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You’re Delinquent On Your Student Loan, Now What?

Career

Millions of Americans need financial help to make the American dream become a reality. Thus, Americans are bogged down by student loan debt more than ever. Attaining student loans are always presented as the obvious option to choose when eager college-goers need money to finance school.


Of course, student loan borrowers have every intention to repay their loans when they graduate and land a job, but unforeseen circumstances may get in the way. So you missed a payment; and this means you’re now considered delinquent. As soon as you missed a payment, your student loan status changes from current to “delinquent.” With federal student loans, you have up to 9 months before you go into default and it gets reported to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You don’t want to go into default as once this happens your entire student loan balance will become due! If you have private loans, you need to act quickly. When you miss a payment on a private loan, most of the time those get reported 30, 60 or 90 days past due. The timeline of how a missed student loan payment gets reported will vary from lender to lender. In either case, don’t let your delinquency ride out as it could potentially remain on your credit report for up to 7 years, affecting your financial future in a negative way.

Here is a list of steps to help you recover after you’ve become delinquent on your student loan.

Make Your Payment

The easiest way to get out of delinquency is to make your missed payment as soon as you can. As soon as you make your payment your status will switch from delinquency to current. Of course, there is a reason you missed your payment. If you missed it because you didn’t have enough money to make the minimum payment, you might want to consider creating a budget or if you already have one, take time to re-work it.

If you missed your payment because it simply slipped your mind, do your best to pay off your outstanding monthly payment as soon as possible. If your financial situation allows, you may want to consider making more than the minimum payment. This will help you get back on track with your student loans, and your payment will go towards the interest and principal payment.

If you missed your payment because it simply slipped your mind, do your best to pay off your outstanding monthly payment as soon as possible. If your financial situation allows, you may want to consider making more than the minimum payment

Call Your Lender

Once you are delinquent on a student or personal loan, your lender will try to get in touch with you typically within the first fifteen days of a missed payments. If they try to contact you, use this to your advantage! If they haven’t called you yet, make the first move and contact them. You want to be on good terms with your lender. Explain to them the situation, and listen to what they recommend so you don’t become a repeat offender of missing payments.

You should consider talking to your lender to see if there is a better way for you to repay your student loans. For example, an income-sensitive repayment plan is based on your total gross monthly income, which can help to ensure that you make your monthly payments. If you aren’t in too deep with your delinquency, then you may be able to qualify for deferment or forbearance. These two options will allow you to completely stop making payments for a period of time; however, with forbearance, your interest will still accrue. Additionally, when you speak with your lender, ask them if your delinquency has caused any late charges or fees on your account. If fees did accrue, you may want to cut back on some of your non-essential expenses to help pay this down.

Prevent Missing another Payment

You may want to consider signing up for automated payments to ensure you stay on track with your loans going forward. Depending on the lender, if you choose this option, you might also qualify for a lower interest rate. If you do decide upon automatic payments, be sure to check that you have enough funds in your account each month to make the payment. Consider setting a reminder on your phone to help make timely payments. If you don’t want to make automatic payments, consider changing the due date of your payment to one that lines up better with your payday.

Don’t get too worked up, becoming delinquent on your student loan isn’t always the worst case scenario. There are ways you can recover if you take action quickly and don’t procrastinate when it comes to missing a payment. It’s essential to avoid defaulting on your loans which generally happens after 270 days of consecutive missed payments. Consider speaking with your lender or loan servicer and figure out the best way to make your loans current and your payments more manageable.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.