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Planning for your student loan repayment

Loan Repayment

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, the process for repaying those loans 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, the realistic return on your investment that a degree could get you, and 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 important terms used throughout the borrowing and repayment process, receive an overview of Federal Student Loan repayment options and the considerations to make when selecting a repayment plan, explore debt management strategies, and go over the next steps to take in the event you have difficulty making your payments.  


Student loans can be overwhelming as it is, and the language used throughout the borrowing and repayment process tend to make matters worse. Review important terminology to bring some additional clarity to student loans. 


Whether repayment is just around the corner or a few years away, being proactive and intentionally preparing for repayment can help you feel more confident in managing your debt. 


Debt isn't always bad, but when it causes stress and impacts your well-being, it's valuable to consider different debt management strategies to reduce current stress and mitigate future concerns.

If you are struggling to make payments, believe you are at risk for default, or are currently in default and not sure what to do next, the Office of Student Loans and Personal Finance is here for you. Learn about what can happen when you miss a payment, go into default, and how to take advantage of the one-time loan rehabilitation program for Federal Student Loans.