You’re not alone as a high percentage of Millennials and Gen X’ers have student loans. They are the biggest liability on their balance sheet after mortgages. The payments are usually high when compared to income creating a lot of stress and anxiety about the future.
A recent Forbes article stated that 44% of Millennials do not understand the difference between federal and private loans. It also mentioned that 37% did not know what interest rate each loan had and 45% could not say what percentage of their salary was going towards repaying these loans.
Don’t let the amount of debt and complexity stop you from seeking guidance and figuring out what’s the best repayment strategy given your current circumstances. The first thing you need to do is take inventory of all your student loans. The National Student Loan Data System is an essential source of federal student loan records. Here you will see all your federal student loans along with other very useful information.
1. Visit www.NSLDS.ed.gov
2. Click the Financial Aid Review button.
3. Enter the following information:
- Your Social Security number
- The first 2 letters of your last name
- Your date of birth
- Your PIN (get it at pin.ed.gov)
4. Click “My Student Data Download” to download an ugly .txt file full of important loan details.
If you have any private student loans a good place to start is with your credit report. Here you’ll see the amounts and interest rate among other things.
1. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain a free copy of your credit report.
After taking inventory you need to understand all of your repayment options. I recommend going to Federal Student Aid Repayment Estimator. Once there you can view different repayment options and other useful information to help you better understand your federal student loans.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin
Hermes Conesa CRPC®, MBA
CEO @ SimpleiVest, LLC