SURPRISE, AZ - The average private four-year college institution costs $30,000 each year and can add up to more than $100,000 in debt.
Even if your college tuition is significantly less, you'll probably end up having to take out loans to pay for schooling.
Student loans can be daunting, especially when you have more than one, are just starting out after college or have credit card bills, house payments and more on top of them.
Interest rates for student loans were set to go up as of July 1 and are expected to keep rising. That means each time you make a payment, you have to pay even more and the time it takes to pay the full amount back could end up being longer.
Joe Gleason from Gleason Financial Group in Surprise has three tips to help make student loans a little less painful and confusing.
1. Take inventory of all of your loans and debt that needs repaid (student loans or otherwise).
Make sure you know how much you have to pay back and to whom. Sometimes when you have several different bills to pay each month and separate loans for school, they can get shuffled over and lost in the mix. Be completely aware of all the important information and amounts for each loan. If you end up accidentally skipping over a loan, you could end up with credit issues or debt collectors.
2. Call your loan institution.
Being in contact with your loan companies can make payments easier. If you can't afford to make the payment they are asking for, ask for help or other options. Often times you can push back the repayment date so you have time to collect more money or figure out other options. They may be willing to work with you with times and amounts, depending on your history and situation.
3. Prioritize your payments.
Different loans have different interest amounts. Be smart about which you pay back by attacking the largest ones first. If you have several loans, but one has a higher interest rate, do your best to pay that one off first, that way you don't have interest compounding, forcing you to pay more in the long run. Once you have the larger debts paid off, you can focus on the smaller ones.
Budgeting smarter and knowing as much as you can about your loans can make the whole process a lot easier.
For more help or to contact Gleason Financial Group, visit their website .