The life stages that precede your freshman year of college are filled with milestones, however many of them do not affect your finances. The need to take out private student loans to pay for your undergraduate education is likely going to be the first major financial decision to make and commit yourself to. This is exciting but can also be overwhelming, especially if you do not have a firm grasp on how these loans will factor into the life milestones you hit post-graduation. Study up on your repayment period and plan some hypothetical scenarios so that if they become your reality down the line, you have a base line plan in place to incorporate these changes into your finances as seamlessly as possible.
If you need to take out private student loans to pay for your undergraduate education, you are in luck in terms of being in the majority of college students. It is exceedingly rare these days that a person can fully fund their education without having to borrow money in some capacity. During the process of deciding on a lender, ask a ton of questions. You will want to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible specific to your future goals. Out of sight out of mind can be dangerous in terms of student loans because it is easy to say ‘I’ll worry about this when’ but in some instances, when can be too late. Make sure that you feel like you understand what will be expected of you upon repayment. When it will start, what the terms will be, your interest rate, any penalties you might incur. As you move forward in your life, your student loans will be moving with you, so make sure that you do not throw up a hurdle in front of yourself before you even begin.
Owning a home is an item on many people’s bucket list, however financial choices you have made since you began establishing credit and a history are going to be big players in the mortgage game, so it’s smart to think ahead. Your behavior and patterns regarding paying off your private student loans are going to be big variables in determining interest rates and loan amounts when you go to buy a house. Make it a priority to always pay your student loan payments on time each month and pay the required monthly amount. It is going to help you establish a good reputation with your lender and also improve your overall credit score so that when the time comes to ask another lender for a sizeable loan, you are in good enough standing to give them confidence they’ll require to say yes.
Some student loan borrowers are not impacted by getting married, but not all. Your repayment plan determines if marriage will or will not affect your private student loans. You might not know at the time that you sign for these loans if you will or will not get married, but this is a good example of something to consider when you are making the big decisions that are associated with taking out private student loans to fund your undergraduate education. Marriage also impacts your tax return as it relates to student loans, which your lender probably is not going to discuss with you as an 18 year old kid just starting out so be aware that you are going to have to advocate for yourself to get these types of scenarios brought up as you research the best fit for your student loans.