Getting to college, saving the money and earning it as you go is only a part of the story. Most students will borrow at least some of the cash they need.
Once the classes have finished and it’s time to get out into the real world, it’s also time to decide how you are going to handle your deferred student loan into the future. You don’t want a cloud hanging over you forever, nor do you want to miss then fun your new earning power gives you.
So what’s the deal then?
Let’s just look at what a deferred student loan is all about. Whilst some student loans are deferred, you need to realize that many require payments even while you are still at college, which as you might already realize, is like topping up a water barrel that has the plug already out at the bottom.
Question is, can you put money in at the top fast enough to stop your barrel becoming empty?
So, if you can, it might be a great idea to have a loan, like a Stafford loan that needs no repayment until graduation is over, often with a 6-month grace period as well, to get you started in your job and new home etc.
Whatever the benefits of this are, there are rules upfront. If you leave college, or do too few hours of class, for example, you may well be required to pay back all you have borrowed right away. From this point of view, so long as you stay enrolled in the college that you have chosen, or a similar qualifying one, you will be OK
In this way, the loan is regarded as a deferred student loan.
With a Stafford Loan, there are two ways that it works. Sometimes the deferred student loan is offered by the college itself. The alternative is where private funding is arranged, by a specialist in student loans and guaranteed by the federal government. Repayment is the same in both situations and the loan remains payable under the terms of the agreement.
An alternative, the Perkins deferred student loan, comes through the college and has government funds to back it and is focused on those who cannot afford a loan from any other sector.
You need to remember that there is a range of schedules for deferred student loans that are not as ‘deferred’ as you might want. Getting into one of these without the right plan going forward will give you a tough time, so make sure that you realize fully what you are getting into.
You see, as an example, a ‘Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students’ start their repayment demands within a couple of months of classes starting!
This is not really one of the deferred student loans that you would want to take, if you are in the emptying that water barrel situation. If you do find you have one of these loans, it’s vital to get your budgeting and cash flow well organized well before you start to fall behind.
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