Financing a graduate education is challenging. Student loan borrowing is the largest source of funding available to graduate/professional students to pay for their educational expenses. Managing high loan borrowing debt and understanding the terms of loan repayment options can be daunting. So, how do we get started?

Know Your Loans

  • What loans comprise your student loan portfolio?
    • Direct Subsidized Loan
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Federal Perkins Loan - loan program no longer offered
    • Federal Graduate Plus Loan
    • Institutional Loan - check with your school or lender
    • Private Loan - check with your school or lender
  • How much did you borrow of each loan type?
    • Review National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website for all federal loans and interest rates
    • Educational Computer Systems Incorporated (ECSI) website for JHU institutional loans and Federal Perkins loan
    • Promissory Note for private loans
  • What is the interest rate on each loan?
    • Interest rates have varied over the years.
    • Know the interest rate on each of your loans
    • 5%, 6.8%, 5.4%, 6.2%, 7.2%?
    • NSLDS website provides the information on your interest rates
  • What is your repayment timetable?
    • Based on your loan type, you will have a different timetable or grace period of when repayment begins on your loan.
    • View your loan portfolio to determine the type of loan that you have, which will help you to determine when your grace period begins and ends on each of your loans.
    • 6 month grace, 9 month grace, 3 year grace, no grace.
      Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan 6 months
      Federal Perkins Loan 9 months
      Federal Grad/Plus Loan 6 month-post enrollment deferment
      JHU Institution Loan Varies – view your loan promissory note
      Private Loan View your loan promissory note
  • What is the total amount that you will pay back based on your repayment terms and schedule?
    • Use the loan calculators to answer that question.
    • Know your loans, repayment timetable will vary.
  • Who is the lender/servicer for each of your loans? What is their contact information?
    These sites will provide the answer:

What are my Loan Repayment Options?

Much information is provided on loan repayment prior to graduation.
The U.S. Department of Education provides a list and definition of the various loan repayment plans.
Carefully evaluate and select the plan that best meets your career goals and life style.

Here are a few videos from the U.S. Department of Education that may assist you with better understanding loan borrowing, managing your loans, and your repayment options.