Did you know that the biggest regret of former college students is not doing a better job of planning how to manage their
student loan debt according to a recent study? Don’t let that become your story! Start learning how to manage your finances today!
If you have borrowed federal student loans in the past, review your loan history and look up the contact information for your loan servicers by logging into the National Student Loan Data System. If you have any questions about making loan payments, loan consolidation, or the various loan repayment plans including income-driven repayment, contact your loan servicer (the company that handles the billing for your loans).
If you are struggling with making student loan payments, your loan servicer might also be able to help you avoid the negative consequences of default by determining if you qualify for deferment, forbearance, or a different repayment plan that can temporarily postpone or reduce the amount that you must pay.
More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.
As a reminder, student loans are an obligation that borrowers must repay. Only borrow what you absolutely need and only what you can afford to repay based on your career! There are serious consequences for failing to repay student loans in accordance with the master promissory note. Consequences of defaulting on student loans can include wage garnishment, withholding of tax refunds, collection fees, denial of financial aid and a damaged credit history. If you are pursuing a career in public service you should review the requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
Repayment of most federal student loans begins after the borrower stops attending college or drops below six credits of enrollment. However, PLUS loan repayment begins once the loan is fully disbursed unless a deferment is requested and approved.
Note that you have the option to pay more than the required monthly payment or to make loan payments before they are due. Paying a little extra each month can reduce the total amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. If you want to pay off your loan faster, remember to tell your loan servicer that you want the extra amount you pay applied toward the principal balance of the loan, not toward future payments. To estimate how much you could save by making extra payment you may use a loan prepayment calculator or contact your loan servicer.
If you’ve borrowed student loans or are considering loans as an option to finance your education, you may wish to complete the
Financial Awareness Counseling at www.studentloans.gov > Log In > Complete Counseling > Financial Awareness Counseling.
Financial Awareness Counseling provides excellent tools and information to help you understand financial aid and help you manage your finances. It only takes about 30 minutes and you will be a much more informed borrower!
NOVA’s Loan Planning Form may also be used to plan for loan repayment.
Visit the Student Loan Knowledge HQ.
To estimate your monthly loan payment based on the federal student loans you have already borrowed and to estimate what your payment may be based on future borrowing, use the Repayment Estimator at www.studentloans.gov.
The loan data displayed in the Repayment Estimator is from the National Student Loan Data System. Click “View or Add Your Loans” in the upper left corner of the Repayment Estimator as shown below to view a summary of you federal student loans. Click “Add Loan” on the next webpage and enter any additional loans you think you may need to complete your education to see how additional borrowing affects your loan balance and your projected monthly payment. Enter your Tax Filing Status, Adjusted Gross Income, Family Size, and State of Residence to compare additional repayment plans that may be available.