Repaying Your Loan

What You Need To Know about Loan Repayment

Your Rights:

  • With each loan disbursement, you received a loan disclosure statement from your lender / servicer which listed your interest rate, estimated total interest costs and total indebtedness.
  • You are entitled to receive a repayment schedule before your payment is due.
  • If your loan is sold or transferred, you will be notified in writing and given the name, address and phone number of the new holder.
  • Once repayment begins, if you have difficulty making payments, you may request a deferment or forbearance.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Once you have signed your student loan  promissory note and endorsed your check or accepted your EFT funds, you have made a legal agreement to adhere to certain responsibilities which begin while you are still in school.
  • You need to inform the holder of the loan if any of the following changes:
    • Name
    • Address, phone number
    • Transfer to another school
    • Leave of absence or withdrawal from school
    • New graduation date
  • You must repay your loan!

Your Repayment Options:

Investigate all repayment options offered by your lender/servicer.  Be sure to make all scheduled payments on time.  If you are experiencing difficulties, immediately contact your lender/servicer to explain the situation.  Together you can discuss alternatives.

PRE-PAYMENT:  You may pre-pay all or part of your loan at any time without penalty.  This may substantially decrease your total interest costs.

STANDARD PAYMENT PLAN:  The maximum repayment period is 10 years (excluding periods of deferment or forbearance).  Minimum monthly payments start at $50.  Your payments may be higher depending on the actual amount borrowed.  See repayment chart on the next page.

GRADUATED PAYMENT PLAN:  You may begin to repay the loan with small monthly payments that increase over time.  This option assumes that your income will grow enough to cover the increasing loan payments.  You will pay a somewhat higher amount of interest that you would under the standard plan.


INCOME BASED PAYMENT PLAN:  Payments are based on income and family size.  The maximum length of repayment is 25 years.  For more information visit:


EXTENDED REPAYMENT PLAN:  This plan is available if you borrow a student loan for the first time after October 07, 1998 and you have more than $30,000 in student loans.  Payments can be extended for up to 25 years.

  Your outstanding loans (Federal Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Grad PLUS, Perkins, HPSL, and Nursing Student Loan Program) can be combined into a single new loan with new terms ?  i.e., a  new interest rate and a longer repayment period (up to 30 years).  While this may reduce your monthly payments, it will result in higher total interest costs. Currently lenders are no longer offering consolidation loans to students.  Anyone interested in consolidating loans should go to the Dept. of Education web site for more information.

LOAN CANCELLATION:  Loans may be cancelled upon the death or total and permanent disability of the borrower, or upon the death of the student on whose behalf a parent borrowed a Federal PLUS Loan.

INCOME SENSITIVE:  Allows borrowers to have their payments based on a percentage of their monthly gross income.  Monthly payments must be at least equal to the interest that accrues monthly.  If interest-only payments still pose a financial hardship, reduced payment forbearance may be granted, and unpaid interest will be capitalized at the end of the forbearance period.  In the event that payments under an income sensitive plan will not pay off the loan with the maximum repayment term, lenders must grant up to five years forbearance.   Borrowers must provide information to their lender every 12 months to continue their income sensitive repayment.  NOTE:  PLUS Loans are not eligible for income sensitive repayment.  


LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR PUBLIC SERVICE: Borrowers must consolidate their loans into the Federal Direct Loan Program. Grad PLUS, Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized and Perkins loans can be included.  Borrower must work full-time in public service for 10 years. Requires 10 years of payments in the Income Based Repayment (IBR) program. Go here for more information:

Grace Period:

For Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loans:  After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a six-month grace period before repayment begins. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest during this time, although subsidized loans do not. 


Grad PLUS loans disbursed after 7/01/2008 have a 6 month grace period. Grad PLUS loans disbursed prior to 6/30/08 do not have a grace period.  Please contact your lender / servicer if you wish to discuss postponing these payments.


Deferment and Forbearance:

Occasionally a borrower may have difficulty meeting expected monthly payment obligations.  The key is to communicate with your lender/servicer – let them know you’re having difficulty.  Here are some options which may help you:


  • DEFERMENT: An arrangement in which the principal and/or interest payments are postponed for authorized reasons such as a period of unemployment, return to school, or economic hardship.   Interest on the subsidized Stafford loan is paid by the Federal government during a deferment period.  
  • FORBEARANCE: A postponement or reduction of payments during temporary financial difficulty.  Interest accrues on both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans during a forbearance.  Forbearance can be granted for a maximum of 3 years.  

If you are late on a scheduled payment, you are considered to be delinquent on your loan.  If you are 90 days late, your delinquency will be reported to national credit bureaus.


If you are 270 days late on your scheduled payment, you are in violation of your loan agreement, and it will be assumed that you do not intend to repay your loan.  Defaults are reported to national credit bureaus and remain on your credit report for seven years.  This may affect your ability to obtain an auto loan, credit cards, or other financing.   Other consequences include:


  • The entire unpaid amount of your loan, including interest, may become immediately due and payable.
  • The federal government may collect loan payment from federal and state income tax refunds, garnished wages or state lottery winnings.
  • You will be ineligible to receive any additional federal or state financial aid funds (Federal Pell, SEOG, FWS, Perkins Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans, or PLUS Loans) at any institution.

Repayment calculator

Plan ahead to be sure that you have affordable debt levels at the time of repayment.  Current and projected salary levels for most career areas should be available in your campus Career Center.  No more than 15% of your income should go toward student loan payments.  Most loans require a minimum monthly payment of $50 and the maximum repayment term of 10 years.  Check your master promissory note for details.


Use this loan calculator to determine your monthly payments and total interest paid over the course of the loan. You will need to know:

  • loan amount
  • interest rate
  • loan fees (if any)
  • length of loan term

Check your master promissory note for details.


Direct loan interest rates

Department of Education Direct loan repayment info




Federal Loan Consolidation

What is Loan Consolidation?

Designed to help student loan borrowers better manage their educational debt, Federal Consolidation Loans allow the borrower to repay several loans with one lower monthly payment.  There is no minimum loan amount. 
Eligible Loan Programs

  • Federal Subsidized / Unsubsidized  Loans
  • Federal Grad PLUS Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL)
  • Nursing Student Loan Program

Facts about Federal Loan consolidation:

  • Interest rate will be the weighted average of the underlying loans plus 1/8% capped at 8.25%.
  • Borrowers are allowed 180 days after consolidation to add omitted loans.
  • Defaulted borrowers may be eligible for a Federal Consolidation Loan only after they have made satisfactory repayment arrangements to the holder of the defaulted loan, or by agreeing to repay the Federal Consolidation Loan through income-sensitive repayment.
  • Early repayment without penalty is allowed and will reduce your interest cost.

Consolidation allows students to extend the repayment term beyond 10 years, depending upon the amount of money a student has borrowed.  Consolidation allows students to repay their loans to a single entity.  Consolidation loans are eligible for the same deferment and forbearance options as they were prior to consolidation. There is no early repayment penalty.  Creighton University encourages students to contact the Department of Education to consolidate their loans.

Troubleshooting Your Federal Student Loans

Delinquencies, Repayment Problems and Defaults:

If several servicers are handling your loans, each will require minimum payments.  Please go to to view your lender / servicer information. 

You may be able to lower your monthly payment by extending your repayment term?

  • You may be eligible for a Federal Consolidation Loan which can combine several loans.  This loan can be repaid over a period of 10 ? 30 years.

When you are behind in payments?

  • Discuss different payment options with your holder/servicer.  It may not be too late to apply for a deferment or forbearance.  If you neglected to turn in the form in a timely manner even though you were eligible, you may still be able to apply.  Call your holder/servicer for details.

If you think you are in default?

  • Default occurs after 270 days of delinquency.  If you are in default and can prove that a mistake was made on your account, call your guaranty agency and ask about an appeal process.
  • If the default occurred and you could have made payments but neglected to do so, call the guaranty agency to make satisfactory payment arrangements.  You will still be considered in default, but if a full payment is made, the default may be taken off your credit record.  Even if partial payments are arranged, you will owe less in fees, and it will be much less of a hassle than waiting for a collection agency to demand payment.

Loan Tracking and Communication Problems:

When you have trouble communicating with your holder/servicer?

  • Go to the National Student Loan Data System to see which lender or services is holding your Federal loan.
  •  Vary your calling times.  Try calling mid-week and early in the morning when phones are less busy.  When you call, have your loan account number handy for reference.
  • Complete all forms thoroughly.  Give your holder/servicer ample processing time.
  • Keep written records of your attempts and contacts (first and last names, times and dates, outcome of discussion, deadlines).
  • Consider sending mail certified, return receipt requested.
  • If your loan has been transferred, you may be able to get some assistance from: 1.  Your original lender.  They may be able to help you work with the new holder/servicer.  2.  The guaranty agency. They are required to keep information about loans in repayment.  Many times they can act as a liaison between you and your holder/servicer.
  • Many lenders/servicers now have on-line access to inquire about your account status.

When you?re unsure about where to send payments or address updates?

  • Go to the National Student Loan Data System to see which lender or services is holding your Federal loan.
  • Call the agency that guaranteed your loan.
  • Open all of your mail.  If your loan has been transferred, you will receive notification from a new holder. 

When you?re unsure about the name of the guaranty agency...

  • Go to the National Student Loan Data System to see which lender or services is holding your Federal loan.
  • Look through your records.  Your loan application or the disclosure statement will tell you who guaranteed your loan.
  • Call your lender.  They should be able to tell you who guaranteed your loan and to whom the loan was transferred.


Meeting credit obligations is essential to maintaining a positive credit history.  Establishing a budget may prove to be the vital link in managing repayment obligations.  Use the formula below to establish a detailed budget.



Estimated Annual Gross Income 


Estimated Annual Net Income (Line A x 65%)  





$ __________________

Education Loans (Private & Federal)   

$ __________________


$ __________________

Car Payment   

$ __________________


$ __________________


$ __________________


$ __________________

Child Care Expenses

$ __________________


$ __________________

Credit Cards

$ __________________


$ __________________

Retirement Plan

$ __________________


$ __________________

Other Installment Payments 

$ __________________


$ __________________


$ __________________


$ __________________




$ __________________



(estimated monthly net income minus estimated total expenses)

$ __________________

Important Contacts:


Changing federal, state or university policies, as well as unintended errors, subject this information to modification without notice. Creighton University reserves the right to change any provision or requirement at any time.