Banks Offer Student Loan Assistance Programs - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Banks Offer Student Loan Assistance Programs

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For many students affording college can be one of the biggest challenges of their time in school.
University of Mary graduate student Kristi Slaba has about $20,000 in loans she will soon have to pay back. She says staying on top of them while in school for physical therapy was key.

"A lot of them I think push them off and don't worry about it until after they've graduated and then they realize how much it actually is going to affect them in the future," says student Kristi Slaba. 

Slaba says she's been paying off as much as she can while she's still in school. But there are still options available for those who are struggling to make the payments after they graduate.

"The number one thing is to get a hold of their lender and try to make arrangements. If you have federally-assured student loans your payment can often be set based upon your income. So it may not be the monthly payment that you were regularly scheduled for," says student loan manager Shirley Glass.

She says there are also programs available at the Bank of North Dakota to help residents.

"We do have a DEAL consolidation program that allows us to consolidate alternative loans and offer more flexible repayment terms and often a much lower interest rate," says Glass.

Those with existing subsidized Stafford loans should not be worried about how a possible change in loan rates will affect them, because the higher rates will only apply to new loans. But even those may get worked out before students are applying for financial aid.

"There was a bill introduced yesterday that would hold rates at the rates they are at today. That was introduced yesterday. The Senate plans to vote on that when they return on July 10th," says Glass.

She says if that passes those rates would retroactively take effect July 1.

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