Return to: Financial Aid
To help students manage their student loans after graduation, federal regulations require that they complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling. This counseling is available online at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/counselingInstructions.action.
The timing to complete Exit Counseling is:
- Before graduation,
- Before transferring to another institution,
- Before withdrawal and leaves of absence, and/or
- When enrolled less than half time.
Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans
Federal Direct and Stafford Loans offer several repayment plan options. Some of the options carry a lower monthly payment than the standard repayment but choosing these options extends the term of the loan and increases the total amount of interest paid during the life of the loan. Learn about the various options and your ability to move between plans by visiting http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans.
Repayment Estimator is a tool that William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program borrowers can use to obtain preliminary repayment plan eligibility information and estimated repayment amounts. This easy-to-use tool offers borrowers the opportunity to obtain preliminary repayment information across all the repayment plans. Its advantage over repayment plan-specific calculators is that it provides side-by-side results for all plans and information about the total cost of a loan over time.
The new Repayment Estimator is available for borrower use on the following website: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/repaymentEstimatorLoginRedirect.action
- Standard Repayment. On a standard repayment plan, a borrower pays a fixed monthly amount for a loan term of up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans), with a $50 minimum monthly payment.
- Extended Repayment. Extended repayment is like standard repayment, but allows a loan term of up to 25 years, depending on the amount borrowed. Stretching out the payments over a longer term reduces the size of the monthly payment, but increases the total amount repaid during the life of the loan.
- Graduated Repayment. Unlike standard and extended repayment plans, graduated repayment starts off with lower monthly payments, which gradually increase every 2 years. The loan term is up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans), depending on the total amount borrowed. The monthly payment must be at least $25 and will amount to, at least, the interest accruing.
- Income-Driven Repayment Plans (IDR). Choosing any of these plans involves using a percentage of one’s discretionary income. The percentage is different depending on the plan. IDR plans usually lower one’s federal student loan payments; however, an individual may increase his or her repayment period resulting in higher interest cost over the repayment period
- Income-Based Repayment.This plan extends the terms as follows: New borrower on or after July 1, 2014—will have a repayment based on 10% of the student’s discretionary income (but never more than the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan amount) and a repayment period of up to 20 years. If the student is not a new borrower as of July 1, 2014—the student may have a repayment based on 15% of his or her discretionary income (but never more than the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan amount) and a repayment period of up to 25 years. The payment resets annually and caps the monthly payments at a lower percentage of income than income-contingent repayment. If income is low enough, the interest that accrues is waived for a fixed period. At the end of the repayment period, any remaining balance on the loan will be forgiven and the amount forgiven is taxable.
- Income-Contingent Repayment. This plan applies only to Federal Direct Loans. Monthly payments are based on the borrower’s discretionary income and total amount of debt. Payments are adjusted each year as the borrower’s income changes. The loan term is up to 25 years. At the end of 25 years, the remaining balance on the loan will be forgiven, and the amount forgiven is taxable.
- Income-Sensitive Repayment. This plan is an alternative to Income-Contingent Repayment and is only for loans serviced by lenders in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Monthly payments are based on discretionary income and borrowers are usually required to provide financial documents. In addition, borrowers must reapply for this repayment plan annually. The loan term is up to 15 years.
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Borrowers with eligible student loans may qualify for this program, based on discretionary income and other factors. Payments are recalculated annually. There are interest payment benefits, limitation on capitalization of interest and loan forgiveness, if the borrower qualifies. Borrowers should speak with their loan servicer for more information on this program.
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE). This program extends the term for up to 20 years for undergraduate loans and 25 years for graduate loans. The monthly repayment amount is based on the borrower’s discretionary income and resets annually. The monthly payments are determined at a lower percentage of income than the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan. At the end of the repayment period, any remaining balance on the loan will be forgiven, and the amount forgiven is taxable. Please contact your servicer for more eligibility requirements.
Under certain circumstances, an enrolled borrower is entitled to have the repayment of a loan deferred. During deferment, the borrower is not required to pay the loan principal, and interest on subsidized loans does not accrue. After the in-school deferment, the borrower may be entitled to one grace period of 6 consecutive months. The date that the deferment starts may affect the length of the grace period.
Students who have a valid Social Security Number on file at Walden will have their enrollment reported and updated monthly with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). The NSC communicates electronically with the federal and nonfederal loan servicers to ensure that students who remain enrolled maintain the in-school deferments for which they are eligible.
Walden’s Loan Deferment Policy
Students who seek to defer repayment of their prior student loans and do not want to rely on the electronic exchange with the NSC must fill out forms to have their enrollment status verified. Students must get the forms from their lender(s) and send them directly to:
Office of the Registrar
Attn: Loan Deferment
7065 Samuel Morse Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
At the top of the form, students should include their enrollment start date and the term for which they are requesting an in-school deferment.
Note: Any deferment paperwork sent to Walden’s Office of the Registrar for enrollment verification is forwarded to the NSC on a weekly basis.