About Student Loans

Student loans can be a useful tool for financing college, but it’s important to know how to avoid being overburdened with debt.

Loan Facts

Understanding the student loan process, from application through repayment, is important to your financial success today and in the future.

Life Cycle of a Loan

The loan application process has its own cycle.

  1. Determine your financial needs before each academic year.
  2. Apply for financial aid.
  3. Review your financial aid offer and understand the details of each type of aid offered, including federal student loans.
  4. Decide which aid you will accept.
  5. Review remaining costs and, if needed, apply for supplemental aid, such as private loans.
  6. Attend school.

Once you finish school, the repayment cycle begins.

  1. Determine if your loans offer a grace period before repayment begins.
  2. Enter repayment.
  3. Make monthly payments.
  4. Pay off loans.

Repaying Your Loan

Once you begin repaying your loans, you have multiple options. See Loan Assistance for information on:

  • Changing your repayment plan.
  • Delaying required payments.
  • Special program like loan forgiveness or military benefits.
  • Making extra payments.

Unless you have special circumstances, it is best to make payments on time according to your repayment schedule. Payments are required even if you:

  • Do not graduate.
  • Plan to re-enroll in school.
  • Apply for deferment or forbearance.
  • Are not happy with the education you received.

Loan Responsiblities

As a borrower or cosigner, you are responsible for managing your student loan debt.

Keep payments affordable and safeguard your credit rating by:

  • Borrowing only what you need.
  • Understanding your loan agreements.
  • Knowing the total amount you owe.
  • Reviewing your repayment options.
  • Understanding deferment, forbearance and the limitations of each.
  • Understanding consolidation and refinancing options.
  • Paying your monthly bill on time.
  • Keeping your contact information up to date with your loan servicer.
  • Contacting your servicer immediately if you can’t make a payment.

Consequences of Default

Loans default when payments are not made as scheduled.

Late payments, missed payments and other defaults may be reflected on your credit report.

Additional consequences for federal student loans include but are not limited to:

  • Becoming ineligible for federal financial aid in the future.
  • Losing the eligibility for loan deferment or forgiveness on the defaulted loan.
  • Having the entire balance for defaulted loans become due immediately.
  • Your employer being required to withhold money from your paycheck to pay the debt.
  • Withholding of federal or state tax refunds through a tax offset.

Contact us immediately if you can’t make a payment as options may be available to help you avoid these consequences.

Money Tips

Managing your money well can help you ensure you are able to make student loan payments.


You can use a budget calculator to compare your monthly income to your expenses. Tab to or select the Balance field to see your monthly surplus or shortfall.

This calculator is for informational and educational purposes only. The results are estimates only.

Estimate Your Budget

Money-Saving Tips

If you need to reduce expenses, you could find big savings over time by reducing small daily expenses on items you don’t really need.

Additional ways to save money include:

  • Sticking to a monthly budget.
  • Setting short-term and long-term goals.
  • Using coupons, buy generic items or buy in bulk.
  • Choosing less-expensive plans for cell phone, streaming or cable, and other services.
  • Comparing costs before purchasing goods or services.
  • Limiting daily spending.
  • Sharing expenses with roommates.
  • Selling possessions you don't need.

Career Resources

Multiple career and employment organizations offer services that could help you obtain a higher-paying job.

The following resources are provided for your information only, and we do not receive any compensation from these organizations.

Credit Reporting

Your student loan payments are reported to the national consumer reporting agencies and may affect your credit history and profile.

You may request a free annual credit report to see how we report your payments.

Student Loans on Your Credit Report

You may see some different information on your report for your student loan installment accounts than you would see for revolving accounts like credit cards.

Private Loans

If you need more money for your college expenses after using your earnings, savings and all sources of student financial aid, a supplemental private student loan can help make up the difference. These loans are subject to credit approval and may require a cosigner. Remember to work with financial aid professionals at your college or university to explore and exhaust all other sources of student financial aid before seeking a private loan.

Cosigner Release Benefit

Some private student loans serviced by Aspire Servicing Center offer a cosigner release benefit during the principal and interest repayment period. This allows borrowers to have their cosigners released from their obligation to repay the loans. Only borrowers my apply for this benefit. Learn more about qualifications for cosigner release.