As November approaches, the six month grace period on many student loans is coming to an end and panic mode is starting to set in for some 2012 grads I know. The weight of the debt and monthly payments is starting to set in. Fear and overwhelm follow.
I’ve been there. With the principal on my student loans, I could buy a sizable house in the mid-west so I get it.
I get the stress and overwhelming feeling that come along with dealing with student loans for the first time. Not only is there a massive amount owed and sizable monthly payments, but trying to figure it all out on the bank’s website can be a little like reading a different language.
What’s due, when? How long will this take? How much will I owe when all is said and done? Consolidating? How do I do that? How do I know if it makes sense for me?
I have to call the bank? What? Do I have to? I know it seems so daunting, you’d probably rather re-take the SATs.
But truthfully, once you get acquainted with the loans and the monthly payments, it’s really not that bad. They’re not as scary as they seem.
I suggest you get friendly with your student loans right off the bat. Just go up and say hello. Find out what you can about them, do a little digging, be patient because they may not reveal all of their baggage in the first date. Take a deep breath.
Try not to get frustrated if they don’t communicate as clearly as you’d like. You’ll be able to figure out what they mean soon enough. Be persistent.
Also, don’t run away screaming when they start talking about your future together. So maybe you don’t know where you want to be in 2022. That’s ok. If you want to take things slow or speed things up, you can explore that later. For now, you’re just getting to know each other.
Get to know them. Be open. Don’t get defensive. The first step in figuring out your relationship, in deciding how you want things to go from here, is going on the first date.
P.S. Spring for a full evening instead of just a quick coffee.