WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Graduating and feeling hesitant about your student loans? You’re not alone. According to a national survey of 1,040 college students by College Ave Student Loans conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights, one in three seniors (35%) are unsure how much they will owe on their upcoming monthly student loan bill.
While some lacked confidence in their knowledge, the majority of the students surveyed had realistic expectations: median student loan estimates upon graduation were $30,000 - $39,999, and median payment estimates were $300 per month. Of the seniors, most knew the anticipated salary for their first job after graduation, and nearly half (49%) expected that salary to be more than $35,000 per year.
“Knowing how much you’ll need to pay each month on your student loans is a fundamental first step for smart financial planning, and the sooner you know it, the better,” says College Ave Student Loans CEO and Co-Founder Joe DePaulo. “Hopefully students are thinking about their eventual monthly payment during school before they borrow. As they graduate and enter the workforce, everything from planning a monthly budget to negotiating their first salary can be better informed if they know what that bill will be each month.”
To get started, College Ave Student Loans offers these student loan repayment tips for recent college graduates:
- Get organized. Organize all your student loans to make sure you know when your monthly payments start, the amount due for each one, and your various due dates so you don't accidentally miss any payments or pay late. If you’re not sure how many loans you have, request a copy of your credit report. You can usually get this for free, and any federal and private student loans in your name will be reflected there.
- Get to know your loan servicers. These are the companies handling the billing and payment services for your loans. Make sure each one has your current contact information, including both your email and mailing address.
- Consider signing up for auto-pay. Auto-pay is usually available for each loan through your student loan servicers. You'll often get a discount on your interest rate when you’re making automatic payments, and you’ll know that your payments are being made on time each month. It’s a great way to save money and build good credit.
- Know your grace period. Most student loans have a grace period; this is the amount of time you can wait after leaving school before you have to make your first payment. It can vary by loan depending on which type of loan you have. The grace period is usually six or nine months, and it’s designed to give you time after you graduate to find a job and get on your feet before full payments are due. Interest continues to accrue during the grace period on most loans though, so if you have the ability to start making payments before the grace period ends, you should. This will help you save money in the long run.
- Pay attention to the interest rate on each loan. When you can afford to pay a little extra, you’ll usually save the most money by paying down the loan with the highest interest rate first.
For college graduates who want to explore ways to save and simplify their finances, refinancing student loans is also an option to consider. With College Ave Student Loans Refi's low rates and flexible repayment terms, college graduates may save money – each month, in total cost, or maybe even both – on their student loans. Borrowers can choose immediate full payments or two years of interest-only payments as they get on their feet and begin their careers. To see if refinancing is right for you, College Ave Student Loans offers a calculator to help you explore your options. Before you refinance federal loans with a private lender, make sure you understand the unique federal loan benefits that are not available on private loans.
About the Survey
The College Ave Student Loans survey was conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights. The national survey had 1,040 undergraduate student respondents and was conducted April 27 - May 7, 2017.
About College Ave Student Loans
College Ave Student Loans is simplifying the student loan experience so students can get on with what matters most: preparing for a bright future. As a fintech lending company with a sole focus on private student loans, we’re using technology and our deep industry expertise to connect families who need to cover education costs with lenders who can provide that funding. By specializing in student loans, we are able to give our customers the attention they deserve and deliver loans that are simple, clear, and personalized for the individual: we help you find your perfect fit. We offer competitive rates, a wide range of repayment options, and a customer-friendly experience from application through repayment. Visit www.collegeavestudentloans.com.