Help with repayment

If you’re having trouble making your payments, don’t let things slide. Contact your servicer or, in the case of a private loan, your lender and explain the situation. Most would rather help you through a tough time than to see your loans default.

Student loan repayment benefits

In an effort to attract and keep good employees, more and more companies and agencies are offering student loan repayment benefits to workers. That might be one option to keep in mind when you go job hunting after you finish your education. Remember that the amount your employer pays toward your student loans will be counted as income for tax purposes.

Beware of scams

Student loans are a trillion-dollar business, which means it will attract people who will try to take advantage of you.

You should be wary of sales pitches from companies offering to help you lower your student loan payments.

Such companies charge fees — sometimes high fees — for filling out forms that you can do for free by working with your servicer. Many companies will want to charge monthly fees for monitoring your loans. Again, you can do that for free by checking your loan status on the National Student Loan Data System, which you’ll usually hear called NSLDS. On that site you can also update your contact information, take exit counseling for federal loans and TEACH grants, and find answers to frequently asked questions.