Student loans: Don't wait to start making payments

Posted at 5:43 AM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 13:23:39-04

Student loan debt is an epidemic plaguing the vast majority of recent college graduates and there are some definite do’s and don’t’s when it comes to repaying those loans.

When graduation excitement is gone, it’s time to make that degree work for you, but it’s the other “D” word -- debt -- that’s going to stick with former students for a long time.

Some Arizona cities land at the bottom 25 percent of more than 2,500 across the country ranked by WalletHub for the amount of student loan debt you get versus the amount of money you make out of school.

Some of the worst offenders are Green Valley, Tucson, Payson, Prescott, Cottonwood and, yes, here in the Valley in Tempe.

So you're thinking, "Dan, gee thanks. You told me I don't make enough money for where I live and the amount of debt that I have."

There are a lot of resources and websites that would like to help you with everything from calculating your payments to consolidation, but I've got to tell you the clock is ticking and November comes fast.

“Quite often the student or the graduate doesn't even realize that it's happening.”

Eric Palmer with Brokers Alliance told me that six months is the typical grace period for payments but if you can, you should get going now.

“Don't wait. Start making payments right away."

That way you can knock down that principal but most importantly, don’t ignore the elephant in the room.

Call the lender no matter what your circumstances are.

“You negotiate with them. Let them know what you're making what your income is and they'll work within your budget for you. And when I say budget, I mean money that ends up in your account."