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Student Loans

Subsidized, unsubsidized, institutional, private... What does it all mean? How do I begin repaying my loans after graduation? What is compound interest and how does it work?

 

Student loans are a major part of financing a college education for some students. These loans are also often a student's first experience with borrowing large sums of money. The most important consideration to keep in mind when borrowing money (not just for student loans) is to only borrow what you truly need, even if you are offered more than that. Keeping the amount borrowed to a minimum will reduce your amount of debt and the amount of interest paid over time.

A handout containing brief summaries from each section of the Student Loans webpage.

To access information about your student loans, visit the National Students Loan Data System (NSLDS). From this website, students can:

  • Estimate your repayment
  • Learn who your loan servicer is
  • See accrued interest on subsidized loans
  • Learn about rrepayment plans, loan forgiveness plans, consolidation, and refinancing available to borrowers

 

See the chart below for brief descriptions of the most common types of student loans.

Loan Interest Eligibility Terms
Direct Subsidized 5.05% Fixed Need-based
  • No interest while in school at least half-time
  • Interest accrues during 6-month grace period
  • Deferment and forbearance available
  • 1.066% origination fee
Direct Unsubsidized 5.05% Fixed Non-need based
  • Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed
  • Payments can be made while in school
  • No repayment required while in school half-time
  • Deferment and forbearance available
  • 1.066% origination fee
Institutional 5% Fixed Need-based
  • No interest while in school at least half-time
  • 6-month grace period to begin repayment
  • Deferment/cancellation available
Nursing 5% Fixed Need-based
  • No interest while in school at least half-time
  • 9-month grace period to begin repayment
  • Deferment/cancellation available
Parent PLUS 7.6% Fixed Non-need based
  • Repayment and interest begin after disbursement
  • Limited deferment options
  • 4.264% origination fee
Private Varies Non-need based
  • Varies by lender

 

These tips can help you reduce your overall debt amount while you are in school:

  • Borrow only what you know you will need
  • Borrow Subsidized loans first
  • Gradute early
  • Create and adhere to a budget
  • Pay your interest down while in school if you can
  • Take on a part-time job, if your studies will allow it

 

You've finally graduated and gotten your first "real" job in the workforce. Congratulations! But now it's time to begin making payments on your student loan debt. Are you ready? Your first step should be to visit Federal Student Aid's Repayment Estimator or Student Loan Hero to explore different repayment options that may be available to you, and estimate your payments over time.

  • Example: If a student has $18,000 in loans with a standard 10-year repayment and 6% interest, how much will that student's payments be each month?
    • In this scenario, the student would be making monthly payments of $200 to pay off their loans in time. $5,980 in compound interest will incur during the 10 year period, making the ultimate total paid $23,980.

 

Are you confused about the differences between forbearance and deferment, and delinquency and default?

Deferment Allows a student to temporarily stop making payments on federal student loans or to temporarily reduce the amount of student loan payments they are making. Students are generally NOT responsible for paying interest that accrues during deferment.
Forbearance Allows a student to temporarily stop making payments on federal student loans or to temporarily reduce the amount of student loan payments they are making. Students generally ARE responsible for paying interest that accrues during forbearance.
Delinquency

Occurs when you are at least one day late on a loan payment. As soon as you make a payment, you are back in good standing.

  • May or may not show up on a student's credit report
Default

Occurs when you are more than 270 days past due on a loan. Students can rehabilitate their loans, but it takes time.

  • Default shows up on a student's credit report

 

Exit Counseling

Before entering repayment after graduation, you must first complete Exit Counseling for your federal student loans. Depending on the type of loans you have, you will complete this task at different places.

  • For Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS), go to StudentLoans.gov and log in with your FSA ID and password.
  • For Institutional, Perkins, or Nursing Loans, go to Heartland ECSI.

Don't be intimidated by this task! Exit Counseling only takes 15-20 minutes to complete. Follow this link for a helpful checklist of important items to take care of as you prepare to repay your student loans. In addition, we recommend reviewing the presentation at this link for a Top Ten List of Things to Do Before Graduating from UVA.

 

Resources

Repayment Options:

Loan Forgiveness Programs:

 

Sign Up For a Counseling Session

If you'd like to request an appointment with a counselor, please email PeerFinanceCounseling@virginia.edu with your name, the time you'd like to request, and a brief summary of your questions. The Peer Financial Counseling headquarters is located on Central Grounds, in Room 245 of the Dathel and John Georges Student Center. Counselors will be holding office hours from 2 - 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, each week.