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Read 4 Good Credit Habits for Student Loan Borrowers

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5 Habits of Successful Borrowers

We analyzed the behaviors of 6.8 million student loan borrowers who are successfully managing their payments. Here are 5 habits that help them stay on track.

Download 5 Habits of Successful Student Loan Borrowers


1. Don't Put It Off

Education loans have a variety of deferment and forbearance options that can help you if you truly need a break from payments. By keeping these options to a minimum, you can reduce the cost of your loan and shorten repayment periods. Borrowers who use less than six months of forbearance are nearly twice as likely to successfully repay student loans than those who postpone longer.

I started paying off my loans and factoring in the monthly payments into my budget as soon as I graduated. I never put my loans on hold, I figured I would just go ahead...

Start paying right away and continue to make payments on time. And DO NOT get too many credit cards and rack up a bunch of debt. You don't deserve something unless...

2. Stay Connected

Borrowers who track their progress tend to be more successful in loan repayment. Regularly logging in to your student loan account online ensures you're up to date on your balance, makes it easy to explore or renew payment plans, and provides information for tax time or other needs.

Also, keeping your contact information up to date ensures you and your servicer can reach each other easily.

I always check my loan balances and notify my servicer if there are changes to my financial situation. I chose a plan that was right for me. I set aside money every month...

Always put together a budget. Monitor all of your accounts. This helps you easily see where money is coming and going. Set up auto pay and auto drafts and direct...

3. Graduate

Graduation is the most important step toward realizing the value of your education. So, if you're still in school, stay on track to completion.

If you didn't finish your degree, you can still take other steps to manage your finances and find the path to successful loan repayment.

If college is still in your future, build a plan to pay for your degree to help ensure you graduate.

Being debt free is very liberating. Knowing that you can live on less cash means you can actually do more, because you don't have loans to service. If you buy into this principle, get focused...

Nine years after graduating school, I am so proud to say that I have paid off my student loans in full! My career of choice, especially in the world as it is today, is one of the...

4. Stick with Repayment

The longer you are able to make payments on your student loans, the more likely you are to succeed.

Continuing to pay something — even if it is a small percentage of your income — is a factor in repayment success. Missing payments can damage your credit and lead to higher cost.

The first thing I would do is dedicate a percentage of your income to yourself. Always pay yourself first so you have some kind of pleasure for your work in whatever field...

Don't get extra loan money to cover your cost of living — get a part time job and learn to budget. Don't drop out of school, just reduce your course load. Stay on top of exactly how many loans...

5. Talk to Your Servicer

Student borrowers who reach out to their servicer when they have questions tend to be more successful in repayment. Navient is here to help.

We've found that, 9 times out of 10, when we can talk to a struggling federal loan customer we can help him or her get on an affordable payment plan and avoid default.

If you're worried about missing your payments or want to learn about other payment plans, engage with your servicer.

I paid on time. If I felt that I was going to run into financial difficulties, I reached out to my service loan provider for options. I didn't feel alone. I was even able to merge two...

During the one time that I was between jobs, I was able to quickly defer my loan payments. It was a very easy process and the person I spoke with was very understanding...