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Financial Aid Exit Interview

By Brenda Wright & Dario Ford

globeGraduation is getting closer and even though you are busy with this last trimester it is essential that you remind yourself of your rights and responsibilities regarding your Federal Loans you have borrowed. Federal Regulations require all students who received Federal Loans to complete an Exit Interview.  We require this process to be completed on-line, but we also offer an in person session to give you the opportunity to ask questions.  Information about your Stafford Loan, Grad PLUS Loan and the Perkins Loan will be covered in the Financial Aid Exit Counseling Session. We will provide you with a summary of your personal student loan debt and some advice about how to track each one.

Repaying your student loan is a VERY serious obligation.  You have the option to prepay each loan, pay each loan on a shorter schedule, and change repayment schedules. We will cover the several repayment options available to you for your Federal Loans.  Below are some tips to keep in mind.

Repayment Tips:

  • Make sure you have all your loan records organized.
    • It is important that you keep all of your loan papers and correspondence.
    • Keep copies of everything.
  • Know the amount of your student loan payments.
    • When your servicer becomes aware that you are no longer enrolled at least half-time, they will send you your repayment schedule.
    • Your servicer will automatically arrange a standard repayment schedule.
  • Check to see if your servicer offers automatic payment withdrawal.
    • This is an easy way to make sure your payments are made on time.

It is very important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Your rights and responsibilities are included on your Master Promissory Note (MPN).   During difficult financial times you might have trouble making your scheduled monthly payment, it is imperative to know that there are options to help. You may be able to lower your monthly payment by utilizing an alternate repayment schedule or you may temporarily postpone your payments through deferment or forbearance.  Talking with your servicer is critical so they can help you find the best option for your situation.

Importance of Making Loan Payments

If you fail to make your student loan payments for 270 days, your loan will default. The consequences of defaulting on your loan are very serious and may result in:

  • damage to your credit rating, which could impact your ability to borrow (for example, you may be denied a car loan and/or mortage);
  • referral of your account to a collection agency;
  • collection costs, which could be 18% or more;
  • garnishment of your wages;
  • withholding of your state or federal Treasury payments (including federal tax refunds, Social Security benefits, etc.);
  • civil lawsuit, including court costs and legal expenses;
  • loss of deferment and forbearance entitlements and flexible repayment options;
  • loss of eligibility for further financial aid; and
  • suspension of your professional license.

Important Contact Information

To monitor all of your federal student loan debt, you may access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) on line at www.nslds.ed.gov or call toll-free 1-800-999-8219. You will need your federal PIN number to view your loan history. Please note that this web site does not list your alternative or private student loans.

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman works with student loan borrowers informally to resolve loan disputes that the borrower is unable to resolve with the lender/servicer or guarantor. The goal is to find creative alternatives for borrowers who need help with their federal loans. You can reach the FSA Ombudsman at:

Toll-free phone: (877)557-2575
Internet: http://fsahelp.ed.gov or http://ombudsman.ed.gov

Below are some basic tips for successful repayment of your student loans:

  • Keep your servicer informed.
  • Make sure you have all your loan records organized.
  • Know the amount of your student loan payments.
  • Include student loan payments in your budget.
  • Know when your loan payments begin.
  • Contact your servicer immediately if you are having trouble making your monthly payments.

Exit Counseling Sessions are scheduled for:

March 7th @ 1pm in Snell 21

March 26th @ 1pm in Snell 21

March 28th @ 1pm in Snell 21

April 2nd @ 1pm in Snell 21

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