When are student loans DIY and when should I get help?

Michael Lux Blog, Student Loans 0 Comments

Handling any student loan question can be difficult.  In many ways the deck is stacked against borrowers.  The more confusing student loans become, the more interest and fees lenders can charge.  Congress and the President are both frequently adjusting the rules of student debt, and the federal loan servicers have little incentive to provide quality service.

On top of the basic confusion associated with student debt, developing strategy can further complicate things.  Even if a borrower is able to understand all the plans available and how to sign up, does the borrower know which plan is the best option?

With so much uncertainty in realm of student loans, it may seem like the average borrower should be consulting a professional for student loan management, much the same way as an investor talks to an investment advisor.  Fortunately, such a radical step is not usually necessary.  In fact, most student loan problems and questions can be addressed by the average borrower.

Management of Student Loans

Handling student loans doesn’t require an accounting degree… the most important skill is patience.  Information can be sparse and it can be conflicting.  Sifting through everything simply requires patience.  Answering a student loan question often takes more than one simple google search or phone call to your loan servicer.

The key is to cast a wide net in any student loan endeavor.  Run a few google searches, call your student loan servicer, ask questions on internet forums.  Because every situation is different, it is important to do everything you can to learn about the rules that affect your situation.  Going this route is far from easy, but it is free, and anybody can do it.

For the average borrower, solving student debt means figuring out a repayment plan and coming up with the strategy to pay of the debt as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  Once these steps have been addressed, student debt can be kept under control.

Going to the Experts

Sadly, many of the available student loan services are a waste of consumer dollars.  Companies advertising “special relationships” with the Department of Education are flat out lying.  Many charge money for enrollment in government programs that borrowers can easily sign up for themselves.  If student loans have put you in a financial pickle, paying some company to do what you can do for free will only make things worse.

The time to actually spend money getting help on your student loans is when they go to court.  If you have a special situation that requires a lawsuit against your lender, or your lender is taking you to court, it is probably time to get an attorney.  Until these issues are headed to a courtroom, most borrowers are equipped to handle their student loan situation.

The Most Important Step

Ultimately, action is the most important aspect of student loan management.  Borrowers who just pay the student loan bills as they come in could be missing great opportunities to eliminate their debt.  Borrowers who just ignore the student loan bills as they come in are just making things worse.  Student debt issues will not disappear overnight, but if you take the time to learn about your options you might be surprised at how manageable your situation really is.