Who to Talk to About Student Loans
Everyone has questions about student loans. If you are navigating the complex world of student loans, here’s who to talk to for help.
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Having the right person to answer your student loan questions can help you at every stage of the loan process.
Whether you’re a student or parent considering student loans, carrying loans while in school, or repaying your loans, an expert opinion can help.
Anyone struggling to manage their student loans can find help. We’ve researched who to talk to about your student loans.
In this guide:
- If you’re considering taking out student loans
- If you’re in school but not yet repaying
- If you’re repaying your student loans
- If your student loans are delinquent or in default
- If you’re considering student loans for a child
Who to talk to if you’re considering taking out student loans
Student loans have a significant impact on your financial future. The right advice can make a world of difference.
Below are options for students considering a student loan.
If you need advice
If you’re still in high school, your guidance counselor might offer helpful information about student loans. But guidance counselors’ expertise might end with helping you get into college.
Your parent or guardian is another resource. If you trust their opinion about money matters, consider discussing your student loan options with them. Some parents can help you navigate the process.
Another option is to reach out to your future college’s financial aid office. The financial aid office often offers a wealth of information about student loans. In many cases, you’ll find helpful advice.
You can seek advice from a single source, but it’s often best to get information from several sources. For example, your parent might advise more caution than the financial aid office. Once you gather several opinions, you can choose the path that suits your needs.
>>Read more: How to get free student loan help
If you’re ready to take out a student loan
If you know you want to take out student loans, it’s time to get specifics about your options. Your school’s financial aid office is a terrific starting place. Most financial aid offices have ample information about federal student loan options.
The Federal Student Aid office is another helpful resource. It’s often best to max out your federal loan options before considering private student loans. Federal student loans come with more repayment options and forgiveness opportunities.
Private student loans provide access to additional funds if you’ve hit your federal student loan borrowing limits. Shop around to find the best rates. When you find a private lender that suits your needs, move forward with an application.
Who can I talk to about my student loans if I’m in school but not yet repaying?
The right direction varies based on your questions.
The Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) is an excellent place for students with federal loans to start. It provides details about repayment terms. If you have questions, the free information might clarify the situation.
If you have private student loans, reach out to your lender. It can provide information about your loan.
Who to talk to if you’re repaying your student loans
At some point, you’ll start repaying your student loans. It’s easy to run into questions during the repayment process.
Federal student loan borrowers should reach out to their student loan servicer. As the company that handles your loan, the servicer should have the answers to your questions about making a payment, repayment plans, deferment, loan forgiveness, and more. If you aren’t sure who your loan servicer is, contact FSAIC. It can help you track down your loan servicer.
Private student loan borrowers with repayment questions should reach out to their lenders. The lender should have all the information you need to navigate the repayment process.
If your questions are more complex or you want to speak to a third party, consider reaching out to a financial advisor.
Who to talk to if your student loans are delinquent or in default
If you’ve missed student loan payments, the loans might be delinquent or in default. Delinquency happens when you miss a payment by as little as one day. Default occurs when you haven’t paid in at least 90 days for private loans and 270 days for federal loans.
If you are behind on your federal student loans, reach you to your loan servicer about deference, forbearance, and income-driven repayment plan options.
If you missed payments to your private student loans, communicate with your lender. It may provide deferment or forbearance options while you get back on your feet.
If you speak to your loan servicer or lender and want more advice, consider reaching out to a financial advisor or credit counselor.
Who parents and guardians considering student loans for a child can talk to
It’s normal for parents and guardians to have questions about student loans. We’ve researched the best places to ask for help.
If you need advice
If you’re trying to learn more about student loans for your child, the Federal Student Aid website has extensive information.
The financial aid office of your student’s future college may offer information tailored to your situation.
Beyond choosing suitable student loans, a financial advisor or credit counselor might be helpful. In either case, a financial expert can provide details on how student loans might affect your financial situation.
If you’re ready to help a child take out a student loan
If your child needs to take out student loans, the college’s financial aid office can often provide more information, especially if they plan to stick with federal student loan options.
The Federal Student Aid office is another place to find accurate information about federal student loan options.
Federal student loans are often the right choice. But if your child may need to take out private student loans, help them explore all their options by shopping for the best rates and terms.
If you and your child are uncertain, consulting with a financial advisor about private student loans can be a wise decision.
Author: Sarah Sharkey