Total student loan debt in the United States is about $ 1.71 trillion, including federal student loans. (Adobe Stock)
From Nadia Ramlagan – Producer, Contact
June 14, 2021
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Among Arkansas residents who graduated in 2018, 53% have student loan debt…
Government officials say it’s important to read the fine print and watch out for scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims as college students prepare for the start of the school year.
Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas’s attorney general, said most of the state’s borrowers owe an average of more than $ 30,000. She pointed to resources such as National Student Loan Data System can help people sort out loans.
“Make sure you understand the repayment terms and commitments of the loan, what the interest rates are and where you can find your balance sheet,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge noted that all loans are individual, and some offer the option to change payment options based on your income rather than a set monthly amount. She also explained that in some cases it may be possible to temporarily postpone payments.
She explained that grace periods before loan repayment, often several months after graduation, can be helpful, but cautioned that it is important to know how long the grace period is and whether you will be charged interest.
Rutledge emphasized that student loans must be short-term commitments to enable students to succeed, but many of them take decades and ultimately prevent students from achieving their financial goals.
“Too often, students take out loans for all sorts of living expenses without realizing the seriousness of the conditions they will have to pay to pay off the loan,” Rutledge said.
She added that there are scammers who will pretend to be a loan or a government agency to help with complicated federal student loan programs.
“Be careful with them. If you have any questions, call us at the Attorney General’s Office or find us at arkansasag.govso we can help you with that. “
Rutledge urged alumni to be wary of loan consolidation and refinancing proposals and stressed that many companies offer loan refinancing options but may not deliver promised services or may provide services that consumers can access for a price.
“Consumers should know all the details about any loan refinancing proposal before registering,” she concluded.