Student loans can lead to a dream education, but that can turn into a nightmare if you’re not smart about it. It is key that you understand everything about student loans before making that final commitment. The advice that follows is a good starting point.

If you were laid off or are hit with a financial emergency, don’t worry about your inability to make a payment on your student loan. When hardship hits, many lenders will take this into consideration and give you some leeway. Make sure you realize that going this route may result in increased interest.

There are two steps to approach the process of paying off student loans you have taken out. First, ensure you make all minimum monthly payments. Pay extra on the loan with the highest interest rate. This will cut back on the amount of total interest you wind up paying.

If you plan to prepay your loans, try to pay those with the highest interest rates first. Repaying based on balance size could actually cause you to pay more in interest than you otherwise would have.

You are offered a grace period after you graduate before you must start paying on your student loans. Stafford loans provide a six month grace period. If you have Perkins loans, you will have 9 months. The time periods for other student loans vary as well. Know when you are expected to pay them back, and make your payments on time!

Having to make a monthly student loan payment is hard for a budget that is already stretched thin. However, loans that offer a rewards program can soften the blow. For instance, look into the Upromise programs called SmarterBucks and LoanLink. These are similar to programs that give cash back. When you spend, you get rewards that you can use on loans.

You can stretch your dollars further for your student loans if you make it a point to take the most credit hours as you can each semester. You may be able to scrape by with 12 hours, but try to at least carry 15 per semester. If possible, go for 18. The will assist you in reducing the size of your loans.

It is very important that you correctly fill out all student loan documents to ensure the timely process of them. Giving incorrect information can cause the process to be delayed, resulting in having to start school later.

Applying for a private loan with substandard credit is often going to require a co-signer. Make sure that your payments are up to date. If you miss a payment, then your co-signer will not be happy because they are just as responsible for these payments as you are.

Be leery of applying for private loans. Understanding every bit of these loans is difficult. You may not realize what you are signing your name to until it is too late. After that happens, it might prove quite difficult to free yourself from it. Get all the necessary information. If you get a great offer, check with other lenders to see if they will meet or beat it.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to student loans. The decisions you make now will affect you long after graduation. It’s best to borrow wisely, so be mindful of all that you learned from this article.