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Ways to Pay Back Your Student Loans

After you survive paying tuition for four years, covering the cost of books, and racking up other payments on your credit cards, the fun doesn't end once you graduate. If you weren't able to get a grant or scholarship and had to take out a student loan, now you have to start paying it back. Part of managing the money you make after college involves knowing how to avoid repayment problems with your college loans. You have to pay all of your student loans back regardless if you didn't like your college classes, didn't get the job you wanted after college, or even if you left college early to pursue other things. It is your responsibility to choose a method on how you will pay back your school loans, and we're here to show you three ways to do this.

After you graduate college you generally have a "grace period" before you have to start paying back your student loans. For most loans it is usually a period of six to nine months. Lenders give you this amount of time to find a job and generate an income. But there are three main options you have to pay back your college student loans, loan consolidation, deferment, and forbearance.

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Loan Consolidation

Loan consolidation allows you to combine several types of federal education loans into one, so you only have one payment each month. Usually when you consolidate many loans together your payments will be much less than the single student loans by themselves. There are a number of ways to consolidate your loans, so choose the method that's affordable and manageable for you. It can save you a lot of money in the long run. The U.S. Department of Education has some good information on Federal loan consolidation rates

Get more information about Loan Consolidation


A deferment is a postponing of your student loan payments under specific circumstances. For some loan types you don't have to pay principal or interest during this deferment, and for others you can postpone the principal but you have to pay the interest. It is recommended that you at least pay back your interest during the deferment because the lender can capitalize on it, thus increasing your loan balance.


Forbearance is when your school loans are temporarily postponed or reduced. This happens if you are not eligible for a deferment or you can't afford your repayment schedule because of a medical disability, personal problems, or financial problems. You have to request for forbearance from the lender, and you still have to pay interest during the forbearance period.

Repaying your student loans does not have to put you deep into debt. Just choose a responsible payment plan that you know you will be able to afford and live with for a couple of years.

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