College Grads: It's Time to Pay Student Loans

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
June 03, 2016

For many recent college graduates, it’s time to start paying back those dreaded student loans.

Along with the excitement of getting a college degree comes the harsh reality, for many, that it’s also time to start paying off that student loan debt.

The average Class of 2016 graduate has more than $37,000 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year, according to the K-State Research and Extension office.

For recent college graduates, K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (pronounced “Kish”) says that first student loan payment may be coming sooner than they think.

“You have six to nine months, depending on your type of loan, before you have to actually make your first payment,” Kiss explained. “So in that time period, be thinking about what your income is going to be, what your expenses are going to be, and then what sort of repayment plan you want to set up with your loan servicer.”

Students relocating after graduation are responsible for giving updated contact information to their loan provider – and for staying current on loan payment.

“If you are late on a payment, if you make a partial payment or don’t make a payment at all, that could put you into delinquency,” Kiss warned. “And then ultimately, that could result in default, which could have very negative consequences on your future ability to get credit and to do things.”

There are many different types of loans and repayment options available. Kiss encourages graduates who anticipate having difficulty making their loan payments to talk with their provider about which option is best for them.

More information is available online at