Over 44 million Americans have student loan debt. On average, each of those people owes over $30,000. That is only expected to increase with the rising cost of tuition. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. From incoming freshmen to recent grads, everyone can benefit from these tips. One of them could even save you thousands.

Stay On Top Of Things

It may sound obvious, but staying organized is important. Once you’re out of college, life can get busy and stressful. If you have multiple student loan payments to make, you could easily forget one or two. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. If you find you can’t afford all of your payments, consider this next option.

If You’re Drowning, Find Relief

There are several ways you can reduce your monthly debt payment. Private banks, such as Wells Fargo and Discover, sometimes offer interest rate reductions. They may even postpone your payments for a short period of time. You’ll never know until you ask. There is also something you can do to prevent debt from building up in the first place.

You Can Still Get Scholarships

A lot of students think you can only get scholarships as an incoming freshman. That is simply not the case. There are tons of private scholarships specifically for upperclassmen. Your school or state may even offer a program for current students. You’ve probably already accumulated some debt, though. That means you need to watch out for this next thing.

Look Out For Scams

Where money is involved, there is someone looking to make a quick buck. So, make sure you keep an eye out for scams. These can come in the mail, email, or by phone. Do extensive research on any company offering “forgiveness” or “consolidation.” The good news is that there are legitimate companies that can help you. We’ll tell you about a few of them, next.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Help

If you have federal loans, the government does offer assistance. They can spread your payments out over a maximum of 25 years. They can even cap off the amount you have to pay back based on your current income. For private loans, you can refinance if you have good credit. SoFi, CommonBond, and Earnest are reputable companies to look into. The main thing to keep in mind is that there are options for everyone. You’re not alone.