Students loans due? Don't you dare default

Lynne Adkins
November 14, 2018 - 4:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — If you graduated in the spring and borrowed money to pay for your college education, it's now time to begin the process of repayment. 

But Jacquelyn Basso, a CPA based in Downingtown, advises not to default on your loan. She said not repaying the money will hurt your credit score and your ability to buy a home, a car, or even rent an apartment.

And if your parents co-signed, their credit could be ruined, too. 

If money is tight now, there are options, Basso said: Pay off loans with higher interest rates first. Then, contact your lender for help.

"Temporary rate reduction — you could negotiate an income-driven payment," she added. "If you're not making as much as you thought you would, they might be able to reduce your payment. You might also consider a loan consolidation."

Another choice is good old-fashioned belt-tightening.

"You may have to find a roommate," she said. "You may have to live at home. You may not be able to go out to eat or do happy hour with friends — it's really about budgeting."

But doing nothing, Basso stressed, is not an option.

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This is a series of special reports by KYW Newsradio's Lynne Adkins, produced by Kristina Hammershchmidt.