Your student loan is a debt you owe for your education and you should treat it as you would any other kind of debt.  For example, a loan used to buy a car or a house.  As with any debt, you are responsible for repaying your loan in full even if you did not complete school, get a job, or feel you did not receive the educational or other services you purchased.

To repay your student loan successfully, you will need to manage your finances.  If you plan for repayment now, you will reap big benefits in terms of financial freedom and present peace of mind. 

Start by getting organized.  If you have not already assembled all of your loan documents in one place, do it now!  Review these documents to make sure you understand all of your financial obligations.

Next, develop a budget.  Begin by estimating both your starting salary and your living expenses.  When figuring your expenses, do not forget to budget the monthly payment on your student loan.

The terms that you and your chosen lender establish for repaying your student loan have to meet certain federal guidelines.  These guidelines are outlined for you on the master promissory note when you first obtain your loan.  Here is a summary of those guidelines:

  • Your payments are expected each month.
  • The minimum monthly payment is $50, but can be higher depending on the total principal amount & interest.
  • Your lender must give you at least five years to repay your loan, unless your minimum monthly payment pays off your loan before that time, or you request a shorter repayment period.
  • You may prepay your loan at any time without penalty.
  • Your loan obligation will be canceled if you become totally and permanently disabled or you die.

Stay in touch with your lender.  It is your responsibility to let your lender know if any of your personal circumstances change (i.e. change of address, name, etc.)  If you are uncertain who your lender is, NSLDS can provide information about the identity of your primary loan contact.

 Before your first payment is due, your lender will send you a repayment schedule telling you how much you owe, the amount of interest you will pay during your repayment period, what your monthly payments will be, when they will be due, and how long it will take to repay your loan in full. 

You will have a grace period of no payments for six months which starts the day you drop below half-time status.

Student loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

If you are unable to make monthly payments, contact your lender immediately to avoid default.  Alternative repayment options may be considered, as well as deferment or forbearance depending on your circumstances.

Once you drop below half-time status or anticipate graduating/transferring from JWCC, you are required to complete Exit Loan Counseling.  This will explain what to expect after “exiting” school including repayment options. You may complete Exit Counseling at the Direct Lending site: