Repaying Student Loans
While you are enrolled at least half-time time (six credit hours as an undergraduate, or four credit hours as a graduate student) your student loans will be in an “in-school deferment” status. This means you are not required to make payments on your federal loans. It is a good idea, if you are able, to make payments on your loans while you are enrolled. This will help reduce your overall indebtedness when you leave school.
Once your enrollment drops to less than half-time, your federal loans will enter a grace period status. The grace period is a length of time during which you are not required to make payments on your loans.
The length of the grace period depends on the type of loan that you have borrowed. Direct Loans have a six-month grace period while the Perkins Loan offers a nine-month grace period. Note that not all students will have Perkins Loans. All student loans must be repaid, per your loan agreement/master promissory note.
See what you might pay by using the Federal Loan Simulator. Loan Simulator helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can also use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans.
Reduce your initial debt by borrowing less
Annual federal loan eligibility may be greater than your eventual earning potential. Those loan maximums might be more than you will be able to repay, damaging your credit rating. That, in turn, may increase the amount you pay in the future for credit, keep you from getting further credit entirely, or could mean higher insurance rates (in some states). So do not borrow more than you need!
Loan Repayment Steps
Step One: Identify Your Student Loans
Step Two: Complete Exit Counseling
Direct Loan Exit Counseling is completed on-line at https://studentaid.gov/exit-counseling/. After logging in choose Complete Counseling then Exit Counseling.
Perkins Loan Exit Counseling may be completed on-line at www.uasconnect.com. If you have questions about Perkins Loan Exit Counseling call 906-227-1428.
An Exit Counseling guide PDF can be found here: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/exit-counseling.pdf
Step Three: Determine Your Federal Loan Servicer
The Direct Loan Exit Counseling confirmation page provides students with name of the federal loan servicer. You may also view your servicer's contact information on studentaid.gov/. Visit your account dashboard and scroll down to the “My Loan Servicers” section.
Federal Loan Servicers
Step Four: Create an Account on Your Servicer's Website
- Find out when your grace period ends.
- Find out when your first payment is due.
- Determine your monthly payment amount.
Step Five: Choose a Federal Student Loan Repayment Plan
You may choose from the following repayment plans. Be sure to review the terms and conditions of each repayment type and use the Repayment Estimator to calculate the payment plan that works best for you. Some repayment plans require that you provide proof of your income. This may be completed with your servicer or on studentaid.gov/. Types of Repayment Plans: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/plans
Step Six: Setup Repayment of Your Private Student Loans and Perkins Loan
Loan exit counseling
Just prior to graduation, or if you drop below half-time enrollment, you will need to complete loan exit counseling. This is an interactive tool that provides the information you need to know about repaying your federal student loans.
Our office will notify you to let you know how to get started with your exit counseling.
Do you work in a non-profit or the government sector?
YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS.
If you have questions about whether or not your payments on your Federal Direct Loans are counting towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Please use the PSLF Help Tool, found at StudentAid.gov to initiate a review of your payment count. As this is a federal loan waiver program, any questions will be best answered through link: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.
NMU EMPLOYEES PURSUING PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS
Northern Michigan University is a qualifying employer under Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
For help navigating the monitoring process while you make payments, NMU has partnered with SAVI. To learn more about this free benefit, see our Student Loan Debt Solution page.
Pros and cons of consolidation
Defaulting on your Federal Direct or Perkins Loans
Failing to repay a loan according to the terms of the Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note (MPN) you signed, means you may default on the loan. Default occurs if you do not pay on time or if you do not comply with other terms of your MPN. Please visit this link for more information: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/default
What are the consequences of defaulting?
If you default on a federal loan, the government will take actions against you. You may:
- Lose wages and tax refunds, which will be applied toward your unpaid loans
- Lose eligibility for future student aid
- Be unable to get a home, car, or other loan
- Lose job opportunities or be unable to get a professional license
- Damage your credit rating when your loan is reported to the national credit bureaus
Northern Michigan University’s Cohort Default Rate (CDR):
The Cohort Default Rate at Northern Michigan University for the 2017 Cohort is 9.3% percent.