By following the three steps below, you’ll stay on top of your finances and be prepared to repay your loans after graduation.
Graduate on time
Another year with your friends on campus could be fun, but it also means another year of college expenses. That could mean more student loan debt.
Remember that many scholarships and grants require that you maintain a certain grade level or "satisfactory academic performance." Also, some multi-year awards max out after four years. So enjoy college, but also stay focused, keep your grades up, and graduate on time.
Consider making payments on your student loans while in school
Making student loan payments while you’re in school can significantly reduce your student loan obligation after graduation. If you don’t postpone all your payments until your leave school, you can save money by avoiding interest capitalization, resulting in a reduction in the total cost of the loan.
Another benefit of making payments while you’re in school is a greater awareness of how much you owe, which can help you make decisions about how to manage your entire financial situation.
Remember: This is just a tip. You’re not required to make payments on most student loans until you leave school. But don’t forget that interest will accrue on your loans (except Federal Direct Subsidized Loans) while you’re in school and during your six-month grace period.
Even interest-only or small payments will pay off later. In-school payments will minimize your monthly payment amount when you’re trying to enter the workforce. Use our repayment calculator to see the difference that making in-school payments can make in your monthly post-college payments.
One way to start paying down your loans is with Upromise Loan Link®.
Keep track of your student loan records
Whether you decide to start repaying your student loans while you’re in school or wait until after graduation, it is important to stay organized and keep track of the records related to your student loans.
Start a file for your records and all student loan information, keeping everything in one place. Web-based account management tools can simplify this process.
Sallie Mae OnlineSM allows you to review your account status, make a payment, change your repayment plan, see your payment history, get loan details, and communicate with your lender — all online. Plus, by accessing your account, you’re automatically entered in the Great Sallie Mae Giveaway, a sweepstakes that rewards one Sallie Mae student loan borrower each month with up to $25,000 toward his or her outstanding student loan balance.
Be sure to read the mail (and email) you get about your student loans so you can promptly complete any actions that are required.
Include your loan number on all correspondence with your lender and keep copies for your files.
If you have any phone conversations with your student loan provider or servicer, keep notes in your files with names and dates.