What Every Student Needs To Know About Student Loans As They Graduate

Now that the graduation speeches have commenced, many college graduates will be embarking on their 1st job in the official workforce.   According to the USA Today, student loan debt has increased a whopping 84% since the 2008 recession and has now exceeded more than 1.2 trillion dollars.   With the average student debt payment around $280 a month, here are some facts and figures all students should know about their student loans as they graduate.

  • Know Your Grace Period
    • This is how long you can wait for repayment although you can start repaying automatically
    • Six months for Stafford Loans
    • Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans
    • Other loans such as PLUS loans will vary loan to loan
  • Understand Your Loans
    • National Student Loan Data System (www.nslds.ed.gov) will be the central place to look at all of your loans
    • Determine your federal loan balance
    • Track down all private loans so you can compile one master loan spreadsheet
    • At some point, you might consider a refinance if interest rates are too high
  • Build A Repayment Plan Strategy
    • Generally 10 year repayment plans
    • You should review the difference between Income Based Replacement (IBR) or pay as you earn (PAYE) to see what monthly payment you need to be making
    • You may be able to have debt forgiven after 10 years if you work for certain government agencies of certain nonprofits
  • Stay Out Of Trouble
    • Default can happen after 9 months of non-payment
    • Default can affect your credit score which will impact many parts of your financial life
    • Government can garnish wages or tax refunds

Debt can take both a financial and emotional toll on a new college graduate.  It’s best to sit down now and begin to build out a budget and an initial financial game plan for your future.   Congratulations to all college graduates across the country! 

Written by: Ted Jenkin
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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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