NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For millions of college students, the month of May marks graduation, transition from classroom to career, and preparation for new responsibilities, including paying back student loans. Sallie Mae — the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company — has a variety of free tips, tools, and resources to help recent grads prepare for that transition, successfully manage their payments, and reduce costs.
“We’re a partner in helping families save, plan, and pay for college – and that partnership extends well beyond graduation,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “When it comes to paying back student loans, starting off on the right foot is critical. Our free tools and resources can provide that all-important roadmap to guide and support recent grads as they prepare for those next steps and establish responsible personal finance habits.”
Sallie Mae’s “Manage your student loans” is a one-stop source of straightforward, comprehensive information. It features practical tools, including a monthly budget worksheet and a loan payment estimator, as well as easy-to-understand explanations of complex subjects, like how interest accrues, how payments are allocated to principal and interest, and how to build a strong credit history.
The company also offers the following tips to help newly-minted graduates get prepared:
Get organized. Students who borrowed to pay for college are given a six-month grace period after graduation when no payments are required. This is the ideal time to get prepared. Start by understanding who you owe — whether loans are federal or private — and how much you owe, including interest rates and any accrued interest. Think about your other expenses, too. Using Sallie Mae’s budget worksheet can help you get organized.
Be responsible. Open any mail you receive from your lender or student loan servicer and read it carefully. Update your contact information when you leave school — including your e-mail address. If you run into trouble, don’t ignore it. Contact your lender or servicer, or touch base with your cosigner if you have one.
Make payments automatic. Sign up for automatic payments, and you’ll never have to worry about missing a payment, you’ll avoid late fees, and you might qualify for a discount on your interest rate. Sallie Mae customers may be eligible to receive a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction when they pay on-time via auto-debit. Paying on time also helps establish and build a favorable credit history, and that can make a big difference when you apply for a car loan, credit card, lease, mortgage, or even a job.
Consider paying a little extra. If you can, make more than the minimum payment each month. You’ll pay off your loan faster, and you’ll pay less interest. Sallie Mae’s accrued interest calculator can estimate how much you might save.
Use Sallie Mae® Mobile App to make payments. If you are a Sallie Mae customer, you now have the ability to make and manage payments anytime, anywhere, including from an Apple Watch or by using Siri, and the App is available for iPhone and Android.
To help with the transition to repayment, Sallie Mae also offers a Graduated Repayment Period (GRP), which allows graduates with eligible Sallie Mae loans in good standing to make 12 months of interest-only payments before they transition into making full principal and interest payments. Sallie Mae is the first private student lender to offer a GRP option.
For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.