If you borrowed federal student loans, you are required to complete an exit interview prior to graduation (federal financial aid requirement). You will learn about the loan repayment process, schedules, federal loan consolidation options, deferments, grace periods and more.
We can help you with any questions or issues, but complete exit counseling prior to making an appointment.
Detailed information: studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans
This program cancels the balance of any interest and principal due on any Federal Direct Loan - including Direct Stafford, Direct PLUS, or Direct Consolidation Loan - that is not in default for borrowers who:
Visit the U.S. Department of Education website for more information.
There are some complex issues to think about regarding federal student loan consolidation.
If you received a student loan disbursement prior to July 1, 2006, that Stafford loan has a variable rate, unless you consolidated it prior to July 1, 2007. For loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2006, the interest rate is variable, adjusted annually on July 1. The variable rate is based on the 91 Day Treasury Bill (as of the last auction prior to June 1) plus 1.7% during in school and grace period, or plus 2.3% in repayment, not to exceed 8.25%.
If you want to lock the variable rate or combine it with your fixed rate Stafford loans, you want to wait until about a month to two before your six month grace period ends before consolidating so you do not lose the remainder of your grace period (consolidation loans become due within 60 days after they are booked).
You will need to decide whether to only consolidate any variable rate loans separately or to consolidate them with your other fixed rate loans. Because consolidation uses the weighted average rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent, it may be more advantageous to keep the low variable rate loan consolidated separately, but you may prefer to have only one consolidation loan with all your loans together.
The interest rate for federal loan consolidation is the weighted average of all the federal loans you wish to consolidate rounded up to the nearest eighth of a percent. As of July 1, 2013 there is no cap on the consolidation rate. The rate is then fixed for the life of the loan (10 - 30 years depending upon your debt load). Most lenders, including Direct Loans, offer a .25% interest rate reduction for automatic electronic payment. This perk to lower your interest rate is strongly encouraged.
Remember, if you have variable interest rate loans, the rates will change July 1 every year unless you consolidate. There will be an additional .6% added to the rate after the 6 month grace period ends; the repayment rate will be based on that higher rate if you do not consolidate.
A consolidation loan comes due 60 days after it is booked.
See studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/consolidation for more information.
Read about Seattle University School of Law's Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for graduates working in public interest employment.
Read about the federal public interest loan forgiveness plan that offers help for those working in public interest employment.
Federal Public Interest Loan Forgiveness documents are now available!
Resources for more information on Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), Income Based Repayment (IBR) and Federal Public Interest Loan Forgiveness Programs
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