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The time to begin understanding the repayment process for your loans and the debt you are incurring should begin while you are a student. Preparing for repayment can go a long way toward building a solid financial foundation. Here are some steps you can take now to prepare.

1. Identify the holders/servicers of your loans

  • One of the questions student borrowers ask is, "Who do I contact for repayment?" Who to contact depends on the type of loan that you've borrowed. You can obtain information about your federal loans by logging into the studentaid.gov website.
  • The Department of Education utilizes loan servicers to handle billing and other repayment related questions for subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS loans. You're encouraged to set up an account with your loan servicer so that you can manage your loans while you're still enrolled.
  • Federal Perkins Loans borrowed through Bethel are serviced by a company called Heartland ECSI. However, if you have questions about Perkins Loans and need to speak with someone at Bethel, please contact the Business Office.

2. Know how much you've borrowed. Don't borrow more than you can afford to repay.

  • Keep records documenting your loans and current servicers.
  • Keep track of private loan amounts and lenders. If you have private loans and are unsure of the amounts and lenders, obtain a copy of your credit report. Your credit report will have this information.
  • Parent PLUS loans are loans which are in the parent borrower's name. Thus, the parent is responsible for repayment of these loans. Your parent can login to the studentaid.gov website (using his/her own FSA ID) to review their total outstanding debt and loan servicer information.
  • Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement on the studentaid.gov website to understand how much you owe in federal loans and how much more you can borrow.

3. Increase your financial awareness

  • Take advantage of the online CashCourse personal finance tool.
  • Sign in to complete Financial Awareness Counseling on studentaid.gov. This optional counseling session provides information about current debt level, budget, and future repayment information.

4. If you're able, make payments on your student loans while you're still enrolled. Even making small monthly payments can reduce your overall borrowing costs.