Take Charge of Your Student Loans

You don't have to be afraid of borrowing a student loan, you just need to fully understand how they work!

Learn to manage your student loan debt because borrowing for your education carries serious responsibilities. Many students use federal loans to help finance their studies and some choose private loans. Taking out a loan is an important financial decision that can affect you for years to come. It is critical for you to understand your loan options in order to make good borrowing decisions.

Borrow Only What You Need

One major financial goal should be to finish college owing as little money as possible. A college education increases your earning potential and opens doors of opportunity. Know that you must repay your student loans, even if you:

  • Don't complete your program of study
  • Can't find employment after graduation
  • Aren't satisfied with or didn't receive the education or other services you expected and paid for with your student loans

Control How Much You Borrow

  • Borrow as a last resort and only borrow what you need.
  • You don't have to borrow the maximum amount of federal student loans offered each year; you can request a lower amount through The Solution Center.
  • Check with Career Services to get an idea of your expected salary based on your major and the year you will graduate. Consider this information when deciding how much to borrow.

How Much Will You Pay Back?

Your student loan payments will depend on the interest rate, the amount you borrow and the payment plan you choose. Here is what payments on Federal Student loans (the most common types of loan) look like.

If you take out private loans, interest rates may be fixed to variable (meaning they can change at any time). Taking out a loan is a huge responsibility, don't take it lightly!

There are many repayment options for federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Payments generally begin 6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least ½ time (9 months for Perkins Loans). Payment options include:

  • Standard 10-year fixed repayment
  • Extended repayment plan option if subsidized and unsubsidized loan total is $30,000 or more, out to 25 years
  • Income Contingent repayment plan or Income Based repayment if you are experiencing financial difficulties
  • Student Loan Repayment Plan Information and Calculator

Loan Benefits Available

  • Loan Forgiveness for borrowers who enter public service and make 120 on-time payments
  • Consolidation may be an option to combine some or all of your federal loans
  • Deferments and forbearance options

ohere Can I Find Information on My Loans?

The best place to find your complete loan history of federal loans borrowed is at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website. In addition to loan history, contact information is provided for the servicer that holds your loan. Please note that any private loans you borrowed will not be listed.

What is Loan Consolidation?

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Find out more about consolidation. Please note that consolidation may change the interest rate and benefits of your loans.

Additional Resources

  • Federal Student Aid - Comprehensive, detailed information on federal aid programs and preparing financially for college
  • Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT) - Interactive resource to help you understand loan obligations and money management tips
  • Net Price Calculator - Tool to help find the net price for our school and financial aid you may be eligible for
  • College Navigator - Interactive website that helps students explore and compare features of different schools
  • College ScoreCard - Information on school costs, graduation rates, average amount students borrow
  • Cohort Default Rates - A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain federal student loans programs during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.