Kids And Money: Class Of 2017, It’s Time To Start Repaying Your Loans

By Steve Rosen
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) It’s estimated that more than two-thirds of last spring’s graduates left with diplomas and student loan debt, debt that could take a decade or more to pay back.

Tribune News Service

November is not only the start of the holiday season, it’s also loan repayment season for college graduates of the class of 2017.

Most loans enter the repayment process six months after a student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. So if you graduated last spring, the meter is running.

It’s estimated that more than two-thirds of last spring’s graduates left with diplomas and student loan debt, debt that could take a decade or more to pay back.

Here are some tips to help recent college grads get off to a good start repaying their student loans.

-Beware of scammers. Increasingly, fraudsters have been targeting recent college graduates with loan consolidation offers on federal student debt. Avoid these offers, and their hefty upfront fees, because scammers are also after access to your student loan account. Besides, you can make your own loan consolidation arrangements free.

The good news: federal and state regulators, acting through Operation Game of Loans, have been cracking down on scammers and identity thieves.

-Get organized. If you haven’t done so already, Sallie Mae recommends creating a student-loan checklist with information about each of your loans, including the loan ID numbers, lender names, lender websites, phone numbers and payment addresses, the amount borrowed, the interest rates and monthly payments. Keep any communication you receive on your loans.

If you have federal student loans, you’ll be sending payments to a loan servicing company. With private loans, payments will likely go to the lender from which you borrowed. Borrowers with federal loans can track them through the National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.ed.gov.

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