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Virtual Advisor

Repaying Your Student Loans

If you borrowed a federal Direct student loan you must Complete Student Loan Exit Counseling when you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure you understand your student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment. You'll learn about what your federal student loan payments will look like after school.

If you borrowed a federal Perkins loan, please contact our Perkins loan servicer Unisa’s. Once on their home page you will need to click on the LOG IN/SIGN UP button in the upper right area of the screen.

If you borrowed private loans, please contact your lender.

Your investment in higher education will pay off in many ways—widened career opportunities, increased intellectual fulfillment, and an enhanced quality of life. Here are ten tips help you your path to repayment and a bright financial future.

1. Know what you owe. Review your federal student loan borrowing history by visiting “My Aid” to view information about all of the federal student loans and other financial aid you have received and to find contact information for the loan servicer for your loans.

2. Make sure your loan servicer knows how to contact you. Inform your servicer if you change your street address, your email address, and/or your telephone number.

3. Select the repayment plan that’s right for you. There are several repayment options available that are designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers. Your loan servicer can help you understand which repayment options are available to you. Generally, you’ll have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. When you complete your exit counseling, a repayment strategy will be recommended that best suits your future plans and goals.

4. Sign up to receive email communications at your loan servicer’s website. You’ll save paper, reduce clutter, and receive important information about your loans.

5. Make your life easier - sign up to manage your account online at your loan servicer’s website. You will be able to view your loans, make a payment and view payment history, update your contact information, and send your servicer an email and view your correspondence.

6. Make on-time payments. This helps to build and maintain a good credit rating.

7. Save money using automatic debit. You may qualify for an interest rate reduction when you make on-time payments by automatic debit. Apply online by logging into your account at your loan servicer’s website. Your loan payments are automatically deducted from your bank account. This ensures payments are made on time. Recurring automatic monthly payments must be successfully deducted from designated bank account for rate reduction to apply.

8. Consider paying a little extra each month. Paying just a few extra dollars of principal each month can go a long way toward helping you pay off your loans faster and reduce the interest you pay.

9. Seek help at the first sign of financial difficulty. Contact your loan servicer immediately if you are having trouble repaying your loan. Your loan servicer can help you understand your options for keeping your loan in good standing. For example, you may wish to change your repayment plan to lower your monthly payment or request a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop or lower the payments on your loan.

10. Use deferment and forbearance only as a last resort. Postponing payments can cost you if unpaid accrued interest is added to the loan balance. In most cases, interest will accrue during your period of deferment or forbearance. This means your balance will increase and you’ll pay more over the life of your loan. Use a deferment and forbearance only if absolutely necessary.

Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions. We are here to help.