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How to Pay off your Student Loans

When you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment or leave school, you’ll need to repay student loans.

You’ll get a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, how many payments you’ll make and the amount you’ll pay for each payment.

How do you know your loan servicer? The loan servicer handles billing and other services. You’ll get the Standard Repayment Plan unless you tell your loan servicer you want a different payment plan. Remember that private loans don’t offer these same repayment options.

Federal student loans allow you a six-month grace period. On the other hand, you’ll get a nine-month grace period with a Perkins Loan. A PLUS Loan will go into repayment as soon as the loan is fully disbursed (paid out). Graduate and professional students who choose to borrow a PLUS Loan get an automatic deferment.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Student loan forgiveness may offer another way to take care of student loans. Student loan forgiveness has to do with not having to pay for part or all of federal student loan debt. However, the federal government will cancel part or all of a loan under certain circumstances. In many cases, students may get their loans forgiven if they do volunteer work, serve in the military, teach students in specific school districts or practice medicine in certain types of communities, for example.

To be more specific, the following most often qualify for student loan forgiveness: federal agency employees, employees in public service, volunteer organization workers (such as the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps), teachers, lawyers, medical professionals and specialists, to name a few.

Most student loan forgiveness programs require those who have left school to meet specific requirements. The vast majority of programs don’t offer upfront student loan cancellation.

How can you get your loans forgiven? The first step: Your loan servicer will give you an application to fill out to determine if you qualify for loan forgiveness. In most cases, you’ll need to make payments while your application is under review. Check with your loan servicer as to whether you still need to make payments during this time.

Once you qualify for forgiveness, you no longer need to make any loan payments. On the other hand, you may not be eligible and therefore denied forgiveness and will be responsible for repaying your loan in full.

Refinancing Benefits

You may want to consider refinancing your student loans if you’ve done the math and realize that it will save you money. However, you shouldn’t refinance if it doesn’t make sense for your needs. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can’t get income-driven repayment options or student loan relief. Therefore, you should make sure you’re in an excellent financial position if you choose to refinance.

The biggest benefit of refinancing: You could save money! (Just make sure you actually would save money before you take action.)

Do your research to find the right student loan refinance lender and get multiple rate estimates for your student loans before you choose a lender.

Know as Much as You Can in Advance

Before you make moves to take out a student loan, learn as much as possible about them ahead of time. You don’t want to surprise yourself later on when you find out you owe way more money on a student loan than you thought.

If you’re in the phase of repaying your student loans, you may want to investigate your repayment options and determine whether a refinance makes sense for you.

Do your homework before you take any step (no matter what it is) to act on your student loans. Understand federal student loans and private student loans in full. Get a full understanding of your loan forgiveness options and loan repayment information and learn how to refinance your student loans.

Finally, lean on UNest to give you the details about student loans and the ins and outs of borrowing for college.


This material is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. You should consult your own financial, legal, and tax advisors before engaging in any transaction. Information, including hypothetical projections of finances, may not take into account taxes, commissions, or other factors which may significantly affect potential outcomes. This material should not be considered an offer or recommendation to buy or sell a security. While information and sources are believed to be accurate, UNest does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information or source provided herein and is under no obligation to update this information.