Deferments allow you to temporarily put off making payments.

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But grads have many options for making student loan payments more manageable, even putting them off, if they qualify.

The key is to avoid missing payments, which can scorch your credit score and even lead to having your wages garnished."The majority of students who miss payments on loans miss the very first payment," said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Edvisors.com, a college planning and financing website that is owned by student loan servicer College Loan Corp.

That will lower the monthly payment, but you will pay more over the life of the loan."It's not just reducing your monthly payment, it's increasing the total cost of the loan," Kantrowitz said.

Here's a breakdown of repayment options on federal loans: https://gov/repay-loans/understand/plans.

Chances are, you’re juggling multiple loans taken out in different years or semesters.

On average, student loan borrowers have between three and four student loans on their financial plate.At tax time, be aware that you can deduct up to ,500 of interest paid on federal and private student loans on your federal income tax return.5.Weigh a loan consolidation If you have several loans to repay, consolidating your payments may be a good option.Federal loans are scheduled to be paid back over a 10-year period.But if you can't afford your monthly payments under that standard plan, you may be able to extend the length of time to pay back the loan up to 25 years.For example, if you set up your monthly loan payments to be directly deducted from your checking account, many lenders will give you a slight interest rate reduction.