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 visiting the National Student Loan Data System.
- 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 Educational Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI). However, if you have questions about Perkins Loans while you're a current student, please contact the Financial Aid 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.
- Sign in to complete Financial Awareness Counseling on studentloans.gov. This optional counseling session provides information about current debt level, budget, and future repayment information.
3. Increase your financial awareness.
- Take advantage of the online CashCourse personal finance tool.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report. If you have private loans and are unsure of the servicers, your credit report will have this 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.