(WTNH) – The federal student loan payment pause is coming to an end, which means it’s now time to prepare to make payments again. We are Stretching Your Dollar with how to get started.

We are just weeks away from the end of the federal student loan pause. As millions of Americans will soon be on the hook to make payments once again, NerdWallet has tips to help you get ready.

First, know your details such as how much debt you’re carrying and who your loan servicer is.

Next, decide on a payment plan. The standard repayment plan will minimize interest costs, however, there are others that may lower your monthly amount owed.

Tip three is to understand the downside of not making your payments. This will only increase your amount owed as interest accrues. However, there is an onramp period that may offer protection if you do miss payments.

Lastly, start including the new payment in your monthly expenditures. This is an added burden for millions of students so the sooner you can build it in your budget the more prepared you will be.

NerdWallet also says for direct federal student loans, you can get a small interest rate break, a reduction of 0.25 percentage points, by setting up automatic payments.