After You Graduate

Congratulations! You made it!

Graduation photo of Atlanta students

Now that you have graduated, your federal student loan goes into repayment. However, for most Federal Loans, you have a six-month grace period before you are required to start making regular payments. Completing Exit Counseling is the first step to understanding how to repay your loans, how to avoid default, and who can help you through the process. 

Exit Counseling

If you borrowed federal student loans, you must complete exit counseling when you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure you understand your student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment. 

You’ll learn about what your federal student loan payments will look like after school. We’ll recommend a repayment strategy that best suits your future plans and goals. 

Preparing for Repayment

Each student is assigned a loan servicer, which is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loan on our behalf.  

When your loan enters repayment, your servicer will automatically place you on the Standard Repayment Plan. You can request a different repayment plan at any time. Your loan servicer will work with you on repayment options and will assist you with other tasks related to your federal student loans. 

Contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan. You can get information about all of the federal student loans you have received and find the loan servicer for your loans by logging in to 

Debt Management and Default

If you’ve missed a payment or are having trouble making payments, immediately contact your loan servicer and discuss options for your loan to avoid defaulting on your loan. 

Deferment and Forbearance 

If you’re in a short-term financial bind, you may qualify for a deferment or a forbearance. With either of these options, you can temporarily suspend your payments.  

Both forbearance and deferment will allow you to temporarily postpone or reduce your federal student loan payments. The main difference is if you are in deferment, no interest will accrue to your loan balance. If you are in forbearance, interest WILL accrue on your loan balance.  

Contact your loan servicer if you are interested in temporarily postponing your federal loan payments.  


It’s important to pay the amount shown on your bill—and to pay by the due date. The first day after you miss a student loan payment, your loan becomes past due, or delinquent. Your loan account remains delinquent until you repay the past due amount or make other arrangements, such as deferment or forbearance, or changing repayment plans. 

If you are delinquent on your student loan payment for 90 days or more, your loan servicer will report the delinquency to the three major national credit bureaus.  

If your loan continues to be delinquent, the loan may go into default. The point when a loan is considered to be in default varies depending on the type of loan you received. The consequences of defaulting can not only impact your ability to borrow but can impact your finances as well.  

If You Are Delinquent or In Default, Your Loan Servicer Can Help! 

Make an Appointment

Would you like a personalized exit counseling session to go over repayment for your federal loans?  Schedule an appointment with our Financial Wellness Advisor!