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Chapter 5: Paying off student loans

Repaying the loans you took to get your degree is a given. But there are ways to manage those payments and even have some forgiven.

Once you've earned your degree, you have to begin paying back the loans. In this chapter, we explain the types of payment plans you can use, how to consolidate several student loans into one (and when that's a good move), what the federal government can do for you if you take a job that is service-oriented and what to do if you get behind on your repayment plan.

What you can expect to learn from this chapter:
  • Repaying your student loans
    Knowing the terms and the amount of your loan are the beginning of the process. We walk you through the repayment plans you may choose from.
  • FAQs on student loan consolidation
    If you have several loans, you may want to consolidate them into just one. Here's what you need to know to do that -- and what pitfalls to avoid.
  • Good deeds get rewarded
    The federal government will forgive some of your loans if you're a teacher or a nurse or do other community-service work. See what it takes to qualify.
  • When you just can't pay: How to avoid default
    Missing student loan payments has the same consequences as failing other debt obligations. Here's what to do if you get behind.



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