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5 things to know about student debt

Six months ago, you graduated from Louisiana State University and you've just received your first notice requesting payment on your student loans and wondering how you're going to afford the payments on your entry-level salary. Or perhaps, you graduated from Tulane several years ago and you're finding yourself deep in debt between your mortgage and your student loans.

Getting a college degree is a major accomplishment that you have spent years working toward, and, like most graduates, you may now be wondering if that education was worth the amount of debt you incurred. While there are many facts you should know about student loans, you can find five of the most important ones below.

Organize, organize, organize

Getting your student loan debt under control can be more easily accomplished once you get organized. If you have loans from multiple sources, make a list of whom you owe along with their respective monthly payment amounts.

Knowing whom you owe and how much you owe them will help you to allocate your funds and prioritize your expenses.

Explore federal alternative payment options

If your income is not enough to support making monthly payments on your student loans, consider applying for an income-driven payment plan. You may qualify to have your loan payments reduced to a manageable amount based on your income.

The life of your loan may also be extended to 20 or 25 years. However, an extension means that you will be paying on the loans for a longer period of time which will increase the amount of interest you will pay.

Benefits of good credit

If your credit is good, you may be able to have your loans refinanced. Doing this may lead to better loan terms, such as a reduced interest rate, resulting in lower monthly payments. Refinancers are more likely to approve people with high income and excellent credit.

Beware of scams

Getting a call from a company that pressuring you into a "buying" a repayment plan is a sure sign that someone is trying to scam you. Watch out for companies that offer debt forgiveness or debt relief in exchange for a significant up-front payment. These people will take your payment, you will never hear from them again, and you will still be liable for your student debt.

Student debt relief scams employ a variety of tactics which, if you know about them in advance, will act as red flags for you tell the good guys from the bad.

You have options

Don't let your student debt weigh you down. You have options to ease your repayment process. In addition to private refinancing, there are also multiple federal programs available to help you get back on track.

If you're having problems repaying your loans, one of the best things you can do is seek advice on restructuring your debt. Consult a Louisiana attorney with debt relief experience today.

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