Repaying Your Loans: FAQs
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. Example: If you graduate in May, you can expect repayment to likely begin in November. 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 at studentaid.gov. The federal website (studentaid.gov) 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 website by using the same logon information you used for your FAFSA
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. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, there was a change in the federal student loan program. If you borrowed federal student loans prior to that year, you may end up having more than one Loan Servicer. This means each month you will receive bills from different companies requesting payment for that month for your federal student loans.
You can find the name of your Loan Servicers for your federal student loans by visiting studentaid.gov.
If you borrowed private loans, those loans will have their own Servicer. However information about your private loans will NOT be on the federal website.
What can I do so that I don’t have my federal loans with different Servicers?
If you do not want to pay your federal loans with different companies each month, you may want to consider consolidating your loans. Loan Consolidation allows you to move all of your Federal Student Loans to one Loan Servicer so you can make one monthly payment to one company to repay all of your Federal Student Loans. For more information about loan consolidation, please visit: studentaid.gov.
The U.S. Department of Education will not consolidate Private Loans with Federal Student Loans! However some private companies may offer this type of consolidation. Make sure you do your research so you know what you are getting into if you are considering this option. Additionally, some of the private loan lenders may offer a consolidation program for just your Private Loans. For additional information visit http://www.finaid.org/loans/privateconsolidation.phtml
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 studentaid.ed.gov and select “Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge” under the heading “Repay Your Loans”.
What is Loan Consolidation?
Loan consolidation allows you to combine multiple federal student loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. The federal Direct Loan program offers consolidation to federal loan borrowers. studentaid.gov.
The repayment term for the loan starts over, giving students longer to repay their loan. A longer repayment term may result in lower monthly payments but will ultimately increase the amount the borrower will pay over the life of the loan since more interest will accrue during a longer repayment period.
A single fixed rate based on the weighted average of the interest rates of those loans being consolidated rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.
Automatic Debit Benefit
Eligible for a 0.25% interest rate reduction if the loan is repaid through the servicer’s automatic debit system.