Whether the crisis is caused by personal or family illness, the loss of a job, or overspending, it can seem overwhelming. Your financial situation doesn’t have to go from bad to worse.If you or someone you know is in financial hot water, consider these options: self-help using realistic budgeting and other techniques; debt relief services, like credit counseling or debt settlement from a reputable organization; debt consolidation; or bankruptcy. It depends on your level of debt, your level of discipline, and your prospects for the future.Ideally, you would qualify for debt consolidation after graduation.However, you also could qualify when you leave school or are enrolled less than half-time. Not all debt is bad; many financial experts define debt as either good or bad, depending on how it is used.
The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.
Borrower benefits from your original loan, which may include interest rate discounts, benefits, can significantly reduce the cost of repaying your loans. If you want to lower your monthly payment amount but are concerned about the impact of loan consolidation, you can consider reevaluating your and income situation.
You can also consider deferment or forbearance as options for short-term payment relief needs.
offers a “DIY” plan for reducing debt, and Fox Business suggests strategizing a payback plan and sticking to it.
lists other helpful “smart money moves” for consumers to get out from under debt.
Debt reduction services usually offer financial counseling and debt management assistance for consumers.
This includes assistance with budgeting, planning and saving.
Carefully consider whether loan consolidation is the best option for you.
If you are contacted by someone offering to consolidate your loans for a fee, you are not dealing with one of the U. Department of Education’s (ED's) consolidation servicers. To apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, you must follow the process outlined below.
The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend. Then, list your "fixed" expenses — those that are the same each month — like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums.
Next, list the expenses that vary — like groceries, entertainment, and clothing.