How to Save on Your Student Loan Payments

06/03/2015 11:12 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2016

As an independent, transparent marketplace for student loans, Credible helps borrowers understand all of their student loan repayment options.

Finding ways to save on your student loan payments can be useful if you want to manage your loans effectively, avoid delinquency or default, and save money.

Here are a few tips and suggestions to get you started.

Ask Your Student Loan Provider

As a borrower you should discuss with your provider(s) what your estimated monthly payment will be upon graduation or based on your current salary, if currently in repayment. Your lender can explain to you how your loan amount, loan term, and interest rate will affect your overall monthly payment.

For most federal loans you will be opted into a Standard repayment plan, which requires at least $50 each month of payment. For private student loans, if your rates are fixed then your expected monthly contribution should have been outlined at the time of disbursement. Variable rates on the other hand will change over time and will affect your monthly payment respectively. Learn your terms so you can plan accordingly.

Use An Online Calculator

There are many great resources for calculating what your student loan payment will be. Online calculators allow you to enter in various loan amounts, terms, and interest rates so you can get an idea of how much your payment may be. If you are curious to see how much you could save by prepaying on your student loans, there are a number of calculators that can do the hard math.

Don’t Forget About Interest Accrual

Unless you have a federal subsidized loan, your loan starts accruing interest from the moment the funds are disbursed. Speak with your lender about how much the interest payment would be each month while you are attending school and consider making payments while in school. Federal and some private loans allow for education deferment if you return to school as well as for hardship, but keep in mind that interest will still accrue during this period except for subsidized loans. Forecasting accruing interest can give a better representation of what your student loan payments may be in the future.

Explore Your Repayment Options

Ask your student loan lender about the various repayment terms that are available with your loan. You may also find that you are eligible for an income-driven repayment plan.

To try and make your student loan payments more manageable, consider consolidating or refinancing your student loans. Refinancing combine all your loans into one payment with a new interest rate, and loan term. If you choose to refinance, you will also be able to see your projected monthly payment and total repayment for a variety of different loan terms and see what best fits your financial situation.

If you are interested in seeing if you can save by refinancing or consolidating your student loans, visit Credible.

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