Loan Repayment

Getting Started

Loan Repayment – What to Expect

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Before you Graduate, Leave School, or Enroll Less-Than-Half-Time

Complete Exit Counseling

If you received a federal student loan, you are required to complete exit counseling before you graduate, leave school (for any reason), or drop below half-time enrollment. Exit counseling is a mandatory information session that explains your loan repayment responsibilities when repayment begins. Baker College considers this counseling a valuable tool in helping with student loan defaults. Your official transcript will not be released by the registrar until exit loan counseling has been completed. To complete exit loan counseling online, go to and Log In.

Review Your Student Loan Borrowing History

For each federal student loan you received, Baker College or your loan servicer provided you with information (often by e-mail) about the loan, including the amount you borrowed and the interest rate. It’s a good idea to use this information to track your borrowing and to prepare for repayment of your loan(s). You also have the option to view your federal student loan information using “My Federal Student Aid” at or

Remember: You must repay a student loan even if your financial circumstances become difficult. Loans can’t be cancelled because you didn’t get the education or job you expected, and they can’t be cancelled because you didn’t complete your education (unless you couldn’t complete your education because your school closed).

During Your Grace or Post-Enrollment Deferment Period

Consider Your Income and Expenses and Create a Budget

As you prepare to make your student loan payments, you’ll want to have an idea of what your earnings and living expenses will be based on your new job. Once you do, you can create a budget to determine how much you can realistically afford to pay in student loan payments each month and to select a repayment plan that best meets your financial needs. If you haven’t yet found a job, there are repayment options available to help you manage your student loans while you search for work. If you need help creating your budget, see

Select a Repayment Plan for Your Federal Student Loans

You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet your needs, including plans that base your payment amount on your income. The amount you pay and the length of time you have to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. If you do not contact your loan servicer to discuss a repayment option, your loan servicer will automatically place you in a standard, ten year repayment plan, which could result in a much higher monthly payment than one of the other repayment options available. For more detailed repayment plan information and to calculate your estimated repayment amount under each of the different plans, use the Repayment Estimator at

Note: Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can generally change repayment plans at any time. Contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment plan options.

Having Difficulties?

How to Manage Your Student Loans

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Make Your Payments

Your Repayment Schedule — Your loan servicer will provide you with a loan repayment schedule that states:
  • When your first payment is due,
  • The number and frequency of payments, and
  • The amount of each payment

Your loan servicer will also give you the opportunity to pay any interest that accrued (accumulated) on your loans while you were enrolled in school and during grace or deferment periods. If you don’t pay this interest, it will be capitalized.

Loan Default — “To default” means you did not make your payments on your student loan as scheduled according to the terms of your promissory note, the binding legal document you signed at the time you took out your loan. To learn what may happen if you default, what steps you can take to keep your loan from going into default and what your options are for getting out of default go to

Loan Consolidation — If you have multiple federal student loans, you can combine them into a single Direct Consolidation Loan. This may simplify repayment if you are currently making separate loan payments to different loan servicers, as you’ll only have one monthly payment to make. Consolidation may also allow you to extend the period for repaying your loan, and this may result in a lower monthly payment. There may be tradeoffs; therefore, you’ll want to learn about the advantages and possible disadvantages of consolidation before you decide to consolidate. Learn more about loan consolidation.

Student loan consolidation is a free program provided by the Department of Education! Don’t be fooled if an organization contacts you about student loan consolidation and offers to complete the consolidation for you. You will be charged!

Deferment and Forbearance — Deferment and forbearance offer a way for you to postpone or lower your loan payments temporarily while you’re back in school, in the military, experiencing financial hardship, or in certain other situations. Learn more about deferment and forbearance

Check Your Eligibility for Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge — You may qualify to have some or all of your loan amount forgiven if you work in certain public service jobs (for example, teaching in a low-income school or working for certain types of public service organizations). Additional requirements may apply to receive these benefits. In certain other circumstances, (for example, if you were unable to complete your program of study because the school closed, in the case of death, or total and permanent disability instances) your obligation to repay your federal student loan may be discharged or forgiven. Click here to learn more. 

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Article ID: 89155
Fri 10/11/19 2:32 PM
Wed 9/1/21 2:44 PM