Student Finance

Advice on Repaying Your Loans and Keeping Up With Your Payments - By Suzette Smith, Debt Management

Understanding your student loan repayment options and learning how to be financially responsible may help you in the repayment of your loans.  Choosing not to repay your student loan may negatively affect you.  Remember that you’re not alone.  Men and women live every day with student loans and pay them off successfully.  Your life doesn’t have to be bogged down by debt and you don’t have to feel controlled by financial obligations.  Instead, arm yourself with helpful information and handle your loans without worry.

First things first – when you sign the promissory note agreeing to receive and pay back your student loan, you agree to:
•    Make your full monthly payments according to the scheduled payment plan.
•    Ensure you send your monthly  payment on time, to the correct address, regardless of whether or not you received a bill.

Tips for making your monthly payments 
•    Plan to make your student loan payment from one paycheck per month.  On the day you’re paid, write and mail the check to your lender.
•    Sign up for automatic withdrawal if your lender or servicer offers this option.
•    If you realize a payment is late, call the lender and offer to make an immediate payment over the phone. 
•    Be careful about making a payment in an amount smaller than that scheduled without the prior approval of the lender.  The loan will remain in a delinquent status until the lender receives the agreed-upon payment amount.
•    Some  lenders offer incentive programs, such as a reduction in your interest rate for on-time payments or using automatic withdrawal.  Contact your lender to find out what benefits might be available to you.

Getting help when you are unable to pay
If you are unable to make your scheduled payments, contact your lender to discuss your options.  You may be able to lower the amount of monthly payments or even postpone payments.  The important thing is to call versus avoiding the situation.

Some of the common options include:
•    Deferment – Temporarily postpones repayment of your student loans principal payments for eligible circumstance (i.e. being unemployed).
•    Forbearance – Temporarily postpones or reduces repayment of your monthly student loan and is granted at the discretion of the lender.

The process of repaying your student loans can seem complicated; however, the process becomes easier over time.  The most important tip is to stay in touch with your lender.  Also, UMA is always a resource to you. Feel free to call us to request assistance.  We can be contacted at or by calling 813.676.5714.


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