Loan Repayment


Staying on Top of Your Loans 

It's important to stay on top of your student loan payments. Once your loan enters repayment, you're responsible for making those payments, even if you end up employed in a different field or you decide to complete your education later. Tracking all of your loans and their monthly payments can help you stay on top of financial obligations, seek help when you need it, and save for the things you want. Organizing all your loan information with our Student Loan Tracker PDF and using a simple Budget Worksheet PDF can help you stay on track with important expenses. 

Lenders and servicers are there to help. Delinquency and default of your student loans can create problems in the future, but contacting your lender or servicer can help you maintain your financial health.

 Loan Repayment

While you, the student, are enrolled half-time or higher in a degree program your loans will be in in-school deferment status.

Your Federal Direct Subsidized loans, Federal Perkins loans, and institutional loans will not accrue interest while you are in school. However, Federal Unsubsidized and Private Student Loans will accrue interest throughout the life of the loan.

Once you drop below half-time enrollment all student loans will enter grace period status (either 6 or 9 months depending on the loan type), followed by repayment status.

Your assigned Federal Direct Loan servicer will be in contact with you during school and during your grace period to prepare you for repayment. Your first loan payments are normally due a month after the grace period ends. Your loan history and loan servicer(s) information can be found on the Manage Loans tab on the Federal Student Aid website. A full listing of all the federal loan servicers can also be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

View our Loan Repayment Calculator page for additional information. Additionally, if you borrowed from private entities, view FASTChoice Repayment Essentials counseling, sponsored by WI Department of Financial Institutions, to help prepare for repayment.

 Know your Loans

Federal Direct Loan History via My Federal Student Aid​

Log in using your FSA ID. You will see a list of your federal loans borrowed to date. Click on the number next to each loan to find the interest rate, loan status and contact information for the company who is servicing the loan.

Perkins Loan History – Heartland ECSI

Your full history of Perkins loans can be found online through ECSI.

Private Educational Loans

Contact the bank or credit union that you borrowed from directly or review your credit report.

 Exit Loan Counseling

Exit counseling is an online tutorial that reviews the loan terms of the loans you borrowed and gives you a chance to review your loan details, repayment plans and update your contact information. You will receive emails from the school if you need to complete loan exit counseling. This usually happens right before you graduate or just after you drop below half-time enrollment. For more information, see our Exit Loan Counseling FAQ's

Federal Direct Loans –

Federal Perkins & Institutional Loans –

 Set-up Online Access with Servicers

Your loan servicer has probably been in contact with you since you borrowed your loans. They will encourage you to set up an account on their website so you can learn about the following:

  • When your loan grace period(s) end:

    • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans have a 6 month grace period.

    • Perkins & Institutional loans have a 9 month grace period.

    • Private loans typically have a 6 month grace period, but you'll need to confirm the length with your lender.

  • When your first payment is due and how much the payment will be.

  • What your interest rate is for each loan.​​

Federal Direct Loans –​

Federal Perkins & Institutional Loans –

 Repayment Options

Federal Direct Loans

Use the Federal Student Aid Repayment Est​imator to review what your monthly payment would be in all the various repayment plans, and then choose one that suits your financial situation. Work with your loan servicer to get the plan set up before your first payment is due.

Federal Direct Loan Forgiveness Programs

The Department of Education offers two loan forgiveness programs to encourage borrowers to enter full-time public service or teach in certain high-need areas in high-need subjects.

Perkins Loans

Set up repayment through Heartland ECSI –

Consolidation Loan

A consolidation loan combines multiple loans into one large loan. More detailed information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website. Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized, GradPLUS, and Perkins Loans can be consolidated together, but NOT institutional or private loans. Consolidation extends payment period up to 25 years, depending on the amount you owe. A new interest rate is calculated and based on a weighted average of all loans put into consolidation. Your grace period ends once the consolidation is final, so complete consolidation near the end of your grace period, if possible. Subsidized Direct Loan and Perkins loans will begin to accrue interest once you consolidate them so complete consolidation near the end of your grace period, if possible. 

 Automatic Payment

Setting up automatic loan payments from your bank account every month means your payments will never be late! If you've got a Federal Direct Loan, signing up for automatic payments may also make you eligible for a 0.25% monthly interest rate reduction. Work with your loan servicer to get automatic loan payments set up before your first payment is due.