Repaying student loans can be confusing — we're here to help.
Not sure where to start? Find an expert in your state here or read below to learn more about student loan repayment.
whatever your situation, we're here to help you manage your student loans.
- If you have federal student loans, there are a number of options and benefits that you can use when repaying your student loan debt. While it's important to advocate for yourself and be an informed student loan borrower, we know that the process is confusing for everyone, and that you'll likely need some help. Don't feel bad — student loan repayment is confusing even for those who study student loans for a living!
- Your student loan servicer is your first resource for any questions or concerns about repaying your federal student loans. They provide all the help you need for free. Find who your servicer is here.
- If you're worried about paying back your loans or don't have the money to make your payments, always reach out to your servicer for help. They can help you enroll in a repayment plan that's right for your financial situation. Ignoring your student loans won't make the problem go away — it will just end up costing you more money and will hurt your credit score. Remember: There's always help available. Defaulting on your loans is never the answer.
DON'T GET SCAMMED
There are many illegal "debt relief" scam companies that contact students and borrowers and offer help with their student loan debt. These companies will charge you a significant amount of money to do what your loan servicer does for free. Do not work with these companies.
Find more information on student loan scams and what to do if you're contacted by a scammer.
What happens to my loans while I'm still in school?
- While you're enrolled in school, your loans are in "In-School Status," which means that you don't need to make any payments on them. There are two types of federal undergraduate loans: subsidized — which means the government pays the interest on the loans while you're in school — and unsubsidized — which means the interest accrues while you're in school and will become your responsibility to repay.
- While you're not required to make any loan payments while you're in school, if you can at all afford it, it's a great idea to pay down at least the interest on the loans while you're in school. This will mean you'll have less debt to repay later once you're out of school.
What happens to my loans when I am no longer in school?
- Once you're no longer enrolled in school, your loans move from "In-School Status" to a "Grace Period." The Grace Period lasts six months from your last date of enrollment. So, if your last date of enrollment was May 14, your student loans would be in "Grace" until November 14.
When do I start making payments? What is a student loan servicer?
- As your Grace Period starts to wind down, you will start receiving communications from your student loan servicer. A student loan servicer is the company that helps you select a repayment plan and collects your payments on behalf of the federal government. Student loan servicers for federal student loans are contractors of the U.S. Department of Education. You can find out who your loan servicer is by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System.
- Your student loan servicer is your first resource for any questions or concerns about repaying your federal student loans. They provide all the help you need for free.
What do I do if I'm having trouble with my student loan servicer?
- If you are having trouble with your loan servicer, you can always file a complaint through the U.S. Department of Education, and your servicer will work with you to resolve the issue.
what if i can't afford to pay my student loans right now?
There are options available to you if you're unable to afford your monthly student loan payments.
I'm overwhelmed and have missed some payments. Can I get back on track?
- Ignoring your student loans is never the answer. Even if you've missed payments, you can always get back on track. Instead, if you're having trouble, contact your servicer for help. You can also contact your local nonprofit or state-based organization and they can help you get on the right track.
Can I lower my monthly payments? They're too high for me right now.
- With a payment based on your income, family size, and other factors, you can get a monthly payment amount tailored to fit your financial situation. Depending on your income, your payments could be as low as zero dollars per month!
What happens if I need to postpone making payments?
- If options such as switching to an Income-Driven Repayment plan or consolidating your loans won't work for you, the next step would be to look into postponing your payments. Keep in mind, in most cases, the interest on your federal student loans continues to accrue during this time
how do i CHOOSe THE RIGHT REPAYMENT PLAN?
Choosing a repayment plan can be a confusing process.
First, determine your goals for repayment.
- Do you want to have the lowest-possible monthly payment?
- Do you want to pay off your loans as quickly as possible?
- Would you like your monthly payment amount to adjust as your income changes?
- Are you planning to receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Learn more about how to achieve your repayment goals here.
can i get my student loans forgiven?
There are some specific circumstances in which you could have your loan debt reduced or eliminated. Review the available programs to see if you may qualify.