July 27, 2015
Getting a student loan is incredibly easy – you simply go to your schools financial aid website, enter some of your personal information, and click on a few “I Agree” boxes. Bam! You now have student loan debt.
The fact is, though, that you have to do this multiple times throughout college. In fact, you are probably doing this for the first time before you even get to school – usually in the summer before your first semester.
As such, you need to make sure that you are staying organized with your student loan debt even before you graduate college. Failing to do so can really hurt your credit score, and it can end up costing you a lot of money.
Here are three tips to make managing your student loans a little easier.
1. Create A Student Loan File
First, you need to start by organizing all of your paperwork. When it comes to your student loans, you’re going to start receiving a lot of paperwork and statements. You need to keep all of these statements because they will contain information you’re going to need in the future. Examples of these statements include your Master Promissory Note, your Monthly Statements, and more.
You should figure out a system that works for you, but while you’re still in college, simply getting a manila folder and labeling it Student Loans should be sufficient. If you have a filing system already, you may consider looking into a tool like HomeFile to stay organized.
2. Use Budgeting Software to Keep Track of Your Debts
Beyond the paperwork, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re keeping track of your loan balances – even while you’re in school.
Not only does this help you stay organized, but it helps you really understand your total financial picture.
One of the best ways to do this is to use a free tool like Mint or Personal Capital to connect your student loan account and track your balance. Since these programs update your balances automatically, you can always know.
3. Always Keep Your Lenders Up-To-Date
Finally, the biggest tip to make sure you never miss a payment is to always keep your lenders up to date with your contact information. When you take out loans in college, you may end up moving 3-4 times before you ever start repaying them. As such, that contact information on the first loans may be outdated, and when they go to send you a statement, you may miss it.
As you move through the dorms and eventually off campus, make sure that you are updating your lender with your current address so that you always receive a statement. Also, if you sign up for eStatements, make sure that you have an email provider like Gmail outside of your campus to receive email. Once you graduate, some schools deactivate that email address and you may miss a bill as well.
The goal is simply to make it easy for your student loan servicing company to send you your statements, so you never miss a payment on accident.
Please note that the information provided on this website is provided on a general basis and may not apply to your own specific individual needs, goals, financial position, experience, etc. LendKey does not guarantee that the information provided on any third-party website that LendKey offers a hyperlink to is up-to-date and accurate at the time you access it, and LendKey does not guarantee that information provided on such external websites (and this website) is best-suited for your particular circumstances. Therefore, you may want to consult with an expert (financial adviser, school financial aid office, etc.) before making financial decisions that may be discussed on this website.
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