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How To Make Your First Student Loan Payment

2. Review Your Interest Rate and Loan Term

If you have several different student loans, you might have different interest rates for each of them. The interest rate on federal student loans changes every year, so the loan you took out as a freshman and the loan you took out as a senior will likely have different rates.

Also note your loan terms, which indicate how long it will take you to repay your debt. Most federal loans start in a 10-year repayment plan, while private loans usually allow you to choose your term when you take out the loan. Longer loan terms typically result in lower monthly payments, but you’ll pay more in interest charges than you would with a shorter repayment period.

3. Compare Available Payment Plans

If you have private student loans, you likely selected your repayment plan when the money was first disbursed. Review the rules of your plan and make note of the payment amount and due date. If you think you’ll have trouble affording your payments, reach out to your lender and see if they offer alternatives that can help you.

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If you have federal student loans, however, you can select your plan when you begin repayment (and change it at a later date if you choose). If you take no action, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the standard repayment plan, which offers fixed monthly payments over 10 years.

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