Congratulations…you are graduating! Here are some topics to help you with this important transition to the real world. We will talk about loan repayment, budgeting, and how to be successful during this exciting time in your life.
Exit counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Exit counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal student loan(s).
To Complete Exit Counseling:
- Go to: www.studentloans.gov.
- Click “Sign In” and follow the instructions to get logged in.
- Click COMPLETE COUNSELING on left.
- Click EXIT COUNSELING.
- Answer all questions and click SUBMIT at the end.
You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your Exit Counseling has been completed.
Keep Track of Your Loans & Your Repayment Options
NSLDS — The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools and provides a centralized, integrated view of your loans and grants so that you can access and inquire about them.
Repayment Calculator — You can use the Repayment Estimator to get an idea of what your federal student loan payments might be under each repayment plan that is available to you.
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.
Get Educated About Your Finances
SALT is a FREE online program that can help you manage your money. Membership will give you in-depth information on a range of financial topics, including:
- Simple online tools to track and plan your student loans
- Tips and guidance to help you make smart decisions about tricky loan stuff
- Help finding scholarships, internships, and jobs
- Deals and discounts that put more money in your pocket
- Know-how that empowers you to be money smart
Important Things to Avoid As a New Graduate
Interest — Interest is the price you pay to borrow money. How much will it cost you? Calculating interest depends on a few factors, your interest rate, your loan term, and your loan amount. Higher rates and longer terms mean you pay more for the same amount of money. Try your best to avoid interest whenever you can!
$10,000 at 6.8% will cost you $13,810 over 10 years with a $115 monthly payment. Paying just $30 more a month will save you over $1,000 in interest.
Loan Default — If you have debt from either student loans or credit cards, it is extremely important that you manage it proactively. CNN Money reported that the average college graduate in 2013 was leaving school with around $35,000 in some type of debt. Use your options, live on a budget, and pay your debts in the best way that you can. If you are having trouble making any of your payments, contact your loan providers to find out your different repayment options.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
If you are a teacher and also a new borrower (i.e., you did not have an outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan on Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998) and have been teaching full-time in a low-income elementary or secondary school or educational service agency for five consecutive years, you may be able to have as much as $17,500 of your subsidized or unsubsidized loans forgiven. Your PLUS loans cannot be included. For more information, go to Teacher Loan Forgiveness. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, see Perkins Loan Cancellation for teacher cancellation in that loan program.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you are employed in certain public service jobs and have made 120 payments on your Direct Loans (after Oct. 1, 2007), the remaining balance that you owe may be forgiven. Only payments made under certain repayment plans may be counted toward the required 120 payments. You must not be in default on the loans that are forgiven. For more information, go to Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge
The following Federal Perkins Loan Program cancellations apply to individuals who perform certain types of public service or are employed in certain occupations.
For each complete year of service, a percentage of the loan may be canceled. The total percentage of the loan that can be canceled depends on the type of service performed. Depending on the type of loan you have, and when that loan was taken out, you may be eligible to cancel part of or your entire loan if you have served as one of the following:
- Volunteer in the Peace Corps or ACTION program (including VISTA)
- Member of the U.S. armed forces (serving in area of hostilities)
- Nurse or medical technician
- Law enforcement or corrections officer
- Head Start worker
- Child or family services worker
- Professional provider of early intervention services
There is no standard application form for Perkins Loan cancellations. Contact the Business Office for more information about your Perkins Loan.
More information available at www.studentaid.gov.