On Your Side: Repaying Student Loans - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

On Your Side: Repaying Student Loans

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. - For more than 40 million Americans saddled with student loan debt, some new programs may bring some relief. Across the United States, student loan debt totals nearly 1 trillion dollars which is more than credit card or auto loan debt. News 3's Naomi Keitt spoke with financial aid officials at Columbus State University to bring us the best ways to pay off your student loans.

Michael Grafton is a junior at Columbus State University studying English. To pay for tuition and other expenses during his college years, he's already taken out nearly $40,000 in loans.

"I've been thinking about paying them back, but I definitely can't do it until I graduate and land a new job. I plan on going to law school and that's going to be more loans on top of loans," said Grafton.

Grafton hasn't researched repayment plans just yet. He says he will focus on that once he gets his degree.

"Are you nervous about having to pay all that back," asked News 3's Naomi Keitt. "Yes, because it's a substantial amount. Most people when they graduate from their Bachelors its $35,000 or $40,000. I'm already at that now and I haven't even graduated," said Grafton.

Grafton is one of nearly 40 million Americans saddled with student debt. The director of financial aid at Columbus State says there are a number of repayment plans that can help you pay off your debt.

"The new one is pay as you earn where you can pay 10% of your income but not more than the standard payment amount that runs 10 years," said Russ Romandini.

For the "Pay as you Earn" plan, the monthly payment is based on your income and family size. Romandini says it's vital that you work with your financial aid department during school and your loan provider after college to manage your debt.

"They can really be successful in repayment and really understand when they borrow. That's the real key," said Romandini.

Before even taking out loans, Romandini encourages students to weigh all your options like scholarships and grants.

"It can really make a big difference in the long run, especially as they get out and start working and start to repay. It can be really good," said Romandini.

The "Pay as you Earn" program is not available to student with older loans. You have to have borrowed after October 1, 2007. The new program should be available starting December of 2015.

For more information on student loan repayment you can visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Columbus police searching for armed robbery suspect

    Columbus police searching for armed robbery suspect

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-28 14:09:36 GMT
    Columbus police need your help identifying a man who they say robbed two businesses Saturday evening. They say a black man was wearing all black but no mask when he pulled a silver handgun on the cashier at Weems Food Mart on Weems road just around 7 p.m. Saturday night.
    Columbus police need your help identifying a man who they say robbed two businesses Saturday evening. They say a black man was wearing all black but no mask when he pulled a silver handgun on the cashier at Weems Food Mart on Weems road just around 7 p.m. Saturday night.
  • Update: Kellogg's plant to close by end of 2015, company responds

    Update: Kellogg's plant to close by end of 2015, company responds

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:11 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:11:13 GMT
    The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to close by the end of 2015.The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to close by the end of 2015.
    The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to be shut down by the end of 2015.
    The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to be shut down by the end of 2015.
Watch Live Watch Live Religious services RBC Canadian Open (Sat & Sun)
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Special Report: Common Core

    Special Report: Common Core

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:14:38 GMT
    Common Core. Those two words are some of the most controversial in education across several states where the curriculum is being implemented. In both Georgia and Alabama, they're called College and Career Readiness Standards. News 3's Education Reporter Naomi Keitt took an in-depth look at the Common Core.
    Common Core. Those two words are some of the most controversial in education across several states where the curriculum is being implemented. In both Georgia and Alabama, they're called College and Career Readiness Standards. News 3's Education Reporter Naomi Keitt took an in-depth look at the Common Core.
  • 3 new members elected to Muscogee County BOE

    3 new members elected to Muscogee County BOE

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:47:36 GMT
    After a major upset victory on the Muscogee County school board, newly elected member John Thomas is looking forward to the future by helping students across the district. In a 80-20 landslide, a political newcomer soundly defeated John Wells, who has served on the school board for 28 years.
    After a major upset victory on the Muscogee County school board, newly elected member John Thomas is looking forward to the future by helping students across the district. In a 80-20 landslide, a political newcomer soundly defeated John Wells, who has served on the school board for 28 years.
  • Lee County schools talk school safety practices

    Lee County schools talk school safety practices

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:31:24 GMT
    Lee County schools are leading the way when it comes to school safety and they credit their collaboration with law enforcement officials. The Director of Student Services says they practice a hide, run, fight technique at the schools.
    Lee County schools are leading the way when it comes to school safety and they credit their collaboration with law enforcement officials. The Director of Student Services says they practice a hide, run, fight technique at the schools.
Powered by WorldNow

1732 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Telephone: 205.933.1313
Fax: 205.323.3314
Email: newstips@alabamas13.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.