Know More Borrow Less

In the Fall of 2018, University System of Georgia Chancellor, Steve Wrigley, launched an initiative to ensure students are aware of their student loan debt.  The KMBL initiative supports the USG’s three primary objectives:  graduate more students, be more affordable, and be more efficient.  This initiative is designed to reduce barriers to aid, improve students’ understanding of borrowing, and reduce student debt.

To support this initiative, a “debt letter” will be electronically sent in a mobile-friendly format to every enrolled student who currently has student loan debt resulting from federal or state loan programs, or private lender borrowing.

Students will receive an email providing them a link to a personalized letter containing specific information on monthly payments based on their current loan amounts.  Each academic year, students will receive a debt letter, updating them on their cumulative student loan debt. The Office of Financial Aid will have analytics to review the open rate of these messages to ensure students are receiving the information.

This notification will be sent to students every spring that they are enrolled at FVSU.

Managing and Repaying Student Loans

If you’ve taken out student loans, remember that the loan money is for your education. Never borrow more than you need! A general rule of borrowing is that your total loan debt when you leave school should be less than what you might earn as your starting annual salary after you graduate. Ideally, your monthly loan payment should be no more than 10% of your monthly paycheck. Also, before you borrow, understand what it could potentially cost to complete your education.

When you borrow student loans, you’ve made a legal commitment to pay back the money with interest. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you are enrolled in at least 6 credit hours. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest as soon as the loan is disbursed to you. Making small monthly payments while in school will help you get in the habit of making monthly payments when you graduate.  It will also decrease any interest that hasa crrued on your unsubsidized loan.

It is a good rule of thumb to always know what you owe and track your student loan debt. Learn how to use the National Student Loan Data System to see everything about your federal loan balances. There are limits to how much you’re allowed to borrow each year and over your cumulative student career. You are responsible for knowing these aggregate loan limits.

Students who know how much they owe can plan their postgraduate lifestyle to allow for the quickest possible loan repayment. You can estimate your monthly loan payment by using the U.S. Department of Education’s interactive calculator on the Federal Student Aid web site and choosing the different repayment plan options. There are also some Federal Student Loan forgiveness programs.

If you ever experience any difficulty in making a loan payment, contact your loan servicer immediately to prevent loan default. The loan servicer will work with you and explore all options to avoid default. Keep in mind that student loan indebtedness cannot be forgiven by bankruptcy.  The Federal Government can require your employer to garnish your wages and the IRS can keep your tax refunds to pay down your debt.

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