Borrowing for your education is one of the most important and worthwhile investments you will ever make. But like all investments, it takes a good design and careful thought to be successful. As you plan your educational financing, think ahead to the time when you will begin repaying your loans: How much will your monthly payments be? When will they begin? How long will you be making them? The information on this page can help you think realistically about your student loan borrowing—to help you make decisions now that will allow you to manage your loan repayment after graduation.
Get information on how to prepare for student loan payments to restart and watch a helpful short video on student loan repayment. Starting planning now!
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SAIC has partnered with Inceptia, a non-profit organization, to assist students and alums with their student loans. Go to MoneyKnowl.org to meet the Knowl at Student Loan Knowledge Headquarters! He’s got knowledge to share about student loans and to help keep your financial stress low. The Knowl will give you all the advice you need, some smart tips and a good game plan to stay on top of your student loans, whether you’re in school, in repayment, or in between.
At SAIC, we understand that student loans can be intimidating. That’s why we have partnered with Inceptia, a division of the National Student Loan Program, to provide you with free assistance on your student loan obligations to ensure you feel comfortable and can be successful in your loan repayment. Inceptia may be calling to help you with next steps in your repayment journey. Their friendly counselors are there to help you every step of the way. While you are in your grace period, they might reach out to you to answer questions you may have on your repayment options. If you become delinquent on your loans, they may also contact you to help find a solution that works within your means. The Inceptia counselors are there to help you with every step by staying in touch with you via phone calls, letters, and/or emails. They will not be collecting money from you. Inceptia’s nonprofit purpose is to help you find answers to your questions and solutions to your issues.
We strongly recommend that you directly contact your Loan Servicers. They want to help you in any way they can to prevent you from becoming delinquent on your loans and stay in good standing. If you don’t know your Loan Servicer, log into NSLDS.ed.gov using your FSA ID. Once logged in, you will see a summary of all your federal loans. You can email, live chat or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center here, as well as view a list of Servicers and repayment information.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is a federal program designed to forgive student loan debt for employees of certain public and nonprofit jobs. It cancels whatever remains of your federal student loans after you’ve made 120 qualifying payments while working for an eligible organization. For most borrowers, this means you’ll need to work for 10 years before receiving loan forgiveness from PSLF. After 10 years of repayment, your loan balance might be a lot smaller than it was when you started. But if you owe a lot in student loans, the forgiveness that comes from PSLF could still be a huge financial relief.
To gain loan forgiveness, it’s crucial to meet all the program’s requirements year after year. If you’re interested in this program, make sure you understand the details of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness qualifications. You’ll also want to pay attention to policy changes to ensure the program remains intact. In recent years, for example, the Trump administration has repeatedly proposed eliminating PSLF. Although current applicants might (hopefully) be grandfathered in if the program were to disappear, there’s no guarantee it will be around forever. PSLF is a powerful solution to some borrowers’ student loan repayment problems. It cancel your remaining balance after you meet the requirements, though these requirements are quite strict.
The Department of Education has indicated that its new tool should lead to fewer denied applications by helping potential applicants understand the eligibility rules. You can find the tool on the Federal Student Aid website StudentAid.gov. Consider these requirements and the related questions that the department’s online tool will help you answer:
The tool also takes care of some legwork by automatically generating a completed form for your employer to sign and send off to FedLoan Servicing, which manages Public Service Loan Forgiveness for the government.
When you leave school (or drop below half-time enrollment), the last official date of attendance (or separation date) marks the beginning of the loan(s) grace period.
During the grace period, you will receive a repayment schedule disclosure statement. Before the loan enters the repayment stage, you will need to decide on a repayment plan that works best for your particular situation. If a repayment option is not selected, a Standard Repayment Plan will be assumed. If you have any concerns about the ability to make payments according to the repayment schedule, contact your loan servicer immediately. The chances are good that there is a repayment option available to fit each individual's particular circumstances. Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time—for free.
Know What You Owe Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Repayment Chart [PDF]
Know What You Owe Federal Direct PLUS Repayment Chart [PDF]
Resolving Disputes – If you and your Loan Servicer disagree about the balance or status of your federal student loan(s), go to StudentAid.ed.gov/ombudsman. This website provides helpful information on first, identifying your loan problem and then, working with your Loan Servicer to resolve it. Additional information on contacting the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman is available at the bottom of this web page. The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman is your liaison in assisting with your loan disputes that you have not been able to resolve after you have worked with your Loan Servicer.
myeddebt.ed.gov will provide you with accurate information and assistance to help resolve defaulted federal loans or grants assigned to the Department's Default Resolution Group. The site is intended to be the centralized portal for any information and activities related to defaulted education debt for the U.S. Department of Education.
The following loan and grant programs are included:
- Federal Stafford, Federal Consolidation, and Federal PLUS loans (Federal Direct and FEEL). This includes TEACH Grants that have been converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
- Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grants, National SMART Grants, and TEACH Grants. In certain instances, you may have to repay part of a Federal Grant awarded to you.
If your loan is in default or you have a grant overpayment and are not sure what type of loan or grant you have, check your original loan/grant documents or use studentaid.gov. If the loan/grant is not one of the program types listed above and is not assigned to the US Department of Education, the information on this site does not apply to you.
One of the first things you should do is review your federal loan information at StudentAid.gov to see your entire loan debt, and who is servicing your loans. The website provides information about each loan, including balances, interest rate, key dates, and loan servicer contact information. You can also update your contact information including address, e-mail, and phone numbers.You will need your FSA ID to access your information. If you need to request a duplicate or new FSA ID, please request one on-line at studentaid.gov.
If you should encounter a financial hardship and making payments becomes difficult, contact the lender immediately. By taking early action, the lender or guaranty agency may be able to help you avoid default. Some options available include:
- Deferment (postpone monthly payments)
- Forbearance (reduce or delay payments)
- Forgiveness (eliminates obligation to repay all or part of loan—granted for Public Service at an eligible employer or permanent or total disability or death)
- Change the repayment plan to a Standard Repayment, Income-Based, Income-Contingent or Graduated Repayment
Helpful federal loan repayment information is available at studentaid.gov. The information there can help you calculate your loan debt, find your loan servicer and provide a review of the different types of loan repayment plans including Income Based and Income Sensitive plans. If you are unable to begin your loan payments, you may need to consider your eligibility for a deferment or a forbearance. You will also want to review the information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program that forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
Some of the information on types of loan repayment plans are:
If a student enters repayment and has a problem with her federal loan and other reasonable efforts have failed, we recommend that the student contacts the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman. The Ombudsman office managed by the U.S. Department of Education may be able to:
- Propose solutions to discrepancies in loan balances and payments
- Clarify interest and collection charges
- Clarify financial aid requirements
- Find loan holders
- Rehabilitate loans by establishing satisfactory repayment plans
- Reestablish eligibility for Federal Aid
- Find promissory notes
- Defer or discharge loans
- Resolve issues related to income tax refund offsets, default status, consolidations, or bankruptcies
- Service quality, and any other customer concerns
Students can contact the U.S. Department of Education's Ombudsman at:
Office of Ombudsman
Student Financial Assistance
Room 3012, ROB #3
7th & D Streets, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202