EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Interest on student loans began accumulating again earlier this month, and people nationwide will soon have to start paying them back.

But what happens if you can’t afford to make those payments?

Financial advisor Jeff Masse says the first step is to check your budget. If money is tight, there are income-driven repayment programs available, including the Biden administration’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan.

The SAVE plan calculates your monthly payment based on income and family size, but not the amount of debt.

Some borrowers may qualify for loan forgiveness once the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan is fully phased in next year.

Loan forgiveness is also available to state and federal workers, as well as those who work for qualified charities.

The bottom line: make sure you make a payment on your loans, or it could affect your financial future. Masse warned that if you default, it will get reported to the three major credit agencies and it could take you some time to recover from that.