Student Loan Consolidation, Deferment, Forbearance and Modification
If you have several student loans (you usually have one for each year you are enrolled), you may want to explore loan consolidation. This allows you to consolidate your loans into one monthly payment. The fixed interest rate is the average rate of all your loans, which generally saves the borrower money. Most loan forgiveness programs require that you consolidate your loans. Explore more about loan consolidation here.
If you find that you are unable to pay your student loans for a period of time because you are in school, unemployed, or experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for loan deferment or forbearance. This allows you to stop making payments or have your payments reduced for a period of time. Graduate school loans are not subsidized, which means you will still be required to pay interest even if the loan has been deferred. Explore more about deferment and forbearance here.
If you have a private or government loan and are at risk of defaulting on your loan, contact your lender and try to work out a loan modification where you can renegotiate monthly payments and interest rates. You can also contact the private loan ombudsman at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The ombudsman can help you resolve problems and disputes.