Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
A close up photo of a snow-covered pine tree.

Loan repayment and consolidation

Repaying your loans

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you are entitled to a grace period before your first payment is due. The grace period is six months for direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans. During this time, you are not required to make payments. Repayment begins the day after your grace period ends.

If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, visit Federal Student Aid. You can log in and see your loan amounts, lenders, and repayment status for all of your federal loans. Your FSA ID and password are required to access this information.

There are several Repayment Plans available. If you don’t choose a plan, you’ll be placed on the Standard Repayment plan. This plan will have your loans paid off in ten years. You can request to be put on a new repayment plan at any time; just contact your servicer.

If you can’t make payments on your student loans, you might qualify for a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily postpone or reduce your payments.

Use the Loan Simulator to get a feel for what your payments might look like and how to best approach them.

Consolidating your loans

Loan consolidation enables a borrower with multiple federal student loans from different lenders to obtain one loan, with one interest rate and one repayment schedule. Visit Federal Student Aid to see what types of loans can be consolidated.

Loan consolidation is not for everyone. Consolidation loans are intended for those who need greater simplicity in repaying their student loans. Most borrowers do not consolidate their loans until their grace period ends. This allows for the full benefit of their grace period.

Advantages of loan consolidation

  • Extended repayment period up to 30 years
  • Convenient single monthly payment
  • May result in a lower monthly payment amount
  • May help protect your credit rating

Disadvantages of loan consolidation

  • Extended repayment period adds to total interest expense
  • Interest rate may be higher than the rates of original loans
  • Federal Perkins Loan borrowers may lose eligibility to have their loan canceled* or forgiven
    *Refer to your original promissory note for more information on your cancellation benefits

Get started on repayment or consolidation

  1. Log in to Federal Student Aid account to identify your loan servicer(s).
  2. Contact your loan servicer: understand your options.
  3. Visit the Federal Student Aid site’s Student Loan Repayment page for info on income-driven repayment or loan consolidation applications.

Exit counseling

Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized, or graduate PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program, you have a responsibility to complete exit counseling each time you:

  • drop below half-time enrollment
  • graduate
  • withdraw from the university

To complete this process with Federal Student Aid, you will need the following:

  • your social security number
  • your driver’s license number, if applicable
  • the name, address, and telephone number of your nearest relative not living with you
  • the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and employers of two references who reside at different addresses from each other and do not live with you
  • the name, address, and telephone number of your expected employer (if known)

If you prefer to print the exit counseling materials, you may download a printable version and mail the required information to your loan servicer.

Forgiveness programs

Virtual Advisor