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How much debt do I owe?

The U.S. Department of Education’s secure website lists your complete portfolio of federal- financed aid, including loan amounts and servicers.

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What loans should I consolidate?

Loan consolidation works for some recent graduates, but not all. Direct loans taken after 2006 should not be consolidated. However, if you carry undergraduate debt or Federal Family Education Loans, consolidation may provide benefits.

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What repayment plan works best for me?

Income Based Repayment (IBR) and the improved new Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plan provide much-needed relief in the early years of practice and for those who choose public service careers. These two income-based repayment plans are the best bet for most recent graduates. However, if you hold less than the equivalent of one year’s salary in loan debt, a straight repayment plan such as Standard or Extended repayment may be right for you.

If your loan amount exceeds your anticipated first year salary, IBR or PAYE is the way to go. Contact your loan servicer to request an income-based repayment plan. You must document your income each year. Failure to complete the required annual paperwork may temporarily place you into a flat 10-year repayment plan that may exceed your ability to pay.

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