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A Parent’s Guide to Student Loan Debt

Woman sits in a cafe, sips on coffee, and uses her laptop.

A Parent’s Guide to Student Loan Debt

Lots of people imagine that the costs of child-rearing will begin to diminish as soon as your children get through college and into a steady job.

You may be in for a surprise when you find yourself worrying about their ability to pay off their student debt when they are well into their twenties.

As a parent, it’s hard not to lend a hand when you see your child struggling. But then, there are ways you can be of help without simply paying off their debts.

1. Student Loan Forgiveness

Help your child explore the options if they are having difficulty meeting their loan repayments on time.

If your child hasn’t yet found a steady or well-paid job or hasn’t had the chance to build up a decent credit score, they may be eligible for student loan forgiveness plans offered by the government.

Don’t underestimate the weightiness of experiencing debt for the first time.

Your child might be feeling overwhelmed to even begin researching their options. Maybe suggesting they look into the loan forgiveness plans that are available.

2. Refinancing Options

Another option worth talking through with your child is a student loan refinancing company. By refinancing their loan, your child will almost certainly benefit from the smaller, more manageable repayments each month.

Elfi is a wonderful option with incredibly low-interest rates starting at 2.39% APR. Their student loan hero program is an excellent option.

Especially if your child does have a steady job and a good credit score, but is still having some difficulty with their current repayment plan.

It’s definitely worth talking through the information about student loan hero with your child.

3. Start Making Payments While They’re Still in College

If your child is still in school, it might be worth considering getting started with helping them out sooner rather than later.

If they have a birthday coming up, maybe consider foregoing material gifts this year and instead, give them the gift of taking a chunk out of the student loan debt.

It’s a gift that they’ll really appreciate in the future. It will also give them the opportunity to afford to buy what they want and need once they’ve graduated.

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It’s important to remember that your recently graduated children are still very young. Especially when it comes to managing personal finance. It will be easy for them to become overwhelmed and to ignore their financial responsibilities.

Or, they might end up making decisions that are ill-informed and rash.

The best thing to do to help them at this stage is to stay involved and discursive. Ask them how they’re doing and make suggestions.

Treat them with respect and make sure they know that whatever they choose to do, it’s ultimately their decision.

Gently helping your children when they make their decisions will mean they still feel independent.

They learn valuable lessons that will help them through the rest of their financial adult lives. 

How have your kids with their student loan debt?

– Jennifer

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