NerdWallet: What to do about student loan payments if you lose your job

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  If you recently lost your job and are worried about paying your student loans, you have several options to set your bill to $0.

Though the national unemployment rate was just 3.8% in August, up slightly from July, layoffs continue to hit workers in industries like tech, media, entertainment, fashion and consulting. Nearly 1,000 tech companies have collectively laid off some 230,000 workers so far in 2023, according to tech industry layoff tracker To make matters even more stressful, federal student loan payments are set to resume in October, after more than three years of an interest-free payment pause that began in March 2020. “Don’t feel bad if you have to make tough choices and reprioritize,” says Scott Stark, a senior financial planner at Financial Finesse, a workplace financial wellness company. Here’s how you can make your student loans fit into your budget as you get back on your feet.Evaluate your budget and spending Check your budget and spending to see where you can cut back. “It’s crucial to get an accurate sense of your essential expenses and rank them in order of priority,” says Akeiva Ellis, a certified financial planner and CFP Board ambassador. “Take the time to negotiate where it’s possible, and consider areas where you can trim your budget.” Student loans often have options for pausing payments that debts like credit cards or auto loans do not. “It’s just about staying afloat until you get that next job,” says John McCafferty, director of financial planning at Edelman Financial Engines, a financial advisory firm. Be sure to read: What to do if you get laid off: Take a deep breath, and make these 6 financial movesContact your servicer After a layoff, reach out to your student loan servicer or lender to learn about what assistance may be available to you, says McCafferty. Your student loan servicer can walk you through relief options and their implications, help you update your payment amounts if you’re on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan and answer other qu …

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