Guess what comes after the victory of finishing up grad school?... LOANS!! Yes ... all the financial aide that has helped you get through tuition... helped you buy your expensive textbooks that cost as if they were made of gold pages... helped you get that expensive statistical analysis software... helped you get the school supplies you need to get through each semester (and you know you had to shop for these things every semester... that was part of the excitement for me was getting a new planner, a new folder, a new binder, new pens and some!!). It's now time to face the challenge of paying back your lenders for all these mighty fine things that aren't covered in tuition costs.
Since I'm in this boat now, I though I would share some of the basic points with you all that may be getting ready to start repayment, or even if you're in school now, you can see what lies ahead for you!
- You must complete Exit Loan Counseling once you are out of school. This is a resource can actually give you further information about your responsibilities to your lender(s).
- For Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, you will have a six-month grace period, which begins the last day you attend school. This is great news because you're not pressured to find a job the day after school to start repayment... you have six months until they go into repayment.
- You have five different repayment plans to choose from, which work around your lifestyle. The good thing is that you can always switch it up for that one day you find your dream job making diamonds and pearls!
- If you have multiple loans and they confuse you with repayment amounts and due dates, you have an option to consolidate them into a single Direct Consolidation Loan.
- If you want to check out the status of your loans, feel free to check them out on the National Student Loan Data System. I actually recommend checking this site each semester to check for accuracy.
- Always check with your Financial Aide office on your campus. They are there to help you with any and all questions you may have!