The pause on student loan repayment is officially ending on October 1, 2023. Whether it’s right or wrong (spoiler alert- it’s totally wrong), we have to deal with it. If you’re saddled with student loans and want to throw the bird to the Supreme Court, here are a few tips to make the best of the worst situation.
The freeze on payments ends October 1st and interest begins accruing again in September. If you can, start to set aside your payment amount now, so that you have a little cushion in case you hit a rough month. Even if you can’t set aside the full amount now, set aside what you can (and put this in a high-yield savings account!)
If it’s been awhile since you’ve engaged with your student loan provider, you may find that you’re dealing with someone new now. Make sure you can access your account online, and that they have your updated mailing and email addresses.
If you turned AutoPay off during the freeze period, consider turning it back on. Many student loan providers offer a small interest rate discount for using AutoPay.
There are 8 different options for repayment plans (more info here). Make sure you’re on a repayment plan that works for you. But remember! Choose the plan with the highest payment you can afford – as some of the plans may result in paying significantly more interest over a longer period of time and will cost you a lot of money.
The worst thing you can do is to panic and avoid paying your student loans (student loans are one of the few debts that never get discharged in bankruptcy, so you’re stuck with them!). Figure out how much you will need to pay and make a plan for where that money will come from. Can you take on one more client each month? Can you do a side gig for the extra funds? Use the time you have now to figure it out before that first due date.
If you haven’t been that engaged in politics and elections, this is great evidence as to why it matters so much. Start paying attention to who is running for office, what their platform is, and make sure you are voting every time. Not getting involved will literally cost you thousands of dollars.