Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Paying Off Your Student Loans

​Most student loans don’t require repayment until after you graduate (or drop below half-time enrollment).

To get started, make sure you know who and how much you owe. You might have to make payments on multiple loans, and maybe even to different lenders or servicers.

Federal loans

When it comes to repaying your federal student loan, find out when repayment starts, how to make your payment, repayment plan options, and what to do if you have trouble making payments.

  • Find Your Federal Loans
    Visit the National Student Loan Database to see details about your federal loans, including who owns your loan and whether your loan is being serviced by someone other than your lender.
  • Making Payments
    To get started, find the right repayment plan for you and learn how to make payments.

    Federal Loan Repayment Plans
    Information from the U.S. Department of Education.

    How to Make Payments and Get Started
    Information from the U.S. Department of Education on how to get started with repaying federal student loans.

Private loans

When it comes to repaying your private student loan, find out who your loan servicer is, when repayment starts, how to make your payment, repayment plan options, and what to do if you have trouble making payments.

  • Find Your Private Student Loans
    To find the details about your private student loans, gather your loan documents to determine who your lender or loan servicer is. If you have trouble finding this information, contact your student financial aid office.
  • Making Payments - Contact Your Loan Servicer
    Read over the information about repaying your loan. If you have questions, contact your lender or loan servicer.

    A student loan servicer is the middleman between you and the company that lent you money. Student loan servicers collect your student loan bills and keep track of whether you pay them on time. They also help borrowers change repayment plans and can assist you if you are having trouble making your student loan payments.

    If you have trouble working with your servicer, submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Student loan repayment tips

  • Know Your Grace Periods
    Different loans have different grace periods. A grace period is how long you have to make a payment after leaving school.
  • Maintain Contact with Your Lender
    Whenever you move or change contact information, let your lender know right away. Read every piece of mail your lender sends you.
  • Don’t Miss Payments – Set Up Automatic Payments
    Set up automatic payments for your student loans. Some lenders offer discounts for borrowers who set up auto payments.
  • Pay Off High Interest Debt First
    After making required payments, if you have money left over consider accelerating repayment on your highest interest student loan. Paying extra can save you money over the long term.