When your children leave home, you may feel like your role as a parent has come to an end. Although one of the ‘10 Transition Tips for Empty Nesters’ emphasized that you shouldn’t fix your children’s problems, but you can still lend a hand. One area you can offer some guidance in is in paying off student loans. After all, you’ve probably been in a similar situation before.
Here are some tips to help you do just that!
Know What They Owe
Take the time to sit down and create an organized list of loan servicers your children have got aid from and the amount taken out from each one. Be sure to mark which loans are federal and private. Also note minimum monthly payments and interest rates for each one. This is the first step to tackling the much harder tasks.
Evaluate Their Repayment Options
Depending on your children’s flexibility for repayment, evaluate the number of options. These differ depending on income, household size, and areas graduated from and relocated to. A program in Maine offers student debt relief for graduates who both live and work in their state. Although details differ, the general understanding is that you can subtract your total student loan payments over the year from your state income tax liability.
Consider Refinancing Student Debt
Refinancing means taking out a new and easy loan, something that’s similar to a title loan to pay off an existing one so that you still end up with one monthly payment. In Ohio, for instance, getting title loans approved in Cincinnati usually takes just 24 hours, with a three-year repayment option. Your child can even end up paying less if the new loan has a lower interest rate than the average rate of the old loan.
Encourage Them to Setup Auto-Pay
As your children get older, they learn the importance of having good credit. To avoid hurting their score with late payments, encourage them to setup auto-pay so that payments can be deducted automatically on a monthly basis. You can even get additional perks like a small interest rate deduction from the loan.
Use the Grace Period
As the grace period is the time you don’t have to make a payment, tell your children to leverage this. They can make advanced payments during this time, which will result in less added interest down the road. An article on Washington’s Top News states that most federal student loans give grace periods of up to six months. Consider how this works for your children, and whether or not this can be changed by consolidating their loan. Factor in their job prospects to see if it’s reasonable for them to skip the grace period altogether, or use it as a transitional period.
As a parent––albeit an empty nester––your duty to your children never dies. You can still walk them through the most difficult stages of their lives, and they will thank you later.
You may also want to check out How Student Loan Refinancing works.
When you refinance student loans, you consolidate your existing federal and private education loans into a single loan. This new loan does not have an origination fee and typically has a lower interest rate. You can often choose between a fixed or variable rate loan when refinancing.