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Avoiding student debt stress

The Financial Aid office is working to provide students with tips and tricks on repaying student debt.-Tyler French/TRUMPET

Repaying student loan debt can be a daunting undertaking for graduating seniors as they transition away from college.

According to the U.S. Student Debt Solution Center, the average college student graduates with over $37,000 in debt.

The Wartburg Financial Aid Office wants students to know they are not alone in repaying their loans, however.

“I get a lot of phone calls from new alums asking questions, and we try to get them going,” Financial Services Coordinator Erin Amsberry said. “Just know that we are here for you even after you graduate.”

According to Amsberry, one thing students can expect is their federal loan servicer will be very accommodating with them in setting up their return payment schedule.

“If you’re willing to work with them, they’re willing to work with you,” Amsberry said.

On Tuesday, April 17, the office is hosting two different exit counseling sessions at 11:30 am and 5:30 pm.

During these sessions they will cover different repayment options as well as other things students need to know in relation to their loans.

Exit counseling is a federal graduation requirement so students can get one step closer to graduation while also preparing for post-Wartburg life.

Amsberry said students should complete the online portion of the exit counseling beforehand.

This way they know what their loan debt is and are better prepared for the session.

“We will go over the basics, but that will also mostly be a question and answer session,” Amsberry said. “We encourage questions at that session because chances are if you have that question, someone else does as well.”

The Financial Aid Office is also always open for extra questions if needed.

While repayment is a tough task for many young adults, Amsberry has advice for people about to enter the post-graduation world.
“Live frugally,” Amsberry said. “If you can keep that college student lifestyle going, chances are you will be able to live within your means and pay your student loans,” Amsberry said.

Other tips students can use to save extra money include living at home for a while rather than paying rent, getting an extra part-time job and paying extra money toward loans when possible.

More money put toward each payment will mean less time overall of the repayment and will save money in interest.

Everyone repays loans at their own rate, but it does not have to be something that takes the rest of your life to accomplish. Amsberry said she has seen people leaving Wartburg with debt in excess of $80,000 who are able to repay it in four years or less.

“We want to hear about what you are doing and how you are doing, and how your post-Wartburg life is treating you,” Amsberry said.

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