Here’s what you can do now to set yourself up to start tackling your loan payments again.
Many borrowers have grown accustomed to having more money in their budgets since they haven’t had to make monthly student loan payments for over a year and a half. With these payments resuming, some borrowers may have to readjust their spending and saving in order to afford this additional bill. And in some cases, that may be easier said than done.
Select spoke with bert-Terry, a managing partner at Yrefy, a lender that specializes in private student loans, to get some tips on how to prepare to restart your student loan payments. Here are 10 steps you can take to set yourself up for success:
1. Make sure you know who your loan servicer is
Over the past few months, some federal student loan servicers have opted to not renew their contracts with the U.S. Department of Education to manage loan payments. This could mean you won’t be sending your monthly payments to the same agency that you did before the pandemic. Instead, you will be reassigned to a new loan servicer and it’s important to know who that is.
“The first thing borrowers should look into is who their loan servicer currently is,” says Lambert-Terry. “This info can be found on . This piece is key, because it’s always good to reacquaint yourself with who you should send payments to and what the payment amount is.”
2. Update your address if needed
Many people moved at some point during the pandemic and will need to make sure their loan servicer has their most up-to-date mailing information., so you get your monthly bills and other communications.
If you need to update your address, you can go to the website, click on your profile and update your personal information with your new address and phone number, says Lambert-Terry. Alternatively, you can go directly to your loan servicer’s website and update your information there.
3. Double check the minimum amount you’re required to pay
“You want to make sure that you’re setting yourself for success, so you’ll need to know how much of a minimum monthly payment you had prior to the pandemic, and how it fits into your lifestyle right now,” Lambert-Terry says. “Reacquainting yourself with how much you need to pay can help you figure out if it’s still in your budget and what your other options may be if it isn’t.”
If your situation has changed, and the required minimum payment is a bit too high, one option to consider is enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan. With this payment plan, your required minimum payment is dependent on how much money you’ve earned that month, so you can avoid being on the hook for an amount that may break your budget.
4. Take a look at your budget to make sure you can afford the payments
For many borrowers, the pause on payments has changed the way they spend and save money. Some people may have been able to pad their savings with the money they would have otherwise put toward their debt. Others may have found it more manageable to move out or upgrade to a different living space with the extra room in their budgets.
Some of the https://rapidloan.net/payday-loans-sd/ lifestyle changes you made during the pandemic may affect how much you can comfortably afford to start paying toward your debt. So it’s a good idea to take a look at what your spending has been like over the last few months to figure out how much of a monthly student loan payment can fit into your financial plan.