I like to think that I’m much more knowledgeable about financial matters than the average college student. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m necessarily smarter than the average college student when it comes to money. I still like to shop as much as anybody else – Amazon Prime is both a blessing and a curse.
As a college freshman though, I found that there was one financial matter that remains obscure. Maybe I was more trying to avoid it than anything else – it being my, cue a shudder, federal student loans or the scarier, cue a bigger shudder, unsubsidized loans.
I mean, I knew the total amount that I was taking out every semester to cover the cost of my tuition at Stony Brook University (SBU). Of course, I knew that. I’ve read through my tuition bill for this spring semester like eight times already or something like that since the university has released the document. I’ve nitpicked through every expenses listed. I’ve added the list through and through myself, making sure that every cent is right where it’s supposed to be and every unnecessary expenses had been accounted for and subtracted from the total cost. I’ve definitely called the Bursar’s office and the Financial Aid Department so much more than they would have liked.
Yet, there was one matter that has remained hidden from my general awareness. It’s not the student loans but the interest that those pesky unsubsidized loans have accumulated. Just a couple of weeks ago, I’ve finally had to admit that I did not know how much my direct unsubsidized loans have accumulated interest. Instead, I’ve gone with the blaise excuse of, “I’ll deal with it when I graduate.”
That would have been fine, mind you, until I realized I’m an actual control freak when it comes to all things about money. Then, there came one of my itches. Have to know how much. Have to know how much. Have to know how much! So, I said, “Fine! Geez,” and I realized, crap, how do I even check that?
If you’re not sure how to check the interest accumulated by your direct unsubsidized loans either, you’ve come to the right place. Because, surprise! It’s actually not that hard to do. All you have to do is login to this site, the Federal Student Aid government page.
Then, you click on the login button at the top right corner of the page. It’s the same username and password as the one you should have used when you filled out your FAFSA. Once you logged in, you should find this neat little chart on the following page. It has all of the information on how much subsidized and unsubsidized loans you’ve taken and the interest amount its accumulated!
As you can see, my subsidized loans have generated $0 interest because subsidized loans doesn’t start to get interest until after you graduate. However, my unsubsidized loans have generated just a small amount of interest since the fall when I first took it out.
The last thing that we should be aware of is what the actual interest rate of our loans are. This information can also be found on this site. To find your interest rate, you can click on the blue link that can be seen in the above picture for both your unsubsidized and subsidized loans.
Here, you can see all of the general loan information again and, most importantly, your interest rate! This is a very important information to keep in mind as you go forward in college career, taking out even more loans, and as you go closer to that time in your life when you actually have to pay these loans back.
Perhaps, we can actually accomplish a lot if we just try to be more aware of our loans now rather than later. In theory, it would be really nice to start paying the unsubsidized loan now and save myself all of the interest cost. But, that Kate Spade wallet was so worth it.