UW-L offers advice on managing student loan debt - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UW-L offers advice on managing student loan debt

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LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—In addition to finding that first job after graduation, most college students also have to worry about paying back student loans.

Louise Janke, Director of Financial Aid at UW-La Crosse said UW-L students have a good record of paying back those loans with a default rate of only about 1.2-percent.

Janke said tuition costs the same whether you're taking 12 or 18 credits, if possible, she recommends taking a full load to help you graduate sooner, ultimately costing you less money.

"Now that I realize I am a senior and I'm close to the end it's kind of scary to think that I have a lot of money to pay back," Kayla Guanella, UW-L Senior said.

Guanella estimates that when she graduates next spring she'll have around $40,000 in debt and that's before grad school.

"You only have your 6 month grace period to really get a job and start saving up some money to pay back those loans its a little intimidating," Guanella said.

Janke said if you're having trouble repaying your loans communicate with your lenders; don't default on your loan.

"They can defer their loan, maybe they would qualify for forbearance," Janke said. "Maybe they would qualify for an income contingent repayment plan or something like that but the servicers are there to work with the student to give them every opportunity to keep their loan in good standing."

She also recommends students take out federal loans first, and then use private loans to fill in the gaps because the interest rates and repayment benefits are better with federal loans.

Guanella hopes that the college degrees she's spending so much money on will help her land her dream job.

"With in five to ten years I'll have a good ground underneath me where I'll be able to do what I want to do," Guanella said.

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