Repaying Your Student Loans
As you progress through your academic career, repaying your student loans is something that you should always consider. Repayment begins after you graduate or if you enroll for fewer than six credits. The information on this website provides an overview of the different repayment options, an introduction to the repayment estimator, loan consolidation, and other resources related to student loans. We hope that the information provided on this website will help guide your decision around what type of repayment plans are available to support your personal financial well-being and budget.
The US Department of Education recently announced significant changes to a federal student loan forgiveness program that aims to help government and nonprofit workers but has failed in many cases to deliver on its promise of debt relief.
Eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is temporarily expanded through Oct. 31, 2022, so that it now includes borrowers who have older loans that didn't originally qualify as well as those who were in the wrong repayment plan but met the other requirements.
Visit the Financial Education webpage for more information regarding credit scores and other information.
- Students that are in a "repayment loan status", payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020, through May 1, 2022.
- To provide relief to student loan borrowersduring the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until May 1, 2022, but you can still make payments if you choose. Read the borrower Q&As below to learn more.
- The Secretary of Education removed the subsidized usage loan limit restriction (SULA) for any borrower who receives a Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan on or after July 1, 2021.
National Student Loan Data System
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) is a system provided by the federal government to keep track of all federal aid that has been disbursed to you. It provides a centralized view of Title IV loans and grants so that you can access and keep track of your account at all times. Make sure that you have your Federal Student Aid ID to access your information. Please note that if you have taken out private loans, the information will not be provided in NSLDS and the total amount you have borrowed.
The Repayment Estimator is a great tool to use before you contact your loan servicer. The repayment estimator gives you an advantage to see how much your estimated monthly payment plans are depending on the various repayment options. You will need information regarding your family’s income and household size to obtain the most accurate estimates.
Once you have graduated, withdrawn, or dropped below half-time (six credits) enrollment, you are required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling. Once you have completed the session, you can determine which repayment plan is more beneficial for you according to your personal budget. Complete the Exit Counseling requirement. You will need your Federal Student Aid Identification and password to access the website. If you forgot your FSA ID information, click here.
If you plan to return to school or have already returned to school and are enrolled at 6 credit hours or more, you are eligible to have your loans deferred. Please see below for information regarding deferment and forbearance opportunities.
Repayment Options: Direct Loans and The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
Understanding the repayment process can build a better financial foundation for your future. Federal loans must be repaid, just like home mortgages or car loans despite your financial situation.
Quick Links to Repayment Plan Options
Standard Repayment Plan
Graduated Repayment Plan
Extended Repayment Plan
Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan
Income-Contingent Repayment Plan
Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan
Repaying Your Student Loans
After you graduate or are enrolled for less than half-time (six credits), your loan servicer will be in communication with you regarding repayment of your loans. If you borrowed more than one student loan, check with each of your loan servicers to ensure that you are making timely payments and that information is not being missed. As a borrower, you are responsible for making payments, even if a bill is not present. If you are unsure of who your loan servicer is, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) to view information regarding your federal student loans.
Consolidating Your Student Loans
Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine multiple federal loans into one single loan. The end result would be one single monthly payment. This process can be very useful if you want to keep track of all of your payments. Find out why you should consider loan consolidation.
Avoiding Default on Your Student Loans
You should make every effort to make your loan payments and avoid default status on federal student loans. Here are some steps that you can actively take to avoid defaulting on a federal student loan:
- Understand your loan and your loan agreement. Check out “Know Before You Owe” from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Manage your budget and make well-informed loan borrowing decisions.
- Track your loans online by utilizing NSLDS or go directly to your loan servicer’s website.
- Keep good documentation of everything regarding your financial aid, loan disclosures, payment schedules, and other loan counseling materials.
- Don’t be afraid to notify your loan servicer of any changes to your status such as: needing help with your monthly payments, experiencing a loss of employment, change in demographic information, withdrawal from school, or you have graduated.
- If you cannot make your monthly payment, contact your loan servicer about deferment or forbearance, or even switching your repayment option to one that best fits your financial needs. Click to see if you are eligible for a loan deferment. You can request for a deferment or forbearance from your loan servicer or if you are attending school for at least half-time, you may request for an in-school deferment. Contact your school and your loan servicer directly for information about how you can request an in-school deferment.
Defaulted Loan Status
You can default on your loans if you fail to make proper payments according to the terms and conditions that you agreed upon in the promissory note. For federal student loans, this would mean that you have been delinquent on your loan repayment for more than 270 days.
Some of the consequences for defaulting on a federal student loan can affect the following areas:
- Negative impact on your credit
- Car loan approvals
- Garnishment of wages
- Approval for rental properties or home owner's insurance
- Loss of eligibility of future federal financial aid
Don’t get discouraged if you have defaulted on a federal student loan! There are several options for you if you defaulted on a federal loan: rehabilitation, loan repayment, and loan consolidation programs. For defaulted FFEL Program or Federal Perkins loan, you will need to check with your school or guaranty agency to find out more information about how to get out of defaulted status for these specific loans.
We hope that you will find the information provided on this website useful and educational regarding repayment options, default aversion, and some basic processes that can help you build a solid financial future. If you have any questions regarding your loans, please contact the Student Financial Aid & Scholarships Office at 216-987-6000, Option #2.