Make a plan to repay your loans, know your options and don't be afraid to ask your loan servicer about deferment or forbearance options if you can't make your loan payments.
Before you graduate
Complete required Federal Loan Exit Counseling
Review your federal loans and your loan servicers
Preparing to resume payments
Resources to help you prepare for the end of the student loan repayment pause:
- Income-driven Repayment Plans
- Loan Forgiveness
- Loan Deferment and Forbearance
- Loan Delinquency and Default
- Fresh Start
- Federal Student Aid Loan Repayment Booklet
Loan repayment assistance
- Understanding loan repayment information
- Student debt repayment assistance
- Avoid loan default
- Public service loan forgiveness
How to manage your student loans
Sample loan repayment schedule
Standard Repayment Term
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (Undergraduate)
120 months ($57/month)
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
120 months ($63.29/month)
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
120 months ($120.80/month)
Beware of companies that promise "Debt Relief"
Companies that promise student loan borrowers loan cancellation, forgiveness, credit repair, or dramatically lowered payments usually charge fees for services that federal loan servicers offer free of charge. Signals to watch for to avoid being taken advantage of include:
- You are asked to pay high fees in advance;
- Your request for a company name, mailing address or phone number is refused;
- You are pressured to make a decision immediately; or,
- You are asked to sign paperwork giving the third-party company "Power of Attorney" or legal authority to negotiate on your behalf, and you are told not to contact your servicer after you complete the paperwork.
Precautions to take include:
- Contact your student loan servicer if you have questions about your loans or want assistance to review your repayment plan options.
- Do not pay for what is available for free. There are no fees to enroll in federal income-driven repayment plans that are based on your income.
- Protect your personal information. Do not share personal financial or sensitive information about your federal student aid such as your Federal Student Aid ID.
Loan repayment forgiveness and cancellation
Learn more about federal loan forgiveness, cancellation and discharge on the Federal Student Aid website.
Income-driven repayment plans
These repayment plans limit your loan payments based on your income, family size and total loan debt. Under all four federal student aid income-driven plans, any remaining loan balance is forgiven if your federal student loans aren't fully repaid at the end of the repayment period.
Federal public service loan forgiveness
Learn more about federal public loan forgiveness on the Federal Student Aid website.
Public sector employees may be eligible to have Federal Direct Loans forgiven after 120 monthly payments.
- You must be employed full time in public service during the 120-month period and at the time of forgiveness.
- Eligible employers include the federal, state, local government and those that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.
- Qualifying payments must be made under an income-driven repayment plan.
- The U.S. Department of Education has a form for borrowers to use to collect certification from the employer.
Federal Perkins loan cancellation and discharge
Federal Perkins loans may be canceled or discharged for borrowers who meet certain conditions. More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.
Note: If you consolidate your Perkins Loans, you will not be eligible for these benefits.
Only the school that grants the Federal Perkins Loan can determine if the borrower is entitled to have any portion of the loan canceled. If you borrowed a Federal Perkins Loan while enrolled at Wayne State University, questions concerning cancellation should be directed to the Office of Student Accounts Receivables, 313-577-3656.
Some federal agencies and private employers may also offer loan repayment programs as a recruiting tool.
- See the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website or check with your employer.