Written by Katie Savior, associate campus director/financial aid director
So you have graduated from Minnesota School of Cosmetology and you are working in your dream salon. Now it’s time to start paying back your student loans. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of the process, and what to do if troubles arises.
Communicate with your loan servicer
Communication is key when it comes to student loan repayment. You will want to keep in contact with your loan servicer and make your loan payments on time every month. Contact your loan servicer when you:
- need help making your monthly payments
- withdraw from school
- change your name, address, or Social Security number
- transfer to another school
- experience a change in your life that might impact your loan payments.
Trouble Making your Payments?
Maybe that first salon job didn’t work out, or maybe your family is growing or your expenses are increasing. Whatever the cause, if you have trouble making your student loan payments, there is help available. Remember communication is key.
If you are having trouble making your monthly payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. Your loan servicer can help you understand your options. You may be able to
- switch repayment plans to get a lower monthly payment
- apply for an income-driven repayment plan
- change your payment due date
- get a deferment or forbearance which can postpone your payments for a period of time
Avoid going into default
When you originally signed your promissory note for your student loans, you agreed to pay back your student loan as scheduled. If you fail to make these payments, you risk going into default. One or two missed payments does not put you into default. However, if several scheduled payments have been missed, you are at high risk of falling into default.
If you default on your student loans:
- Your credit rating will suffer, which may make getting other loans difficult, if not impossible
- You will likely receive calls and letters from collectors
- Your wages may be garnished, or if you are due a federal income tax refund, your refund may be seized
- You will pay more in the long run with a defaulted loan, after collection costs are added.
- You are unable to obtain future student aid (Stafford loans, Pell Grant, etc.)
- The debt doesn’t go away. Unpaid loans stay with you until paid back in full.
To avoid default, do the following:
- Make your scheduled loan payments on time. Remember, you should expect student loan bills six months after you leave school.
- Be sure your address, phone and email are current with both Minnesota School of Cosmetology and your lenders/loan servicers.
- If you can’t make the scheduled payments, don’t worry! Contact your loan servicer for different repayment options.
Additional tips regarding student loans can be found by visiting www.studentloans.gov. To access your own personal student loan summary, you can also visit the National Student Loan Data System for students at https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/