Friday, September 7, 2012

A New Life Full of Debt? How to Cope with Student Loans When Over Fifty

Student Loan Debt Bubble, 1980-2011(Photo credit: Occupy* Posters)Student loan payments are an easy way to rack up debt and to feel discouraged about one's financial obligations. New graduates are facing years of hefty premiums to pay off their four years of studying at a local college. 

Even if you over fifty, the prospect of having to pay student loans when you should be enjoying retirement can be daunting. While it is not possible to defer loans, or make them go away, there are some things that you can do to make your life easier. 

The following list will help give you a better idea on how to deal with student loans if you are over fifty.

1) Take Advantage of Grace Periods

Did you just graduate from a program or school? If yes, then take advantage of the grace period you have after graduation to find a job. Even if you already have employment, there are things you can prepare for once the six months are over. 

First, save every extra penny you have. These savings should go back into your loan so that you do not have to worry about scrambling for your first few payments. Also, see if the loan accepts early payments without a penalty. If it does, then pay as much as you can so that you will have a lower obligation once interest starts to accumulate. 

Grace periods are designed to give new students a leverage. This time will allow you to look for work and save money without any faults. Use this period as you see fit in order to make sure you do not fall behind on your first payments. Take full advantage of the grace period because it will not last long.

2) Do Not Stress Out

If you have not found employment as soon as you would have liked, then do not stress out. As you are older than most new graduates, the stress can wear on you particularly hard. It is best that you keep up your health, and do the best you can to pay your bills.

Unfortunately, you do not have the luxury of changing careers every couple of years due to your youth. Thus, it is important to find a career or job that you will love doing as soon as possible after graduation. It may take longer than necessary to find the right position for you. 

In the mean time, take on a part time job or the first offer you get in order to make an income while looking. Thanks to your income you will be able to pay your premiums each month. Once you secure an offer from your dream job, then you will be one step ahead of your financial problems.

Whatever happens, do not worry about paying off your student loans. You will get rid of them sooner than you think as long as you pay on time and in full.

Tyler R. is a freelance writer from Washington D.C and contributor to DegreeJungle's best online college rankings. At the moment, Tyler lives in Europe and speaks 3 languages.

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