Making That First Payment Count​​

 By Bonnie Weaver, USA Funds Consultant

First student loan payments are coming due for thousands of members of the class of 2012 who left college campuses last spring. Making that first payment is critical to these borrowers’ successful repayment of their education debt and the prevention of loan delinquencies and defaults.

Here are some important considerations to promote successful student loan repayment.

The additional interest costs borrowers may incur by using deferment or forbearance will be less than the costs and potential damage to their credit from missing their loan payments. Consider scheduling follow-up communication with borrowers who are resuming repayment following a period of deferment or forbearance to ensure they get back on the repayment track.

USA Funds offers tools to help you identify and communicate with specific groups of borrowers, including those entering repayment after grace period or periods of deferment or forbearance.  USA Funds Borrower ConnectTM helps you aggregate data from various sources to identify relevant groups of borrowers and distribute mail, email or telephone communication to them. USA Funds Borrower Connect InTouchSM is a staffing solution for postsecondary institutions that lack the resources to carry out borrower communications themselves.

USA Funds provides free resources to help student loan borrowers understand their repayment options and obligations. USA Funds Life Skills®  lessons “103 What Do I Need to Know About Repaying My Student Loans?” and “104 What If I Have Trouble Repaying My Student Loans?” are especially relevant.

USA Funds also supplies free magnets to colleges and universities to help them inform borrowers how to access their loan information on NSLDS, as well as the free publication Student Loan Repayment Success: Four Steps to Take Now, which offers advice on preparing for a borrower’s first student loan payment.