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Repaying Your Student Loan

Know Your Student Loan Repayment Obligation

A student loan is a serious and important financial obligation, and you must repay your loan.

  • You are required to repay your loan(s) regardless of whether you complete your education, are able to find employment, or are satisfied with your education.

  • Repayment is required according to the terms of your promissory note.

  • You must provide your loan servicer with corrections to your name, address, references, Social Security number, and driver's license information.

  • You may be able to apply for deferment, forbearance, or cancellation of your loan payments. (Refer to your promissory note.)

  • If you do not apply for deferment or cancellation, you must pay your loan(s) as scheduled.

  • You can prepay all or part of your loan(s) at any time without penalty.

  • You may be eligible to defer repayment if you go to another institution of higher education. Contact Student Financial Solutions or the University's billing agent, Heartland ECSI, (888) 549-3274.

Complete Your Exit Loan Counseling

If you are a student loan borrower, federal regulation requires you to complete exit loan counseling.

  • You should complete exit loan counseling when you:
    • Graduate
    • Fall below half-time student status (less than six units)
    • Withdraw from classes
    • Do not attend for a quarter
    • Have a Long Term Loan Documentation (LCOD) hold on your student account
  • You satisfy the requirement when you:

Begin Your Student Loan Repayment

Repayment is required according to the terms and conditions of your promissory notes/s. You must start repayment after the grace period ends.

  • The grace period begins when you:
    • Graduate
    • Fall below half-time student status (less than six units)
    • Withdraw from classes
    • Do not attend for a quarter
  • The length of the grace period depends on the loan program:
    • Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized): Six months
    • University Loan: Nine months
    • California Dream Loan: Six months

Preparing for Repayment

The student loan payment pause is extended until the U.S. Department of Education is permitted to implement the debt relief program or the litigation is resolved. Payments will restart 60 days later. If the debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 — payments will resume 60 days after that.

Repaying Your Federal Student Loan

Choosing the right plan. Review the Types of Repayment Plan examples to help you determine which one is right for you and your situation. Although you may be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time—for free by contacting your Repayment Servicer.

See your Federal Student Loan Repayment Options with the Loan Simulator. The Loan simulator helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans. Read the U.S. Department of Education's resource article on loan repayment titled, “The Versatile Student Loan Calculator: Loan Simulator.”

Learn More About Each Type of Repayment Plan

Standard Repayment
Extended Repayment
Graduated Repayment
Income-Driven Repayment Plan
Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

Where Can I Find My Loan Information?

A crucial part of a sound financial plan is to keep up to date on your student loan indebtedness. This includes knowing where to find all your student aid information. is the U.S. Department of Education’s database for all your federal student aid information.

At you can find:

  • Your student loan amounts and balances
  • Your loan servicer(s) and their contact information
  • Your interest rates
  • Your current loan status (in repayment, in default, etc.)
  • Track your repayment progress

To view your federal student aid information, you will need to Create an Account, if you don’t have one. If you already have an account, you can simply log in.

  • Log in with your FSA ID and password.
  • In the box called “MyAid”, choose the link called “View Details” to view your loan history.
  • In the box called “MyAid”, choose the link called “View loan servicer details” to get information on how to make payments.

After logging in go to your student account, go to the Aid Summary section of your Dashboard to see more details about financial aid. This easy-to-use feature provides a detailed view into aid you’ve received and displays:

  • Federal grants received
  • Student loan balance
  • Progress toward loan payoff
  • School enrollment history
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) qualifying payment count

Look at the Introducing Aid Summary video

This U.S. Department of Education blog article covers four free resources to help you track and manage your financial aid during college or career school.

Apply For Loan Deferment, Cancellation, or Consolidation (If Necessary)


The information below pertains specifically to Perkins and institutional loan borrowers unless stated otherwise.

Deferment is a period of time during repayment in which the borrower, upon meeting certain conditions, is not required to make payments of loan principal and sometimes interest. Deferment of your Perkins or Institutional loan may be granted if:

  • You are enrolled at least half time at an accredited institution
  • You are a member of the armed forces or various public or private volunteer organizations (e.g., Peace Corps or VISTA)
  • You are in advanced professional training

Get deferment forms for Perkins borrowers at the Heartland ECSI website.

Cancellation of your obligation to repay your Perkins loan may be granted if you are employed in:

  • Teaching
  • Early intervention services
  • Law enforcement or corrections
  • Nursing or medical technician position
  • Child or family services
  • Head Start
  • Military

All loans can be discharged for total and permanent disability and death.

Consolidation combines all of your federal loans into one loan.

  • You must be in your repayment period to apply for consolidation.
  • Your interest rate will be fixed for the length of the loan.
  • You may include your Perkins loan, but once consolidated, you are no longer eligible for the cancellation options listed on your Perkins promissory note. And, under consolidation interest will accrue similar to an unsubsidized loan. To request a copy of your Perkins promissory note, e-mail Student Financial Solutions, or call (858) 822-4727.

Consolidation information for all borrowers is available at the Federal Student Aid websites.

For more specific information, read your promissory note(s), or contact your loan servicer.

Work With Your Loan Servicer

Find your lender:

  • See a list of all your federal loans at
  • Find each loan's "Current Servicer" contact information on, or review this listing of the Federal Direct Loan Servicers.
  • Perkins or Institutional loan borrowers: Your lender is UC San Diego, and the billing servicer is Heartland ECSI. Visit the ECSI website, or call (888) 549-3274 for more information.

Resolve a dispute with your lender/ loan servicer:

  • If you are unable to resolve a dispute with your lender/servicer concerning the terms of your student loan, you may contact the Department of Education Ombudsman:
    Contact via postal mail:
    U.S. Department of Education
    FSA Ombudsman Group
    830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
    Washington, DC 20202-5144
  • Alternatively, contact the Ombudsman by using the online submission form.

Don't Fail to Repay Your Student Loan(s)


If you cannot meet the repayment schedule on your University-based student loan(s), contact the Loan Administration Office, (858) 822-4727.

If you are delinquent on your student loan(s):

  • You may have to pay late fees, collection costs, and/or interest in addition to the loan amount.
  • Your credit rating may be adversely affected.
  • Your state income tax refund could be withheld.
  • Your wages may be garnished.
  • You may be ineligible for further student aid, deferments, forbearances, and loan consolidation.

Learn About UC San Diego's Default Rate

The U.S. Department of Education provided the official fiscal year 2015 national student loan cohort default rate, which decreased to 10.8%, from 11.5% in fiscal year 2014. The cohort default rates changes by sector:

  • From 11.3 % to 10.3% for public institutions
  • From 7.4% to 7.1% for private institutions, and
  • From 15.5% to 15.6% for the for-profit schools.

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year, October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the next fiscal year.

The UC San Diego student loan default rate is 2.1%, compared to the national average of 10.8%.

Information on the national student loan default rate, as well as rates for individual schools, states, types of postsecondary institutions, and other sectors of the federal loan industry are available from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students who need further information about defaulted federal education debit may wish to visit the U.S. Department of Education Understanding Debt. The Department has many options available to borrowers to resolve their defaulted federal education debt, so read about your options before deciding on the right plan.