Another road to take? Replace your current repayment plan with a progressive or extended plan, which would mean lower monthly payments. Ellis suggests playing around with Student Aid’s loan simulator to gauge how your monthly payments might change under each plan.
As for those considering private student loans, be sure to shop around on lending platforms like Credible, Student Loan Hero, and LendingTree. And if you already have private loans, the experts we spoke with say to consider refinancing, which could mean saving on total interest or lowering your monthly payments.
If you can’t change your prepayments, check to see if you qualify for a deferral or forbearance of your federal student debt by contacting your student loan officer. (Remember that with deferment, you may still be required to pay interest that accumulates during your deferment period.)
Finally, try to stay on top of your financial management with student loans, recommends Ellis. This includes reviewing your loan details so accounts are up to date, knowing who your student loan officer is, and being on the lookout for correspondence from the Department of Education or student loan officer regarding your loans. Also, make sure autopay is turned on so you don’t accidentally forget to pay and rack up more interest, Ellis says. That way, when student loan repayments resume, things run smoothly.