With nearly 70% of students borrowing to help finance their schooling, taking out loans to pay for higher education has become the norm for 21st century college students.

Yet as commonplace as borrowing has become, being a student loan borrower remains complicated, confusing, and as overwhelming as ever. All too familiar are you with the stories of crippling debt, never ending payments, and feelings of regret for pursuing a degree.

The best thing you can do for yourself to avoid the worst-case scenarios associated with student debt is to begin proactively preparing and planning for the repayment of your student loans. Being knowledgeable regarding the total cost of your program, understanding the terms and conditions of loan programs available to you, being realistic about the return on your investment that a degree could get you, and knowing what you'd need to bring in each month to afford your living expenses, meet your financial goals, and successfully make your payments each month can help you make informed decisions about borrowing as well as help you feel more confident as you navigate your student debt.

Read the following sections to review:

  • Types of educational loans and borrowing options you may have available to you
  • An overview of Federal Student Loan repayment options and what to consider when selecting a repayment plan
  • Debt management strategies and next steps to take in the event you have difficulty making your payments

For students & families beginning the borrowing process and looking for more information on educational loans:


Loans for Undergraduate Students & Parents

Explore information and resources about the types of loans available to undergraduate students and parents.

Link to UGRD Loan Information

Loans for Graduate & Professional Students

Explore information and resources about the types of loans available to graduate and professional students at Duke.

Link to G & P Loan Information

For student and parent borrowers looking for more information on Borrowing Options, the loan repayment Process, and debt management resources: