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Tuesday Tips

We just finished up our Exit Counseling sessions for our May 2012 graduates!  This is one of our most informative and beneficial financial aid sessions that we offer on-site which every student will attend before they graduate.  It gives you all the information you will need to realize your overall loan debt, pick a repayment plan, consolidate your loans or defer payment.  Currently, the Executive Director of Admissions and Student Financial Planning, Laura Zuppo holds these sessions and gives her first-hand knowledge on many of the subjects talked about.   

Here are the Top 10 Tips for upcoming graduates: 

  1. Direct Stafford loans have an automatic 6 month grace period.
  2. Direct Graduate Plus loans have an automatic 6 month deferment.
  3. To postpone payments: you can choose a Deferment or Forbearance. 
  4. You are eligible to change your repayment plan once a year. 
  5. A standard repayment plan is a 10 year fixed or graduated (amount gets larger with time) monthly payment.  NO pre-pay penalties!  This plan results in the lowest interest paid. 
  6. Extended repayment plan is up to 25 years and can be either fixed or graduated payments per month.  You pay a high amount of interest with this plan. 
  7. An income contingent plan is based on income, family size, and loan amounts.  It is a 25 year repayment plan and changes in income impacts the monthly payment amount!
  8. Income sensitive plans are for FFELP loans only.  This plan is based on income and total loan amount. 
  9. Income-based repayment plan (IBR) payments are determined by income and dependents and NOT only the debt amount.  Payments can be as low as $0 per month in some cases.  For an online calculator visit:  http://www.ibrinfo.org/calculator.php
  10. If you choose to consolidate your loans, you will only have one payment to one lender and takes about 2 months to complete. If you plan to consolidate, do the application now but don’t file too early to lose the benefit of the grace period.