My Diploma Cost Me How Much?!

For those of us graduating college in May, the real world is quickly creeping up on us. Last week I attended a required seminar regarding one of the things I’m dreading most about post-graduate life: loans. Throughout the presentation the financial aid director gave us the run-down of what a loan is, the grace period rules, and the repercussions if you don’t pay them back. The entire time I couldn’t help but cringe at the fact that I will be in the real world in less than fifty days, and once my grace period is over with I will be paying back for the most expensive piece of paper that, hopefully, I’ll ever have to pay for–my diploma!

For those twenty-somethings who will be graduating soon, let’s be realistic and smart about what’s coming our way!

Understand your loan(s)
At this point, you should know each of your loans and the grace period that corresponds with them. Keep in mind that they might differ. When I saw how much I owe I almost fainted, but that’s what I get for attending a $30,000+ university!

Deferring and Forbearing Your Loan
If you plan on continuing your education you can request a deferment which will “postpone” your loans! Yay! Also, if you’re having trouble paying back your loans because of unemployment, low-income, or health problems you can request a forbearance. BUT it’s important to remember that interest will still accrue during a forbearance (and in some cases with a deferment as well) so be sure you ask your lender for all the information regarding the two.

And Don’t Forget…
If you change your name, phone number, address, etc. make sure you notify your lender. Another smart way to prepare yourself is to use a personal budget worksheet. YES, there are apps for that!

Sitting through a two hour meeting about loans wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it had to be done and it reminded me how I’m constantly looking for a job, and preparing myself for what’s to come. Even though loans are inevitable, my close friend, Abby said “You can’t put a price on the memories we’ve made.” Cheers to that!

~S

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