Class of 2013: What’s Next for Your Student Loans?

choose a repayment plan imageI’m not afraid to admit that being a college senior is a little frightening (okay, slight understatement-it’s extremely frightening!) As the Class of 2013 prepares to say goodbye to the comforts of our college community and say hello to the real world, we are faced with many realities. Where will I live? How am I going to find a job? Will I make ends meet?  Will I be happy?

And with all these new exciting challenges and responsibilities, one of the last things on most of our minds is repaying our student loans. Yet it’s one of our responsibilities and we should be prepared for when the first bill arrives in the mail.

I will be honest in saying that this repayment process is a little intimidating, and before writing this post I was at a loss of where to begin. Luckily, the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) has tools available to walk soon-to-be grads through the loan repayment process:

  • Exit Counseling: Recently redesigned to be more interactive, Exit Counseling provides important information to student borrowers who are preparing to begin student loan repayment. Exit counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, so talk to the financial aid office at your school about completing it.
  • Federal Loan Repayment Plans: Understanding the details of repayment can save you time and money. Find out when repayment starts, how to make your payment, repayment plan options, what to do if you have trouble making payments, and more!
  • Repayment Estimator: Federal Student Aid recently launched a Repayment Estimator that allows you compare your monthly student loan payment under different repayment plans to help you figure out which option is right for you.  Once you log-in, it will automatically pull in all of your federal student loan information so you can compare repayment plans based on your specific situation.

So with all of these great resources, I’ve found that things are clearer, and not quite as scary. Class of 2013 we are about to embark on a new adventure, best of luck to each and every one of you!

For additional information and tips, visit Federal Student Aid on Twitter , Facebook, and YouTube.

Kelsey Donohue is a senior at Marist College (N.Y.), and an intern in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach

6 Comments

  1. Please investigate University of Phoenix and the compound interest loans they never disclose to students.

    • Private Loan or Direct Loans – If its a Federally Backed loan, then you received a disclosure statement about the loan amount and interest rate. Furthermore, this information was a part of your Entrance Counseling for Federally Backed Loans.

  2. I, Maribel Delmoral, but I would like to know if the white house is so kind helping everybody, why they do not help the people who pay taxes and their children has 100,000.00 in student loans, because they do not lay to pay or forgive this loans, most of them live from food stamps, they have college tuition deductions, or the same as the Americans, but the government never consider the people who pay their taxes to support all these people, I would like to have an answer because I am not reach, I pay for everything my son has a 100,000.00 student loan, while the permanent resident alien, do their taxes separate so the government pay for their children college tuition, live with their spouse, companion, date how ever you want to call it, received food stamp, housing assistant or sometimes the property is on the companion name so it is housing authority how is paying for their mortgage or the taxpayers money, while they have a masion in their homeland, that is exacly how their call it, plus they do not pay for their children’s shcool luch, while the goverment is getting 15,000.00 on our taxes, to be distributed among of these people, live the real live, because if they have the right to ask for something, I as an american citizen, have the right to ask my government to help me to pay my child student loan. I would like to hear from you guys.

  3. Unfortunately you may go through all these steps at Full Sail in person, with your parents, in person, and still not have your diploma after six months because the school can’t seem to find or maintain MPN’s that have been signed multiple times. Good luck to all of you and watch your back. As a parent this is simply unacceptable and I do intend to find out where to go over the financial aid office’s head and report them.

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