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Student Loan Repayment
Loans are a valuable tool for financing your education. But they also require careful planning and management. Knowing the terms of your loan and understanding your responsibilities can help you stay on track with your student loans and build a strong financial future. To learn more about repaying your federal student loans by visit the U.S. Department of Education Repayment website.
Use online repayment calculators to preview how long it will take you to repay your loan and what your monthly payments will be like.
- FinAid! The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid Calculator
- CollegeBoard Student Loan Calculator
- FSA Interactive Calculators
National Student Loan Data System
Track your federal student loans on-line, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). To access the website:
- obtain Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- log on to the National Student Loan Data System using your PIN, your Social Security Number, the first two letters of your last name and your date of birth
If you think that NSLDS records are incorrect, contact your lender, your guarantee agency or the loan servicer.
Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman
The Ombudsman serves as an independent, neutral third-party who will assist you by researching financial aid problems or complaints and recommend solutions. The Ombudsman can not reverse decisions but will help contact other agencies on your behalf. Contact the Ombudsman as a last resort after you have attempted to resolve the issue yourself. Visit the Ombudsman's website for tips about conflict resolution.
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, D.C. 20202-5144
Telephone (877) 557-2575
Fax (202) 275-0549
The standard plan allows you to pay the same amount each month, with up to 10 years to repay. Your monthly payment must be at least $50.
Your payments start out low (as little as interest only) and gradually increase over time, with up to 10 years to repay.
This plan is for outstanding student loan debt greater than $30,000. Payments can be fixed or may gradually increase over time, with up to 25 years to repay.
Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan (FFEL Loans Only)
Payments are tied to income levels, family size, interest rate and loan amount; payments will increase and decrease throughout the repayment. After 25 years of qualifying payments, any remaining balance will be forgiven and considered taxable income.
Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR) (Direct Loans Only)
Your monthly payments will be based on your annual income (and that of your spouse, if married), your family size and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Borrowers have 25 years to repay under this plan, the unpaid portion will be forgiven and considered taxable income.
Income-Based Repayment Repayment (IBR)
Payments are 15 percent of your discretionary income (your taxable income minus 150 percent of the poverty level). Payments can be as low as $0 and unpaid interest may be subsidized by the federal government for up to three years. After 25 years of qualifying payments, any remaining balance will be forgiven and considered taxable income.
Student Loan Consolidation
If you are holding more than one student loan, loan consolidation can offer a way to reduce your monthly payments, simplify loan repayment and lock in a lower interest rate.
Trouble Making Payments
A deferment is a temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations such as re-enrollment in school, military service, unemployment or economic hardship.
A forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty. You can receive forbearance if you are not eligible for a deferment. Your loan holder can grant forbearance in intervals of up to 12 months at a time for up to 3 years.
Forgiveness and Tax Benefits
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Students in teaching, child care, public service and nursing may be able to take advantage of programs that offer loan forgiveness in exchange for work in high-need areas.
Tax Benefits for Loan Repayment
In 1997, new tax laws were issued concerning college savings, payment and repayment. Although Financial Aid Office does not provide tax advice, we do wish to give you a summary of tax benefits that may be available to you as you repay your student loans. Because tax laws do change, please refer to your tax accountant for further information on these programs and how they may affect your personal tax situation. Be sure to review the IRS' tax information for students, which outlines benefits to help you repay your student loans, including student loan interest deduction and tax credits for educational expenses.
Ensuring Your Financial Future
Keeping track of your credit is crucial to your financial future. The score on your credit report will determine whether banks and other lending institutions will give you loans for houses, cars and business. It is always a good idea to check your credit report for any errors or marks that will affect your ability to borrow in the future. You can obtain your credit report from one of these three major agencies:
Equifax Information Service Center
Atlanta, GA 30374
Telephone (800) 685-1111
Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
Allen, TX 75013
Telephone (888) 397-3742
Trans Union Corporation
Springfield, PA 19064
Telephone (800) 916-8800
NOTE: These agencies maintain your credit history, which reflects how well you repay your student loans, credit cards, car loans or other credit you may have. Failure to pay back your student loan promptly will negatively impact your credit rating. To receive a free copy of your credit report for each of the the three agencies, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.