To determine the options you have for your private student loans, view all of them together in one file. Create a chart for private loans — it's the easiest way to see all your student loans at one time. Go through your credit report to find any loans you may have forgotten.
Here's how to create your chart: For the rows, list all your private loans. For the columns, use these categories:
- Lender's name: The name of the bank to which you owe the money for your private loans.
- Contact information: The phone number for your lender.
- Interest rate terms: Since private loans generally do not come with fixed interest rates, you'll want to write down the exact language that is used to describe your interest rate.
- Reasons why interest rate terms can change: Look through your promissory note for phrases such as the amount — or if — a missed payment can raise your rate. Anything like this should be included in your charts, along with the percentage by which your rate could change.
- Notes on financial hardship rules: Write down anything you see regarding forbearances or procedures for getting temporary payment reprieves or reductions in payments due to financial hardship.
Remember: Simply filling in this chart won't solve your private loan situation, but it will keep all your loans and information in one place for easy reference.