Graduating Student

Graduating students, before you embark on your post-college journey, ensure you're equipped with essential financial knowledge by completing the Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling, and explore options like loan consolidation, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Pay As You Earn repayment plans to navigate your student loan obligations wisely.

Exit Counseling

If you have borrowed from the Federal Direct Loan program as a UMB student, please complete the Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling. It is strongly encouraged to complete this requirement no later than May 1st.

 Graduating students: Are you Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness? 

 If you have any questions please contact us at:  410-706-7347 or email your financial aid counselor.

Loan Repayment

Loan Consolidation | Public Service Loan Forgiveness | Pay As You Earn

Understanding how to manage student loan repayment, which includes options like consolidating federal loans, choosing income-driven repayment plans, and considering programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, requires borrowers to learn about eligibility criteria, talk to loan servicers, and use available resources to make smart decisions about paying off their debt.

Loan Consolidation

Federal student loan consolidation simplifies repayment by combining eligible federal student loans into a single new loan, the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. This consolidation process involves obtaining a new loan to pay off existing federal student loans, with the new loan featuring a fixed interest rate and a repayment term of up to 30 years, depending on the total debt amount.

Eligible loans for consolidation encompass various federal loan types like Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and Nursing Loans. However, private or alternative loans are not eligible for consolidation.

Consolidation offers several benefits, including a fixed interest rate for the entire repayment term, streamlined repayment with one monthly bill, and potentially lower monthly payments through extended repayment terms. Yet, there are considerations to keep in mind. For instance, opting for a longer repayment term may result in paying more interest over the loan's lifespan, and consolidating immediately after graduation might forfeit a portion of the grace period since repayment begins immediately after disbursement of the newly consolidated loan.

While in-school consolidation is no longer an option, borrowers can consolidate once they are enrolled for fewer than six credits or are no longer in school.

It's crucial for borrowers to communicate with their loan servicers for any changes in address or inquiries regarding repayment. Additionally, individuals should be aware that the decision to consolidate rests solely between them and their lender, with the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Education refraining from taking a position on the matter.

For more detailed information on repayment, borrowers can utilize loan repayment calculators and access their personal account with their loan servicer online.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after the borrower has made:

  • 120 qualifying monthly payments
  • under a qualifying repayment plan
  • while working full-time for a qualifying employer

For detailed information on eligibility requirements, please visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness page on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

On Jan. 31, 2012, a discussion on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program was held at UMB. During the discussion, U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter and U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland introduced a new Employment Certification Form to help borrowers track their progress toward PSLF. 

If you have questions about repayment plans for your federal student loans, you may contact your financial aid counselor to schedule an appointment.

Pay As You Earn

Pay As You Earn is an income-driven federal student loan repayment plan available to eligible Direct Loan borrowers. Pay As You Earn functions similarly to the existing Income-Based Repayment plan (IBR) by using factors such as income and family size to determine a borrower’s required monthly payment. However, Pay As You Earn reduces both

  • the percentage of discretionary income a borrower is required to pay toward student loan debt each month (from 15 percent to 10 percent) and
  • the number of years in repayment it would take a borrower to have the balance of their student loans forgiven (from 25 years to 20 years).


The U.S. Department of Education has set guidelines for which borrowers, loans and careers (if applicable) are eligible ...

for its many repayment plans and for programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Ultimately, the loan servicer will confirm a borrower’s eligibility for any specific repayment plan.

Note: Only Direct Loans are eligible for repayment under Pay As You Earn and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.


SFAE First Year Repayment Calculator – Use this spreadsheet to compare repayment estimates for the first year of repayment under Income-Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn, and the standard 10-year repayment plan. You will need your federal student loan history to obtain the most accurate estimates; click here to access your loan history via NSLDS.

Comparing Repayment Plans: Examine the features and requirements of each repayment plan offered by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Students who have questions about loan repayment are encouraged to contact the office of University of Student Financial Assistance via