drafted once a month. 

Affordable repayment options

When you consolidate your loans, you have the options to choose a repayment plan that suits your budget. Again, this student loan repayment plan will be based on your income and may take longer to pay back than a traditional student loan payment. But you’ll have a loan payment that is easier to pay within the budget you have right now.

Auto drafting payments

Your student loans are federal loans, but you don’t pay the US Department of Education directly. You pay your loans to a loan servicer, and you can set up your loans to be auto-drafted from your account. Enrolling in this kind of monthly payment will ensure that you pay your loan back each month on time. 

Consider your sources

Unfortunately, student loan scammers are waiting to take advantage of you. Be sure you have done your homework and research your repayment and forgiveness options from a trusted source. If you’re asked to pay an application or maintenance fee, then you’re being scammed. The US. government and servicer will not ask you to pay these fees. 

Knowing what to expect when it’s time to pay your student loans will reduce your anxiety. Each of the tips above will help you budget for your future and pay your student loans on time.