Repaying Your Graduate Student Loans FAQ

You DO have to REPAY loans you borrowed to attend college!

When can I expect to start repaying my loans? 

Loan repayment for federal student loans normally begins 6 months after you graduate or when you are no longer enrolled in at least a half-time status. Example:  If you graduate in May, you can expect repayment to likely begin in November.  If you previously used up your 6 month grace period as an undergraduate or graduate student, or if you consolidated your federal student loans, repayment will begin immediately when you are no longer enrolled in at least a half-time status. You will be asked to pay a monthly amount which is determined by the total loan amount you borrowed.

Where can I find more information about how much in loans I borrowed?

Information about the federal student loans you borrowed can be found by logging into the federal The federal student aid website provides information about your federal student loans including loan amounts disbursed, outstanding principal and interest, total amount of all of your federal loans, and the name of your servicer for each federal loan.

Sign into the federal student aid website by using your FSA ID

What if I borrowed private loans?  Where can I obtain information about those loans?

You may review the Financial Aid Award Notices you received from the Financial Aid Office each year or you may view the Promissory Notes you signed for the Private Loans. 

Who do I send my monthly payments to in order to repay my loans?

The Loan Servicer is a company that collects the payments from you as you are repaying your loans. You can find the name of your Loan Servicers for your federal student loans by logging into the Federal Student Aid website:

If you borrowed private loans, those loans will have their own Servicer.  However information about your private loans will NOT be on the federal student aid website. 

What is loan consolidation?

Loan consolidation allows you to combine all of your federal student loans into one loan for one monthly payment. A Direct Consolidation Loan can simplify the repayment process if you have multiple student loans. Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website and select "Loan Consolidation" under the heading "How to Repay Your Loans".

Private Loans cannot be consolidated with Federal Student Loans using a Direct Consolidation Loan. However some of the private loan lenders may offer a consolidation program for your Private Loans. More information about private loan consolidation can be found on the FinAid website.

What if I can’t pay the monthly payment my Loan Servicer asks for?

If you cannot pay the monthly amount requested by the Loan Servicer, you should contact the Loan Servicer immediately!  If you do not make the requested payment, your status will become "Delinquent" and continued non-payment will lead to "Default".

Don’t ever Default on your loans!  Defaulting means you will have "bad credit". 

"Bad credit" means:

  • You will not be allowed to buy items you need such as a car, a home, etc. 
  • You may also not be able to rent an apartment if the landlord checks your credit history and finds the "bad credit"
  • Some employers may not hire you if you have "bad credit" 
  • You won’t be able to borrow more Federal Student Loan money, for example, if you plan to attend graduate school
  • The federal government may garnish your wages (take money out of your pay check) or take your federal tax refund to try and repay some of the money you borrowed.

IMPORTANT! If you cannot pay the amount requested on your bill, contact your Loan Servicer!   

You may be able to request a Forbearance (a time period in which you do not make payments on your loans).  Your Loan Servicer may also suggest that you change your Repayment Plan for your Federal Student Loans.  There are loan Repayment Plans offered for Federal Student Loans that may lower the amount of your monthly payment.

Is there any way that I can reduce the amount of the Federal Student Loans I borrowed?

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was implemented to encourage individuals to work full-time in Public Service jobs.  This program may allow federal student loan borrowers to qualify for forgiveness of their remaining loan balance, once the borrower makes 120 payments (10 years) on their eligible federal student loans.

Only Direct Loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  Students may consolidate their loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program offered by the federal government.  For more information visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website and select "Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge" under the heading "Repay Your Loans".