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Financial Responsibility after TJC

There’s life after TJC, and part of that life is financial responsibility.That means that it will be time to start paying back student loans. When it’s time to start paying back student loans, there are some things that every student should know.

According to studentaid.ed.gov, loans don’t enter into repayment until after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. Once this happens, your lender must send you a loan repayment schedule that shows you when your first payment needs to be sent in, how many payments you have as well as the amount of your payment. Your loan may also have a grace period.

Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans all have six-month grace periods to give students time to become financially settled and find a job. PLUS loans have no grace period. Students will enter repayment on PLUS loans as soon as they are fully disbursed. If students have a Federal Perkins Loan then that student should check with the school they got the loan from.

Studentaid.ed.gov also states that how much you actually pay is dependent on the type of loan you received, how much money you borrowed in total, interest rates of the loans, and the repayment plan the student chooses.

“When you do have to go into repayment of your student loans I highly suggest paying extra every month,” said Jodi Boren, branch manager of consumer and business services for United Heritage Credit Union. “Whether its $5 or $10, just whatever you can afford comfortably to pay extra on your student loans every month. That’s going to pay them off earlier, and it’s also going to show a better payment history for you as well on your credit report, because it is reported to your credit.”

There is some information that students should know if they have private loans. This means loans that are not federal loans, but from a private lender such as a bank or a credit union.

According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, some students are getting “auto-defaults” when their co-signer that is usually a parent or grandparent dies or files for bankruptcy. This is happening even when students are current on their payments. Dealing with this will be difficult, but it is recommended by the CFPB that anyone going through this should immediately contact their lender and request that their co-signer be released from the loan if they die or file bankruptcy. This process will be easier if students have made several consecutive, on-time payments.

Some students may be confused about the repayment process and what to expect after they graduate from TJC. Sophomore Jonathan Brunner is not one of them.

“Six-months after, is when your payments start,” he said. “Each individual has a financial institution that funded their loan, and it will be the same one the whole time you’re at TJC.”

Students who have any further questions about their financial aid or any other financial based questions should go and talk to someone at the financial aid window inside the White Administration Building, or call the financial aid office at 903-510-2385 or email the office at faid@tjc.edu or just walk in.

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