How many of your credit union’s members are in college or recent college graduates entering the workforce? How many of those members are burdened with student debt?
Many young credit union members have been confused by exactly how much they’ll end up paying back on their student loans if they make the minimum payments. When I started college, I signed up for both federal and private student loans. I was also the first-born child in my family, so student loans were also a little foreign to my parents.
Fast forward to my last term in college, when I was sitting in a mandatory financial aid counseling session before graduation. I’m handed a piece of paper with my two loan balances written on it. I’m about to graduate college but all I can do is panic and wonder how I’m ever supposed to pay this huge debt.
After a year out of college, I’m making the regular loan payments and the dust has settled. With mortgage rates extremely low right now, I hear so much talk of refinancing them. Mortgages are huge loans, but what about those of us with student debt – which now totals more than credit card debt in the U.S.? What do we do if we want to refinance our student loans for a better rate?
I’ve heard about consolidating my student loans, but the calculations look complicated. Credit unions can help members like me by going over the calculations with members or offering interest and principal loan calculators on their websites for student loan borrowers. Even reminding those borrowers that automatic payments can decrease interest rates.
Looking back to 2008, I wish I had used a credit union for my student loans and I’d be open to consolidation opportunities from credit unions that offered them. Credit unions have the mission to help their members’ financial well-being. My federal and private student lending institutions seem to see me as a distant balance figure. It would be nice to connect better the people behind my monthly loan statements as credit unions do.