Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Student Loans: Read the Fine Print

It seems these days that people are accumulating debt earlier and earlier.  Student loans have been in existence for a long time.  However, the way students are marketed to has seriously been ramped up.  They are enticed to refinance, switch loan products, or consolidate every day it seems.

College loans sometimes are shrugged off as not too important because "everyone has them." However, how you keep track and pay for them will affect your future purchases in life, at least for the first few years. They may be weighed differently as far as a type of debt, but if you don't pay them in a timely manner, the mark will go against you.

Private loans sometimes give more flexibility. They allow you to remove a co-signer if you make 48 consecutive payments on time. They also have no application fees from certain lenders and are less likely to be sold. However, availability may be limited due to current market conditions.

No matter what you decide, pay attention to the terms, rates, and any balloon payments so that you don't find yourself in too much debt to handle.


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