• Consider whether your career choice might qualify you for loan forgiveness. If you plan to work for a government or not-for-profit organization, you may qualify for loan forgiveness after 10 years of federal student loan payments through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Learn more about the PSLF Program at StudentAid.gov/publicservice. You may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program after five years of teaching service in a low-income school. For more information about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, visit StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive. • Understand your options for making payments. You won’t pay the U.S. Department of Education directly. In most cases, you’ll make payments to your federal loan servicer. Before your first payment is due, your loan servicer will provide you with information about how to make your payments. TIP: Ask your federal loan servicer how to sign up for automatic payments to receive a 0.25% interest rate deduction!
For a comprehensive guide to Federal Student Loan Repayment, complete online Exit Counseling, view the Repayment Checklist, or download the Repaying Your Loans guide.
• Consider whether consolidation may be right for you. If you have more than one loan servicer, consolidation can simplify the repayment process. In some cases, loan consolidation also can help you qualify for better repayment options. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of loan consolidation. Learn more about loan consolidation at StudentAid.gov/manage-loans/consolidation.
CONTINUING YOUR EDUCATION?
In most cases, if you return to school on at least a half-time basis, your loan servicer will automatically place your loans in a status that doesn’t require you to make payments while you’re in school. If you return to school on at least a half-time basis but start receiving bills for your student loans, contact your loan servicer. While you’re in school, interest will continue to accrue (accumulate) on your unsubsidized loans. If you can afford it, consider paying the interest while you’re in school. This may help to reduce the total amount you
repay over the life of your loans. Beware of student loan scams.
You never have to pay for help with your student loans. As you’re researching repayment and forgiveness options, make sure you’re getting information from trusted sources, such as StudentAid.gov or your loan servicer’s website. The U.S. Department of Education and your loan servicer will never charge fees to help you with your student loans, so if you’re asked to pay, walk away. Read more about how to avoid student aid scams or contact your loan servicer for free assistance .
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