Student loans are just one part of a financial aid package. Before committing to a student loan, consider some other options such as grants, scholarships, and work study. Information about all of these can be found on the TTU Financial Aid website. If you do decide to accept student loans, you are NOT required to take out all the loans that are offered to you. (How do you know how much you will need? Visit our Money Management page to learn more about creating a spending plan!)
Before we jump into a discussion about student loans, it is important to be familiar with common terms. The Department of Education provides an excellent and easy to understand Glossary of Terms that you can refer to.
When you get ready to graduate, it is important to have a plan in place to pay back your student loans. First you will need to know what types of student loans you have. The National Student Loan Database (NSLD) will have a record of all of the FEDERAL student loans you acquired while you were in school. You will need a PIN that was provided to you when you took out your first loan. If you do not have the PIN you can go here to request a new one.
If you have also taken out PRIVATE student loans, those will not show up in the NSLD. You will need to contact your lender for pay-off information
There are several types of repayment options, including:
If you do not select a payment plan before your grace period expires, you will automatically be enrolled in the Standard plan. If you find it very difficult to make your monthly student loan payments, consider changing your repayment plan.
Consolidation is another thing to consider when paying back student loans. Be very careful when you consolidate your loans, because if you consolidate private loans with federal loans, you will lose all the protection and benefits having federal student loans affords you (such as changing payment plans and entering deferment or forbearance). The Consolidation Information website will be able to answer questions such as:
- Should I consolidate?
- What are the benefits?
- Am I eligible?
- How do I apply?
If you are currently in repayment and are unable make your payments, you might qualify for a deferment or forbearance. Check out this video
Still confused about student loans or just want to check-in to make sure you are choosing the best repayment plan? Use the Contact Us page to set up a time to visit with a peer financial coach.