Loan Exit Counseling
for Federal Stafford Loan (FSL) and
Federal Direct Loan (FDL) Programs
So, the last FDL disbursement for the school year was recently applied (or will soon be) to your RCC student account and any extra refunded to your Higher Once Account. Now it’s time to participate in online annual loan exit counseling…even if you plan to return to school. Why? It’s important that know your rights and responsibilities to be ready to successfully start repayment.
As you are aware, the student loan industry has undergone many changes recently, especially in terms of where your funding comes from and who you owe repayment to. RCC recommends that you open and read all mail (hard-copy and email) from your loan holders/servicers, that you keep them informed as to your contact information and that you monitor your loan status at www.nslds.ed.gov and www.studentloans.gov. Before you begin loan exit counseling, here’s a few tips to help you effectively manage repayment:
- 1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
- Stay informed about the status of your loan and keep your loan holder/servicer informed about you. If you ever find that you are having difficulty making a payment, call them (contact information at www.nslds.ed.gov) and work out a payment arrangement that meets your needs.
- 2. Keep Good Records
- Anytime your loan is sold or the servicing transferred, you will receive a notice as to your updated contact. Remember that making on-time payments is your responsibility. Keep your loan paperwork in one place. Anytime you call and get information over the phone, take down the date and time you called and the name of who you spoke with. If you obtain information over the internet, use print screens to record any transaction.
- 3. Keep Your Loan in “Good Standing” During Repayment
- Remember that you maintain your “rights” under the Federal Direct Loan program as long as you are in good standing. Because of the generous repayment options available to you, there should NEVER be a reason for you to have to suffer the consequences of DEFAULT.
- 4. Ask for advice
- One of your rights is to ask your loan holder/servicer to give you advice on which repayment option best meets your needs. They also can advise you about the way to save as much money during repayment as possible. Remember, you can save interest charges by setting up auto-debit payments from your personal bank account.
- 5. UTILIZE your grace period, deferment and forbearance options
- In general, any time you enroll in an aid-eligible program at a postsecondary institution and maintain at least half-time enrollment (generally 6 credits), you can request that your loan be put into an in-school deferment status. This will enable you to make interest-only payment on any Unsubsidized portion, if you choose. Talk to the Financial Aid Office of the school where you enroll to see what their procedure is for helping you activate this deferment period. At RCC, we report your enrollment status automatically and that information is sent to your loan holder/servicer who should automatically activate the deferment period. But at other schools, it may be necessary for you to submit an in-school deferment form.
- 6. Loan Consolidation – Ask IF IT’S right for you
- When you have completed your education, RCC encourages you to contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center to request an evaluation of your student loan debt portfolio to see if an immediate consolidation would be financially beneficial to you.
- 7. Borrowing again
- Remember to file an annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid as close to January 1st as possible proceeding the school year if there’s any possibility that you’ll be attending college somewhere. Check with your school’s Financial Aid Office to find out how to apply for a loan.
- 8. Will You Have To Repay This Debt?
- Most likely, yes. But, in some rare cases, some/all of your remaining student loan debt may be eligible to be forgiven, discharged or repaid for you. To find out more, visit SALT’s e-book, “60+ Ways To Get Rid Of Your Student Loans (Without Paying Them).”
- 9. When Should You Complete Loan Exit Counseling?
- RCC requires that you complete loan exit counseling at the end of our loan period, when you cease to be enrolled at least half-time, or the end of an academic year, whichever is earlier.
If you’re ready to complete loan exit counseling, click on the "Let’s Get Started " button below. At the NSLDS Student Access site, you’ll select “Exit Counseling” and then follow the site navigation until you receive a “CONGRATULATIONS” Confirmation (recommended that you print for your records). Upon completion, RCC will receive an electronic notification. Be sure to have contact information (name, address, phone) ready for at least 3 family members/friends from different locations who will know how to locate you over the next 10 years. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Rogue Central Services.