By Christine Alexis
My photo is funny, but my situation is not. After listening to President Obama talk about student loan debt, I decided to look into my own situation. It’s been about two weeks since graduation. And I expected my loan servicer to knock on my door immediately about my student loans. But no one did.
The last time I received any notice about my student loans was in October 2013. FedLoan Servicing notified me that they paid my tuition. They wrote, “As of today, your current principal balance for the loans we service is $16,106.00.” So that’s what I thought I owed.
Instead, I was shocked to sign into my student loan account after the President’s speech and see that my total loan balance was now at $21,506 with $488.56 in unpaid interest charges.
Let’s put this into perspective.
$21, 506 + $488.56 = $21,994.56
This translates to $1,099.72/yr. over 20 years at $91.64 per month.
Two things jumped out at me. My first question is, why didn’t I know about this sooner? If my loan servicer contacted me sooner or someone had really explained this to me, I would’ve taken steps to pay off my interest charges while I was in school.
My second question is, what do I do now? Obviously I have to pay this off. But what’s the best way to go about it? Small monthly payments to get rid of interest charges first, or begin paying off the entire debt?
I work part time as a waitress. With a very small flow of money coming in every week, I’m worried that I will not be able to make significant monthly payments. The bottom line is, I just graduated and I’m facing my student debt and I’m worried about how this will effect my future.
ConsumerMojo looked into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s investigation of loan servicers. The CFBP is a watchdog agency that works to get consumers the information they need to make the financial decisions they believe are best for themselves.
President Obama’s executive order, linking monthly payments to your salary, won’t go into effect until December 2015. In the coming weeks, I will be searching for answers about how to take control of your student loan debt now as I begin to take control of my own and writing about it here. If you have any ideas or resourceful tips, please comment below and share!