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According to a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the amount of student loan debt in America has surpassed both auto and credit card debt, making student loan debt the largest form of consumer debt outside of mortgages. As student loan debt has grown, so has the delinquency rate. If you are one of the many Americans struggling to pay off your student loans, you should educate yourself about repayment options available for both federal and private student loans. To help you get started, here are some tips for getting information about your loans, and what options may be available to you.
What options are available and how you pursue them will depend on whether your loans were obtained through the government, or through a private lender. Let’s look at federal loans first.
If you have a Federal Loan(s):
Extended Term Payment Plans: if you have more than $30,000 in outstanding federal loans, this plan allows you to extend the repayment term up to 25 years.
Direct Consolidation Loan: allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal student loans into one loan. The result is an extended repayment term and single monthly payment instead of multiple payments.
If you have Private Loan(s):
Continue to manage your loans
As your situation changes so may the options that are available to you. Therefore, it is a good idea to periodically check with your lenders as to whether there are any new programs available of which you may be able to take advantage.
Avoid surprises! Be prepared for closing costs when it's time to finalize your loan.
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