Paying back your student loans with ease

Reporter: Corey Lazar
Published: Updated:

As you and your child start a new semester at college on Monday, taking out student loans to pay for school may be unavoidable, but if you’re not careful those loans can turn from a good investment for your future, to an extreme financial burden for years.

Mara Michel is a fourth grade teacher in Immokalee, and has had the burden of paying off student loans since graduating from Florida Gulf Coast University, along with a car payment, rent and other adult expenses.

“$600 is a lot for a first year person out of college trying to get up and going in their career,” Michel said.

Even though you can apply online for financial Aid, meeting your counselor in person is always encouraged because they can help present other options like hidden grants or scholarships.

“If you do take out a student loan, only take out what you need,” said Jorge Lopez, who works at FGCU.

Even if you have to make small payments before you graduate, the sooner you start paying back your loans the better. Six months after you graduate are when the real payments begin, so start a budget now and stick to it.

It can be enticing to put an unsubsidized government loan in deferment, but if you do that for even a year, your loan interest will go up.

You can calculate how much your estimated payment will be through the free loan estimator found here.

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