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Student loan debt

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Student loan debt sets a record high. A new report shows, in 2011, college graduates finished school with an average of $26,500 in debt, that's up 5 percent from the previous year.

Experts say students and their parents should take extra steps to manage and reduce their student loan debt. In fact, Samford University Professor Cynthia Lohrke offers the following advice:

  • Don't take out more than what's needed
  • Consider federal loans, not private loans. Generally federal loans have better interest rates and allow for deferment. However, interest accrues on many student loans during forbearance.
  • Know total loan amount, payment due dates, total length of pay and repayment options
  • Always contact lenders, especially if you can't make payment
  • Know your grace period
  • Don't depend on loans. Consider a part-time job, work study and grants

For more help and resources, visit www.savingforcollege.com

 

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