Loan Exit Counseling
for Federal Stafford Loan (FSL) and
Federal Direct Loan (FDL) Programs
Thank you for participating in the following loan exit counseling session. Each year, RCC requires exit counseling for each borrower, even if you plan on returning to school. Why? It’s important that you are ready to start repayment on your loans, should you decide not to return to school.
As you know, the federal government is your lender and you have been assigned a loan servicer. RCC recommends that you open and read all mail (hard-copy and email) from your loan servicer, 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 your repayment:
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Stay informed about the status of your loan and keep the holder of your loan informed about you. If you ever find that you are having difficulty making a payment, call your Loan Servicer/servicer (contact information at www.nslds.ed.gov) and work out a payment arrangement that meets your needs.
- Keep Good Records
In the case that your loan servicer changes, you will receive a notice as to their updated contact information. 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.
- 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.
- Ask for advice
One of your rights is to ask your loan 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. As a current or former RCC student, if you want to talk to someone about your loan or get someone to advocate for you with your servicer, call American Student Assistance’s $ALT line at 855.469.2724. More information at https://www.saltmoney.org/index.html.
- UTILIZE your grace period, deferment, forbearance and REPAYMENT PLAN 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 activating this deferment period. At RCC, we report your enrollment status automatically and that information is sent to your loan 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. Deferment and forbearance may be requested by you and are a temporary reduction or cancellation of your payment obligation. The Standard repayment option will be assigned to you if you don’t ask for another option. Other options include income-based repayment, which may cost you more over the life of your loan but is recommended to use on a temporary basis in order to afford your monthly obligation.
- 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 at to request an evaluation of your student loan debt portfolio to see if an immediate consolidation would be financially beneficial to you.
- Borrowing again
Remember to file an annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid as close to October 1st prior to the school year as possible 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.
- 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.