Congratulations to all of you graduating this spring!
However, once the excitement of commencement is over, the reality of student loans will start to sink in. The graduating class of 2016 had an average debt of $37k, up 6% from last year. The total amount of student loan in the US is $1.4 trillion, spread across 44 million consumers (that’s over $600 million more than the total credit card debt in the US). These figures can be intimidating, and predatory companies looking to confuse recent grads make navigating the system even harder. Here are some tips and hints when making decisions regarding your student loans:
- Research your student loans: make sure to know if they are federal or private, what the interest rates & terms are, and check the provider’s information in the National Student Loan Data System
- Never EVER give out your information over the phone to someone offering student loan forgiveness. If someone cannot give you a mailing address to verify if they are legitimate company HANG UP THE PHONE.
- Check if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy has identity theft protection included. If not, it is a relatively inexpensive option to add that can give you peace of mind while you are working to pay off your student debt.
- Know the difference between grace periods, deferment, income-driven repayment plans, and forbearance. Most experts agree that forbearance should be the last option as interest is still accrued while payments are not due.
- Develop a repayment plan with the help of your provider (never pay someone to negotiate this with the lender; you can work directly with them) to avoid defaulting on the loans.
At Alpha/Omega Coverage, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. In addition, our financial division, Alpha/Omega Financial Services, offers a complimentary financial review to all new and existing clients. Just give us a call at 718-494-4440 or send us a note at Mike@insureSI.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!
The author is providing the material and viewpoints on a generic informational basis. All references to various insurance policies, coverage terms, policy language, exclusions, definitions etc. are from a broad selection of general insurance information. It is not intended to be used for any specific policy or coverage situation. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the views of the insurance companies it represents. Content has been referenced from U.S. News and World Report.