NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May is officially graduation season for college students, marking that pivotal transition from academia to adulthood. Navigating what’s next often includes finding a job, deciding where to live, and preparing for other responsibilities like paying back student loans.
Sallie Mae has tools and resources to help recent graduates get on the right track. The company’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.
Whether student loans are federal or private, Sallie Mae recommends the following tips to help recent grads manage their payments:
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 what you owe — whether loans are federal or private — and how much you owe, including interest rates and any accrued interest. Think about other expenses, too. Using Sallie Mae’s budget worksheet can help you get organized.
Check your inbox. 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. Touch base with your cosigner if you have one or contact your lender or servicer.
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, 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 Graduated Repayment Period option.
“Research tells us that young adults are hungry for more information about how best to manage their finances, and for many, paying back student loans is one of their first experiences in doing just that, “ said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “Of course, it’s critical to start out on the right foot, and that means getting prepared. Doing a little bit of homework in advance will set students up for success in the long run.”
For more information, visit SallieMae.com.
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to support access to college and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, happen. 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.