Student Loan Repayment

Know Your Debt

The Department of Education provides information on federal student loans, payment plans, consolidation, and much more. The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a tool that you can use to determine how much you owe, who to repay, and who to contact with questions or concerns. This website will show you all of the federal student loans you have borrowed. It will give you the original balance as well as the current balance, if interest has accrued.

  • Beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year at PSU, all student loans are originated and disbursed through the Department of Education. However, a servicer is assigned to each loan. This means that when you begin repayment you may be making payments to an entity other than your initial lender.
  • An issue you may potentially run into is having several different servicers for your multiple loans. The NSLDS website will tell you who the servicer is for each loan and the contact information for that servicer.

Repayment Estimator

The Department of Education's Repayment Estimator helps determine repayment amounts for each loan repayment option. To receive the most accurate projected monthly repayment amount, select the "Sign In" option. The Repayment Estimator will use your actual loan balances. Otherwise, you may select the "Proceed" option to enter loan amounts or use average loan balances.

Lenders and servicers have financial incentives to keep you in good standing rather than let you go into default on your student loans. Don't avoid the issue. At the first sign of problems contact your lender or servicer to let them know you're having trouble making your payments and ask about your options.

Some options include the following:

  • Deferment:  A temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations. A common reason for a deferment is returning to school. If you return to school at least half-time, you may qualify for a suspension of payment.
  • Forbearance:  A temporary postponement or reduction of payments when you are experiencing financial difficulty.
  • Flexible Repayment Plans:  There are a variety of repayment plans designed to hopefully make repayment a possibility for everyone. Some options include:
    • Income-Sensitive Repayment
    • Income-Contingent Repayment
    • Extended Repayment
    • Income-Based Repayment

Consequences of Loan Default

Student loan debt doesn't go away if you avoid making your payments. There are serious consequences you could face, such as:

  • Your federal and state income tax refunds can be withheld.
  • Your wages can be garnished.
  • You would be responsible for any late fees and collection fees.
  • Legal action could potentially be taken.
  • Student loans, like other lines of credit, effect your credit report. Being in default could prevent you from obtaining other types of consumer credit, such as a home loan.

Biden-Harris Debt Relief Plan & Loan Payment Pause

What does the program mean to you as a student and what comes next? This plan includes loan forgiveness of up to $20,000. A resource to answer those questions and more can be found here "Get details about one-time student loan debt relief." Courts have issued orders blocking the student debt relief program and are not accepting applications as of January 2023. 

The student loan payment pause is extended until the U.S. Department of Education is permitted to implement the debt relief program of the litigation is resolved. Payments will restart 60 days later. If the debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 - payments will resume 60 days after that. See "Covid-19 Emergency Relief and Federal Student Aid" update to date information. 

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