SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Millions of Americans who have federal student loans have been dreading this day.
On Sept. 1, interest on student loans started accruing again for 43 million Americans.
And student loan payments are one step closer to resuming on Oct. 1.
During the pandemic, there was a three-year pause on federal student loan repayments.
"I graduated from dental school in 2019," said Annelise Eriksen. She has been a dentist in the Bay Area for more than three years.
"I owe somewhere around $470-480,000," said Eriksen. "I think it's an obscene amount."
She went on to say, "I didn't take out any student loans for my undergrad. That's all dental school loans. I think my largest loan is $70,000 with a 7.5% interest rate."
Eriksen says it's impossible to live in San Francisco, pay rent and pay back her loans.
Betsy Mayotte, president of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors has these three tips:
1. Know where your loans are
2. Figure out what your payment is
3. Find lower payment options
"Make sure you know where your loans are, which you can do at www.student aid.gov," Mayotte said. "Make sure you know what your payment is. And if you can't afford that payment, look into various lower payment options that are available to federal student loans."
The thought of paying back student loans can be difficult to process.
"It's daunting. In order to keep up with the interest rates, I would have to start making payments of $3,000 a month. That's how much pure interest my loans accrue every month," Eriksen said.
But financial experts say there are ways to make it all work out.
There's a one-year grace period for federal student loan borrowers.
For a year, borrowers who miss payments will not go into default, nor will they be reported to credit reporting agencies.
A series of free webinars on managing student loans is available to California residents.
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