The purpose of an educational loan portfolio is to ensure that you have all your student loan information in one safe place and are able to locate this information easily when needed. All information sent to you regarding your student loans, along with the information you have obtained throughout your borrowing years, should be stored and kepted in your portfolio until you complete the student loan repayment period. This way, it is easier to record important information, monitor changes regarding loan terms and keep track of the holder of your loans. Keeping this portfolio updated will also assist you in remembering important dates for filing required paperwork or making required payments. Occasionally looking through your portfolio will also help you understand the debt you have incurred and what your various options are regarding grace periods, deferment, forbearance, consolidation, refinancing and alternative repayment options. It is important to know all the specific terms of all student loans, which if properly kept, can be found in your portfolio.
Maintaining accurate records is your responsibility. If your holder makes a mistake, the responsibility of repaying your loans still is financially and legally yours. If you detect an error, do not delay contacting the appropriate organization. The longer you wait to correct a problem, the harder it will be to resolve. Delaying a problem will become stressful, and possibly expensive, for you.
The information filed in your educational loan portfolio can assist you in maintaining a strict budget which will guard you against being delinquent on your student loans. If you avert student loan delinquency, you will be sure to avoid your loans going into a default status.
To develop a successful educational loan portfolio, you will need:
- a notebook to record dates, names and discussions you have with your holder/servicer
- a calendar to record when repayment begins, deferment or forbearance dates and any other important dates regarding your educational debt
- an accordion file to separate and store all information on each of your loans (i.e., promissory notes, correspondence...) from your holder/servicer
- change of address cards to send to your holder each time you relocate
Listed below are common sense strategies for sound management of your educational loan portfolio:
- Know your portfolio: know the type of loans you have and your loan servicer
- Know the relative cost of your loans: subsidized, unsubsidized interest rates and capitalization terms
- Know your grace, deferment and forbearance options
- Be aware of repayment schedules-keep a calendar
- Know your monthly payment and total repayment amount for your repayment option
- Know when you need outside professional help
- Know your support teams
- Commit to keeping good records
*Please note: All terms in bold/italic appear on our Glossary page.