Keeping Up with Your Loan Payments

You’ve gone to school, and now it’s time for the not-so-fun part: paying back your student loans. It’s important to understand your rights and repayment options, even before borrowing, so you can prevent defaulting on your loans

Student loans fall into two categories: Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and Direct Loans (William D. Ford Direct Loan Program). Loans disbursed at San Jac before Summer 2010 are FFEL. In these cases, the lender is a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union. Loans disbursed during the Summer 2010 term and after are Direct Loans. With a Direct Loan, the lender is the Federal Government.

Regardless of which loan you have, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities. 

You have a right to:

  • Have a grace period before payments are due
  • Make extra payments on your loan without penalty (also called prepaying)
  • Request a copy of your Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Request documentation that your loan is paid in full
  • Choose a repayment plan
  • Be informed of your repayment date
  • Be informed and provide consent of any changes in the terms of your loan

You have a responsibility to:

  • Complete an exit counseling session
  • Repay your loan
  • Notify your lender with current contact information
  • Make timely monthly payments
  • Notify your lender of your eligibility for a deferment or cancellation of loan and/or payments
  • Use proceeds of loans for educationally related purposes
  • Make payment even if you do not receive a payment statement

Not sure where to begin? 
Use our budget calculator to help determine your expenses and what you can afford to make for monthly payments.

As a student loan recipient, you are required to complete an exit counseling session. Exit counseling helps you to further understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Exit counseling is required when you:

  • Graduate
  • Drop below a half-time enrollment status
  • Withdrawal from all of your classes
  • Stop attending
  • Transfer to another school 

Complete your exit counseling session online. San Jac will be notified electronically when you have successfully completed the course.
A hold will be placed on your San Jac student account if you do not complete an exit counseling session. This may affect your ability to make changes to your registration or request a transcript.

Student loan deferment is a way to temporarily stop making payments on your loans. While enrolled at San Jac, your loan may qualify for an in-school deferment. Please note that while in deferment, your loans may still accrue interest.

Federal Student Loans:

San Jac is partnering with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to provide enrollment and degree verification to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). For your loans to be placed in deferment, you must be enrolled at least six credit hours.

Enrollment information is sent electronically to the NSC two weeks after the term has started. Once the electronic file is processed, it takes 30 days for your account to be updated. The USDE will backdate your account to the start date of the term. It will also waive all past due payments and accrued interest for the term. 

Federal PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are for parents who take out loans for their children. For parents to be eligible for a deferment on your PLUS loan, your child must be enrolled at least six credit hours at San Jac. 

This deferred status does not occur automatically. You must call the federal loan servicer and request to have the PLUS loan placed in a deferred status.

Private Loans

Private loan lenders can not obtain the enrollment information from the NSC. You must complete a student deferment or forbearance form two weeks after the term starts. Send completed forms to:
Fax: 281-669-4374

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below six credit hours, your loans enter a grace period. This one-time grace period lasts six months. Your repayment period begins the day after your grace period ends. At that time, your first payment will be due.

Your loan servicer will notify you with information about repayment. When it comes to repaying your student loans, you can select a plan that is right for your financial situation. Generally, you have anywhere from 10 to 25 years to repay your loans.

You can calculate your estimated loan payments using the Federal Student Aid calculator or

Our sample repayment plan gives you an example of how common repayment options may look.

Repayment Options

Standard Repayment 
With the standard plan, you will pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full. Your monthly payments will be at least $50 and you will have up to 10 years to repay your loans.

Graduated Repayment 
With this plan, your payments start out low and increase every two years. The length of your repayment period will be up to 10 years.

Extended Repayment 
Under the extended plan, you will pay a fixed annual or graduated repayment amount over a period of up to 25 must have more than $30,000 in FFEL or Direct Loan debt to qualify. Your fixed monthly payment is lower than it would be under the standard plan. However, you will ultimately pay more for your loan because of the interest that accumulates during the longer repayment period.

Income Based Repayment (IBR) 
Under IBR, the required monthly payment is capped at an amount that you can afford, based on your income and family size. You must submit annual income documentation to set your payment amount each year. Under this plan, loans can be forgiven for certain situations.

Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) 
ICR plans are available for Direct Loans only.
Under this plan, your payment is calculated annually based on:

  • Your household adjusted gross in
  • Family size
  • Total amount of your Direct Loans

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan 
Income-sensitive plans are available for FFEL loans only.
With this plan, your monthly payment is based on your annual income. As your income increases or decreases, so do your payments. The maximum repayment period is 10 years.

Pay as you Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE) 
Under the PAYE plan, your payments are usually 10 percent of your discretionary income. Payments are never more than the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan amount. Payments are calculated annually based on income and family size. 

Revised Pay as you Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE) 
Under REPAYE, your payments are generally 10 percent of your discretionary income. Your payment can be more than the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan amount. Payments are calculated annually based on income and family size.

Under this program, you could combine all of your student loans under one lender and into one monthly payment. A consolidated loan can reduce monthly payments. However, the interest rate could increase and your repayment period may be extended.

If you are having trouble making payments, contact your student loan servicer right away. Your loan servicer will work with you to determine the best option for you. And don’t forget, we’re always here for extra help if you need it! Your options include:

  1. Finding a payment plan that works for you. - There are many different payment options, many of which are income driven. Check out our list above for all of the options.
  2. Postponing payments through deferment. - You must qualify for deferred payments. Deferment suspends payments, but depending on your loan, interest may still accrue.
  3. Postponing payments through forbearance. - You may be able to postpone payments through forbearance if you do not qualify for a deferment. Interest continues to accrue while loans are in forbearance.
  4. Canceling all or part of your student loans. - You may qualify to cancel all or part of your student loans. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information on how to apply.


If you stop making payments on your student loans, your account will become delinquent. A delinquent loan can result in late fees and affect your credit score. It will also result in a hold on your San Jac student account. 

What is Default?

A student loan will go into default when you fail to make payments and your account is 270 days past due (delinquent). Once the loan is considered in default, the entire balance is due immediately. This includes the principal, interest, and collection fees.

If you default, your school, the financial institution that made or owns your loan, your loan guarantor, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money you owe. Some consequences of default include:

  • National credit bureaus can be notified of your default, which will harm your credit rating. This can make it hard to buy a car or house.
  • You will be ineligible for additional federal student aid if you decide to return to school.
  • Loan payments can be deducted from your paycheck.
  • You will have to pay late fees and collection costs on top of what you already owe.
  • You can be sued.

Options after Default

You have three options to remove the default status:

  1. Pay the loan in full - This is the fastest way to resolve defaulted loans.
  2. Loan rehabilitation - During rehabilitation, you can regain eligibility for financial aid after making six voluntary, consecutive monthly payments on time.
  3. Consolidate your loans - You can consolidate by combining all your federal education loans. This is an option as long as the loans are currently in a grace period or repayment status.

More information for defaulted student loan debt can be found at

Here are some simple tips to help you manage your money wisely and be a responsible student borrower!

  • Create a spending budget. Loan payments are fixed, just like your rent or credit cards, so include it on your budget.
  • Read all of your mail and email to stay up to date on your loan status.
  • Set up an online account with your lender or servicer. Many provide automatic notification options and smartphone apps to remind you of payment deadlines.
  • Get your full tax refund by using education costs as deductions

Get more information on budgeting by visiting the Federal Student Aid website

The U.S. Department of Education releases official cohort default rates (CDR) to all schools.  Loan default rates are calculated by measuring how many students are in default three years after they have graduated or stopped attending San Jac. The default rate only applies to federal loans, and does not include private and/or state student loans.

In 2018, a total of 1,223 San Jac students entered loan repayment. After three years, 10.1 percent, or 124 of those students, defaulted on their loans. Our National CDR for that year was 7.3. Our national CDRs for 2016 and 2017 were 10.1 and 9.7, respectively.

Why is this important? Knowing our CDR can help you analyze how well San Jac positions its students to pay off their loans after graduation. To put it in perspective, schools can get benefits if their national CDRs stay below 15. They can also receive sanctions or be prevented from participating in federal aid programs if their CDRs are 30 or above. So that tells us that our students are well-positioned to make payments on their loans.

Use these resources to find out more about your student loans.

San Jac Default Prevention Coordinator:
Elena Oliver
Phone: 281-991-2645
Fax:  281-669-4374

Navient: 1-888-272-5543

Nelnet Education Planning and Financing: 1-888-486-4722 

Trellis (Formerly Texas Guaranteed or TG) 

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Students 

Student Loan Ombudsman’s Office Federal student aid’s website with information about defaulted loans. 

Please note that FedLoan Servicing is no longer active.

Need Help?

If you have questions about any aspect of paying back your student loans, don't hesitate to reach out.
Elena Olivier
Coord, Default Management
(281) 991-2645