April is Financial Literacy Month, and this issue of At Your Service focuses on some of the ways Sallie Mae® helps students successfully manage their credit. To find tools to support your financial literacy efforts, visit SallieMae.com/EDServicing.

Top 10 Things Students Should Do At Repayment

Getting off on the right foot can make all the difference when it comes to successfully repaying student loans. That's why Sallie Mae provides detailed repayment information to students as they leave school and when they begin repayment.

For example, we offer a handy flyer that lists The Top 10 Things to Do When It's Time to Repay Your Student Loans. The flyer advises students to:

  • Find out if they have loans with servicers other than Sallie Mae by using NSLDS
  • Update all of their contact information
  • Sign up for online account management
  • Sign up to receive communications from Sallie Mae by email
  • Save money using automatic debit to make payments
  • Model and select repayment plans online using their actual loan information
  • Make payments on time and build a good credit rating
  • Consider paying a little extra each month to reduce the total cost of the loan
  • Seek help at the first sign of financial difficulty
  • Use deferment and forbearance only as a last resort
By following these tips, Sallie Mae student loan customers will be better able to repay their loans successfully and build a solid credit history. Please visit SallieMae.com/EDServicing to download a PDF of this flyer.

Helping Students Select the Repayment Plan That’s Right for Them

Sallie Mae makes it easy for customers to make an informed decision about which repayment plan works best for them. For example, they can use our online account management tool to model and compare repayment plans using their actual account information.

Customers can select either Standard Repayment, Graduated Repayment, or (if eligible) Extended Repayment. In addition, depending upon the program under which their loan was made, they can choose from among three repayment options based on their income:

  • Income-Based Repayment (Direct Loans and FFELP Loans)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (Direct Loans)
  • Income-Sensitive Repayment (FFELP Loans)

Customers whose financial circumstances change can also use the online account management tool at SallieMae.com to quickly and easily change repayment plans. In addition, Sallie Mae customer service representatives are available by phone at 1-800-722-1300 to help customers weigh the advantages of each option.

New Financial Literacy Tools Help Students Manage Their Money

Sallie Mae has added several new tools to its library of financial literacy materials. These include an interactive budget worksheet, a financial goals planner, and a list of tips on saving money.

My Monthly Budget lets customers create a detailed budget by filling in numbers for common income and expense categories. They can then fill in the actual numbers each month and the worksheet will calculate how much spendable income they have at the end of the month. It's an easy way to manage a budget.

Money-Saving Strategies is a helpful flyer that can work effectively with My Monthly Budget, described above. For customers whose budget leaves them short each month, the flyer suggests ways to cut down their expenses and get their budget back into the black.

My Financial Goals helps customers get a better sense of what they need to do to reach selected goals that require financial discipline and saving. The interactive sheet lets customers calculate the amount of time it will take to achieve each of their goals using various financial scenarios.

Sallie Mae is continually building an archive of financial literacy materials for its student and parent customers. Look for additions to the archive by going to SallieMae.com/EDServicing.

bedebtsavvySM Newsletter and Website Offer Credit Management Tips

Sallie Mae sends its customers a quarterly bedebtsavvy newsletter that provides credit management tips along with links to the more detailed website, SallieMae.com/bedebtsavvy.

Among the topics covered are:

  1. 10 rules of smart credit management
  2. Understanding your credit score
  3. Avoiding credit scams
  4. Protecting your privacy and guarding against identity theft
  5. What to do if your identity is stolen
  6. Bankruptcy and student loans

For more information, go to SallieMae.com/bedebtsavvy.