DIY Student Loan Debt Guide
The US Department of Education recently extended the suspension of federal student loans payments until August 31st, 2022. Until then, you are not required to make payments on federal student loans and they will not accrue interest. We encourage you to contact your student loan servicer before this suspension ends to learn about your options.
Following are some resources to assist you in managing your student loans on your own.
Get Financial Aid
For information on how to obtain financial aid, start with FAFSA.gov or the College Foundation of NC.
Find Your Student Loans
Find your federal student loans.
If you don’t already have one, get your FSA ID by going to StudentAid.gov/fsaid and clicking on “Create an FSA ID Now.”
When you have your FSA ID, you can log in at Studentaid.ed.gov to see your loan information including how much you owe and contact information for your loan servicer(s).
If your federal loans are in default, go to MyEdDebt.ed.gov and click on “My Account” to find out which collection agencies are holding your debt.
Find your private student loans. If you can’t find contact information on a recent statement, look on your credit reports (unless it’s been more than seven years). You can get your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com or call OnTrack WNC.
Explore Your Repayment Options
Federal student loans
If your federal loans are not in default, use the Repayment Estimator to compare repayment choices. If you are unable to pay your loan right now, learn about options for postponing repayment.
If your federal loans are in default, contact the collection agency (see “Find your student loans” above) and ask what your options are.
Whether your loans are in default or not, you might consider consolidating your federal student loans. Consolidating your loans could simplify payment, get your loans out of default, or, in some cases, make you eligible for more affordable repayment options. Use the loan consolidation calculator to see how consolidation might affect your monthly payments.
Private student loans. For guidance on managing private student loans, try the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Answer the questions about “Your Situation” and the website will provide potential resources and answers to your questions.
Explore Federal Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge Options
If you are employed by the government or a nonprofit, you might be able to receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness for your federal student loans.
If you are a teacher, you might be able to receive Teacher Loan Forgiveness for your federal student loans. Use this database to see if the school where you teach might qualify you for forgiveness. If so, contact your servicer to get the application.
If you are disabled, you might be able to receive a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge for your federal student loans.
All other forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge options can be found at the Student Aid website.
Other useful resources can be found StudentAid.gov or at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.