College students learn loan payment options - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

College students learn loan payment options

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Americans now owe more in student loans than credit cards. How to manage student loan debt was the topic of a special workshop at Youngstown State University.

During a walk on campus, 21 News Reporter Glenn Stevens asked students, "would you be here without financial aid?" and got many of the same responses: "Probably not." 

Graduation is a big day in a student's life, but it also starts the countdown to when their first student loan payment is due. And in recent years the default rate has been on the rise.

"Probably because of the economy and the difficulty our graduates are having finding work right away," says Elaine Ruse of YSU Financial Aid.

Payment plans are something even second and third year students are already thinking about.

"The only things that scares me is getting a job after graduation and having enought to pay back these loans," says Rachel Laposchak.

Courtney McGlaughlin agrees.

"What am I going to do after school and how am I going to pay this back? It's always in the back of your mind as a student, I think," McGlaughlin says.

The speaker at the workshop says surveys have found that students are rarely familier with the options available to them.

"They have about four or five different ways to extend out their student loans if they are having issues making that larger standard loan repayment," says Becky Davis of Great Lakes Higher Education.

One of the newest options is income-based repayment, which reduces the payment in proportion to a students first-job salary.

Students who accept certain jobs in economically depressed areas could have their loans forgiven.

"You always want to make sure that students know what their options are if they immediately can't find employment," says Ruse.

The worst thing students can do is fail to make repayments, they should always stay in contact with those who are servicing their loan

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