Breaking News
More () »

Student loan payments resume next month. Here's some tips to help you prepare

The time many of us haven’t been looking forward to is slowly approaching. Paying back student loans. Good news though, there's options and resources!

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of stuff on hold including student loans but next month, those payments pick right back up and it’s something many of us haven’t been looking forward to.

“Trying to get everyone oriented for that after almost two years of nonpayment is definitely a huge undertaking,” said Maria Serna, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Student loan repayments pick back up May 1. Not just the payments but interest on them begins again too.

“For federal loans, there’s the interest bearing and non-interest bearing we’ve seen a pause on any of that interest and any of those payments,” said Serna.

And for those graduates who were just about to graduate right before or during the height of the pandemic, it can be extremely overwhelming.

“Especially students that have graduated during the pandemic because they’ve never had to do anything like this,” said Serna.

Serna says there are multiple steps to take in preparing for those payments. She advises checking how much you owe and reaching out

“When you need to start setting up those payment arrangements you will need to contact your loan lender and establish kind of the baseline of where you’re at and set up those payment arrangements,” said Serna.

It’s also important to know the repayment options you have. There’s more than one.

“Income based which it looks at your current financial picture and it says out of all of this what can you afford to pay on your student loans,” said Serna. “And there’s other ones where you’re just like 'I want to pay these off in 10 years I don’t care how much I have to pay, I want this done' and a range of payment options in between.”

Serna says be sure to check and ask about what all you qualify for. For example, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

“Public service loan forgiveness is forgiveness of student loans after 120 consecutive eligible payments,” said Serna. “So, the number one way to qualify is you have to work at an eligible institution, for example, employees of the university qualify for student loan forgiveness, so that’s a little bit of a different process sometimes you may want to consolidate your loans.”

Serna urges that knowing your options as well as resources available is critical in preparing to pay back your student loans.

The university will be holding a loan repayment workshop on April 22 in the O’Connor Room 241. The event will take place from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event is open to anyone in the community and you do not have to be a TAMUCC alumni.

More from 3News on KIIITV.com:

Before You Leave, Check This Out