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So without even taking out private loans, students could be tasked with keeping tabs on three separate loan statements and payment due dates, all housed on different websites. That means updating your address, signing up for electronic billing and negotiating repayment options three different times, Deane points out.
4. Where can I go to find this information when I need it? The timing of student loan counseling isn't ideal, Allesandra Lanza with American Student Assistance, a nonprofit focused on student debt, said via email.
"Counseling four years or more before repayment starts doesn't work," Lanza wrote. "Even exit counseling is six months before repayment starts – a lifetime for a recent college grad."
Even if students read through all of their loan documents, it's unlikely they will retain everything years down the road.
To ensure they have access to vital information – interest rates, repayment plans and consolidation and forgiveness options – borrowers should ask their financial aid adviser where they can easily access all of those details throughout the life of their student loans.
Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College Center.