When you receive your financial aid package each year, create a budget to determine exactly how much you need to borrow and accept only what you really need. Explore all grant/scholarship and work options before turning to money that must be repaid. The Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT) is a great way to view your current debt, create a budget with your expenses, and help you determine if you need to borrow additional funds. Additionally, please take the time to learn about entrance and exit counseling requirements.
With each loan you borrow, you should be aware that this effects your future monthly payment amount. You are encouraged to use the Repayment Estimator. By signing in, this tool will use your current loan debt while giving you the freedom to add loans you think you may borrow in the future.
Having an idea of what your future salary for your intended career is also a good idea. You want to make sure that you keep your debt at an amount where you can handle your required monthly payment. Using resources such as CareerZone, the National Association of Colleges and Employers Salary Resources, and others may serve as a useful tool to estimate your potential future earnings.
Create an online account with your loan servicer(s). This is the easiest way to know what’s going on with your existing loans. You can view account balances, see accruing interest (if your loan is not subsidized) and also keep your contact information up to date. If your loans do not have an interest subsidy, you can make interest payments at any time through your online account.
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