The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) provides a summary of all of your federal student loans. To retrieve your federal loan information, visit the NSLDS website. You will need your 4-digit federal Personal Identification Number (PIN) to retrieve the data. This is the same PIN that you used to sign your FAFSA. NSLDS only lists your federal loans, so remember to include in your loan indebtedness amounts any private loans you may have taken out while in school.
Repayment of your federal student loan begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or enroll less than half-time (6 credits). This six months is called your "grace period." Your grace period is a time to be proactive in obtaining employment (to repay your loans), selecting a repayment plan, and preparing to add your loan payments to your budget. Using your grace period effectively can help you being repayment with a strong foundation for successful debt management.
The U.S. Department of Education (your lender) will assign your loan to a servicer. Your loan servicer handles the billing and other aspects of your federal student loan. Your loan servicer will contact you before you enter repayment on your student loan. Visit the National Student Loan Data Services (nslds.ed.gov) to see who your servicer is on your federal student loan. You will need your federal PIN (what you used to sign your FAFSA) to access NSLDS. Click here for a list of federal loan servicers.
During repayment, you'll make minimum monthly payments of $50 to your lender; payments may increase depending on the total amount you have borrowed. A Loan Repayment Calculator can help you determine how much interest you will pay and what your monthly payments will be based on the amount that you borrowed.
At times, personal situations may make it difficult for students to repay their student loan. In such cases, you may want to consider loan consolidation to combine or possibly reduce your monthly loan payments. Or you may be eligible to postpone repayment for a specific period of time. To inquire about postponing repayment options, contact your loan servicer regarding eligibility and required forms. You may find your loan servicer on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
The Income Based Repayment (IBR) Plan is available to borrowers of federal student loans in both the Direct Loan and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) programs. The IBR Plan helps borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on their income and family size. The IBR Plan does not apply to PLUS loans made to parent borrowers.
Additional loan repayment information may be found at the Federal Student Aid website.
You may be eligible to have a portion of your federal student loans forgiven, depending on the career you enter.