05/27/2015 03:59 pm ET Updated May 27, 2016

Your Student Loan Help Questions Answered

Whether you are struggling to avoid a student loan default or just want to stay on top of your loans, finding student loan help can answer all your questions. Repaying your student loans can be a confusing process, and one misstep could affect your credit history for several years.

Fortunately, there are many options and resources available to learn how to manage and repay your student loans as quickly as possible. We have graduates every day speak with our customer care about their student loan refinancing options and how they can get the most out of their student loans. After listening to our customers, we came up with this list of some best practices and things to consider if you are seeking student loan help.

What federal options do you take advantage of?

Federal loans have a number of programs designed to help struggling borrowers stay out of default. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for payment deferment, forbearance, or suspension. Be aware that some loans will accrue interest during a period of nonpayment.

Do you take part in income-driven repayment?

Another option for federal loans are income-driven repayment plans. Plans such as "pay as you earn" and income-based repayment (IBR) are great for borrowers with low income to reduce their monthly payment. These repayment plans are great for the short term but will extended your repayment period by several years.

Are you interested in forgiveness?

Borrowers with qualifying public service positions can have their loan forgiven after ten years. Many professions offer great forgiveness options and student loan help repay your student loan debt as well.

Do you have private loans?

Although many programs apply exclusively to federal loans, private lenders usually offer some options for borrowers struggling with repayment. Private lenders have responded to the need, and most are offering very similar options to that of the federal government. Because each lender may have different repayment options, be sure to contact your lender whether you are struggling or not to make sure you are on track and taking advantage of all your options.

Should I refinance?

If you have a strong credit history or a co-signer and do not wish to take part in a federal loan program, refinancing could be a great option for you. If you simply want to save money, refinancing could lower your interest rate significantly. You can also adjust your loan term to reduce your monthly payments as part of the process. You can always refinance again or prepay on your loans when you are in better financial standing.

Depending on your financial situation, it is important to learn all of your options to get out of debt as quickly as possible.

Visit Credible to see if you can reduce your monthly payment by refinancing. 

States With Highest Average Student Debt - TICAS - Class Of 2012