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If you have a standard repayment timeline, you may want to make a few extra payments to chip away at the principal during your break. You can also bank your monthly payments to preserve flexibility. If you have income-driven repayment, however, you may not want to bother making additional payments now. This type of repayment takes twenty to twenty-five years. Making extra payments can significantly lower your overall interest, but you should avoid bankrupting your loan before that time.
Interest offsets the costs of lending money
Students with debts of over $28,000 will be able to save a considerable amount of money if interest is eliminated. Student loan interest accrues on the principle balance. The U.S. Department of Education doesn’t assess late payment fees. However, if students didn’t need to borrow so much money, they could reduce their payments to a single 3% per year. However, it is important to note that this would not make a big difference for most students who don’t have large amounts of debt.
It helps borrowers meet rising higher education costs
Federal income-driven repayment plans provide a safety net for students, but it comes at a cost to taxpayers and borrowers. Students with IDR plans end up paying more overall and face debt forgiveness, a cost that the government pays as well. Furthermore, offering IDR plans does not reduce student borrowing or hold down tuition costs. It is important that students understand the implications of borrowing and have options available that are better for them.
It encourages borrowers to make extra payments
Using the “avalanche” and “snowball” payment methods, borrowers can apply extra payments to their loans. Although both methods can result in savings, they only work when the borrower makes a full payment each month. The extra payments are applied to the principal balance. Avalanche payments are the best method for paying off a loan early. A snowball method will apply an extra payment in smaller amounts each month.
It reduces delinquency
One of the most common issues borrowers encounter is the rising interest rate on their student loans. In fact, a majority of delinquent loans have interest rates as high as six percent. That rate can be much higher for students who have graduated with post-graduate medical degrees or six-figure degrees. Student loan delinquency can result in default if it is prolonged. Fortunately, there are ways to address the issue.
It is unlikely to lead to mass forgiveness
For the most part, the government’s current proposals would benefit those with the greatest debt, since those with the most trouble repaying their student loans would be the most likely to benefit from such a policy. The vast majority of small debtors, however, do not have as much debt as large debtors, and in many cases, were underprepared for college, unable to balance school and jobs, and not finishing programs that would have earned them a higher paying job. For example, in a 2015 analysis of borrowers with $1,000 to $5,000 in debt, only 34 percent of them finished their college program.