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Many people have accrued student loan debt in their quest to improve their education. While student loans are a common expense as education requirements heighten, the truth is that few people know that much about student loans. They know that they borrowed money and that they have to pay it back, but there’s much more to it than that.

Relief Options
Student loans typically aren’t affected by bankruptcy or similar actions, so you might have a hard time escaping this bill even if you have very little money. The good news is that relief options do exist. You can go on an extended plan that increases the loan length, or you can defer payments until you get an adequate income. Ask the lender about available options.

Better Rates
If your credit has improved since you first got your loan, then you might be able to refinance for better rates. There are many companies made specifically for refinancing student loans, or you can speak with the lender and ask if they can do this since your credit is better than it used to be. Refinancing can save you thousands, so don’t take this lightly.

Student Loan Scams
There are many scams in the student loan world. This usually comes from “student loan forgiveness” websites. These are websites that tell you that they can get your student loan forgiven if you use their services. While this might be possible with a lawyer in some situations, these websites are typically scams. You are charged a large upfront fee followed by monthly bills for continued service. Not only are the monthly payments high, but these websites rarely offer real help.

Automatic Payments
The majority of lenders give you the option to put your payment on autopilot. Your account will be automatically billed every month for the specified amount. The benefit is that your interest amount will typically be lowered. It’s usually by a very small margin, but this can save you a good amount of money over the lifetime of the debt.

Understand Financial Aid Letters
Before getting your loan, most students are required to seek financial aid to see what they qualify for. While some of this is free money from grants or organizations, others are from student loans and similar sources of money that must be paid back. These are put in the letter to make the aid look bigger than it really is.

Scholarships Still Matter
You might have a loan, but scholarships still matter. Getting one can keep you from having to borrow as much through a lender, or you can immediately put that money towards your student loan to reduce it. Just be sure to always be on the look out for scholarships that you qualify for to reduce your debt.