After you secure a student loan, you’ll enjoy a deferment period while you continue your education on a full-time basis. The typical deferment for a student loan lasts while you’re in school and during the first six months after you leave school or graduate. If you can swing it financially, there are benefits to paying on your student loan during the deferment period, especially if your loan stipulates that interest won’t accrue during deferment.
Contact a loan officer with your student loan lender to inquire about making a loan payment. You should find a customer service telephone number on your loan documentation. Tell the loan officer that you wish to make an early loan payment and ask for details about the procedure.
Get information about how making early payments on your student loan will affect you in the long term. For example, a subsidized loan will not accrue interest during the in-school deferment or grace period while an unsubsidized loan will accrue interest during times of deferment, according to the Federal Student Aid website. If your loan is accruing interest and you can at least make monthly payments that pay off the accumulating interest, you can save money and control the overall size of your debt, advises FinAid, a public service website founded by financial expert Mark Kantrowitz.
Find out roughly how much interest is accruing each month, if applicable, to get an idea of a possible monthly payment. If your student loan is not accruing interest, your early payments will go directly to principal, which can save you significant money down the road.
Ask about various payment options for making payments on your student loan. You should receive information about making online payments, direct debit payments, telephone and mail payments.
Make the payment(s). If you want to schedule a monthly direct debit that repeats, inquire about getting the necessary paperwork from your lender and complete this process with your bank. If you wish to make an online payment, get information about how to access the lender's secure payment webpage and make a payment with a debit card. If you prefer to initiate payment by telephone, get a telephone number and contact the customer service department to give payment information and the amount you wish to pay. Write a check and mail it to the lender's address, including your account number, if you wish to pay by mail.
Check your student loan balance regularly if you continue to make payments to ensure proper crediting.
- When you make early payments on your loan, you are under no obligation to continue them or make them regularly, as long as your loan remains in deferment. You can skip months, reduce the payment some months and even double it on other months.
- Do not make a payment on your student loan with a credit card, because a credit card balance carries a higher interest rate without the option of deferred payment. You would be accumulating a negative debt to pay low-interest "good debt" that doesn't need to be paid early. Pay via direct debit, or with a debit card or check instead.
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