Graduates Look for Jobs and Prepare to Pay Back Loans

As the end of the 2004-2005 academic school year approaches, prospective college graduates are preparing for their transition into the real world. Whether beginning a career, going to graduate school, or taking a hiatus, some students will only have a short time before their grim reality sets in—repayment of student loans.

With stiff federal laws in place that allow the Department of Education to take aggressive measures to collect student loan debts, such as garnishing wages, it is becoming increasingly harder for borrowers to avert their student loan debt.

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, federal student loans are real loans, just like car loans or mortgage loans. You can’t just get out of repaying a student loan if your financial circumstances become difficult; not unless you file for bankruptcy, but its very difficult to do this and it happens very rarely.

Grace periods for repaying loans vary depending upon the type of loan you have.

Federal loans such as Stafford and Perkins loans have a grace period between six and nine months after a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

Despite the fact that a student may not have received the education they expected or didn’t get the job they expected or didn’t complete their education, a loan cannot be cancelled, explains the Department of Education website.

Remember, your student loans belong to you; they must be repaid.

Student loan agencies will attempt to collect their money sooner or later. There is not statute of limitation that prevents the U.S. Department of Education from going after individuals that default on their loan obligations.

“I wouldn’t want the government to garnish my wages if I was unable to pay back my loans after I graduated,” said Andrew Kirk a senior majoring theater at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, “However, if you don’t have the money what can you do?"

There are many things that students can do if they are in a difficult financial predicament and are unable to make the scheduled payment on their student loans. Students may qualify for deference, consolidation, or forbearance depending on their circumstances.

According to the Office of Personnel Management website, the federal student loan repayment program permits agencies to repay federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for candidates or current employees of the agency.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways, such as volunteering, teaching, joining military services, etc. that will help students repay and manage their loan debts. Some individuals are eligible for loan.

However, avoidance should not be an option. Avoiding student loan repayment can have adverse effects on your credit and prevent you from acquiring credit cards, and home, business, auto as well as additional student loans.

The Department of Education advises students to be smart about borrowing. They encourage students to do the following:

o only borrow up to the amount you need to pay for school

o keep all your loan documents

o keep a record of all loan service officers you talk to

o notify your school and/or loan holder in writing if you move, change your name or Social Security Number, or reenroll in school

o ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand or if you’re having trouble making payments.

o Don’t wait until things become too tough. Ask for help from your loan holder or

loan service officer right away!

For more information about student loan repayments go to www.ed.gov or contact your student loan provider.