Paying for College
Resources to help you select and pay off loans:
Tips for managing student loan debt
- You have a choice between federal and private student loans. Federal loans tend to be the better choice due to the fixed interest rate and the availability of income-based repayment programs. Interest rates for private loans are often variable and can increase over time. For an in-depth comparison of federal and private loans, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website.
- Remember: Student loan interest accumulates. Only borrow the amount you absolutely need.
- Start making interest payments while you’re still in college, if you can. It cuts the amount you’ll owe – and that interest accrues on – once you graduate.
- Avoid scholarship scams and debt collection scams.
- Max out your federal student aid before you turn to private loans. If you take out private loans, carefully shop for and compare terms and costs. The lower the APR, the easier a loan will be to repay.
- Avoid consolidating federal loans with private loans. It can strip away protections built into federal loans.
- Use student loan calculators. Online student loan calculators can help you compare loans and also keep track of what kind of payments you’ll need to make when you graduate. Free calculators:
- Read your statements and track your payments carefully. Keep a written record of everything in case you need to dispute a statement. If you have a problem with your loan servicer, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.