Know what you owe
An important money tip for college students is to know what you owe, who you owe it to, and what options and responsibilities you have.
Know your loan debt
Do you know your total student loan debt? To find information about your federal financial aid loans, go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website.
NSLDS tracks your federal loans. It shows the amount you borrowed and who holds each loan.
Save on interest
A great way to stay on top of your loans is to contact your loan holders to find out how to make payments while you’re in school. Paying before repayment starts reduces your balance.
If interest accrues while you are in school, the unpaid accrued balance is capitalized. Capitalization means your principal balance increases because the interest is added to it.
Future interest accrues on the higher balance — that’s why paying what you can while in school is a smart money move. By making interest payments while you’re in school, your payment will be lower when you officially enter repayment and you’ll save yourself some money on interest.
Explore payment plans
Understanding your loans must be repaid is important. Even if you aren’t making payments yet, do you know what your monthly payment will be on your current loan balance?
You can use the loan calculators on the FinAid! website to see how your monthly payment and total cost will change with different payment plans.
Knowing what you will pay in the future might lead you to reduce the amount you borrow. A lower amount borrowed results in a lower monthly payment.
An excellent way to reduce the amount you borrow is to apply for scholarships. Go to our Center for Scholarship Excellence to learn more.
If you have questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!