Keep track of how much you have borrowed by visiting the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS provides you with borrowing history, information on your current loan servicer, including their contact information.
- Compare your monthly payment options using this repayment calculator.
- Decide whether you want to consolidate. Consolidation can simplify the repayment process if you have more than one loan or servicer. In some cases, it can also help you qualify for better repayment options. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons “Learn more about loan consolidation”
- Apply for consolidation through this NSLDS student access.
- Choose or apply for an affordable repayment plan. If you take no action, you’ll be placed on the 10-year standard repayment plan. If you need a lower payment, apply for an income-driven repayment plan, such as Pay as You Earn, where your payments can be as low as $0 per month.
- Set up your payments. You will not pay the U.S. Department of Education directly. In most cases, you will make payments to your federal loan servicer. TIP: Ask your servicer how to sign up for automatic payments. You could receive a 0.25% interest rate deduction for enrolling! “Learn more about Loan Servicers”
- Know who to contact if you need help with your student loans. You never have to pay for student loan help! Your federal loan servicer will never charge fees and can help you for free. TIP: Save your servicer’s phone number in your phone.
Contact your loan servicer to Postpone repayment on Federal Loans: Deferment, forbearance, and other forms of payment relief
- If you are going to graduate school or continuing your education: Contact your loan servicer to request an in-school deferment. If you have unsubsidized loans, it is even more important to consider making student loan payments while you are in school to prevent interest from accruing (accumulating).
- Beware of student loan scams: You never have to pay for help with your student loans. As you are researching repayment and forgiveness options, make sure you are getting information from trusted sources, like .gov websites or your servicer’s website. The government and your servicer will never charge application or maintenance fees, so if you are asked to pay, walk away. Contact your servicer for free assistance.
- Ask your loan servicer if you qualify for any of the loan forgiveness programs available. All loans must be repaid, however, there are some situations when the loan(s) can be forgiven, discharged, or canceled. Contact your loan servicer for more information on: Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Discharge/cancellation, and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
“In this Prezi, you will learn more about how to avoid default and the consequences to failure of paying. It is important to avoid a default to help protect your credit score, to avoid a civil suit, etc.”
Updated: November 10, 2021