When entering into an agreement for a student loan, it is important to create an effective repayment strategy. The steps below are applicable regardless of your program of study and future post-Drexel plans.
Effectively managing your student loans is a long-term goal that influences your credit, future plans, and overall financial health.
Selecting a Repayment Strategy
It is important for you to know what you borrowed, who is servicing your loans and the dates your payments are due.
- The National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) should list all your Stafford, Graduate PLUS (for graduate and professional students), Perkins, and Federal Consolidation Loans, regardless of their status.
- Log in to the National Student Loan Database.
- A summary of your federal student loans will be listed.
- To view information about a specific loan, such as who the servicer is, choose the number to the left of the loan.
- Check all other records where loan information would be listed:
- Most federal loans come due six months after you leave school (graduate, withdraw or drop below part-time status).
- Perkins Loans have a 9-month grace period.
- Check the promissory note you signed for any private loans for details about repayment.
- When you graduate, withdraw, or drop below part-time status, you are required to complete Exit Counseling for your federal loans such as Stafford and Graduate PLUS.
- Exit Counseling for Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans are completed online.
- Exit Counseling for Perkins and other campus-based loans are completed online. You will need Drexel's school code (7D), your Social Security number, and Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to log in.
Knowing all of the different repayment plan options will help you with the next two steps.
- During Exit Counseling, you will be advised on the different options available for federal loans.
- Information about the different repayment methods available, as well as on deferment and forbearance of loans, can be found online.
- You should consult with your lender about repayment options for any private education loans you may have.
- Your federally owned loans are likely with one loan servicer and they may offer "combined" or "single" billing, possibly negating one reason to consolidate.
- Campus-based loans will have different services unless you consolidate.
It is not enough to set goals and objectives; you should be constantly reviewing them as well to determine if they still fit your circumstances.
- Many new graduates find they need time to adequately establish themselves financially and may therefore pay only required minimums or look to defer payments for bills to maximize cash flow. If you find yourself in a situation like this, keep in mind:
- You could consider applying for an Income-Driven Repayment plan like Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Income-Based Repayment (IBR).
- You could also consider requesting a postponement of payments (forbearance) for a set period of time.
- If you are considering a forbearance or any other postponement option, remember that the longer you postpone repayment, the higher the ultimate repayment amount.
- Some students going into repayment want to minimize interest capitalization to reduce the total amount repaid.
- Consider Standard 10-year repayment, Extended 25-year, or any other plan that provides payments you can comfortably afford each month (including PAYE and IBR).
- No matter what plan you choose, always try to make extra principal payments whenever possible on the loan with the highest amount.
- Your post-Drexel career/employment plans may make you eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
- PSLF is designed for borrowers with high debt and low to moderate incomes who are interested in a career in the nonprofit sector.
- If PSLF is part of your repayment strategy, consider choosing PAYE or IBR. You may not need to make extra payments, but review this strategy each year when you renew PAYE or IBR.
- Important information about PSLF can be found online.
After careful review of all the information available, you will be able to make an informed decision.
- You can use the Repayment Estimator to see estimated monthly payments under all available repayment plans.
- Reevaluate your repayment strategy every year and with changes in income and family size.
- Remember, there is no penalty for early repayment under any federal repayment plan.
Information about Campus-Based Loans
institutional and (previously-issued) Perkins loans are considered "campus-based loans" and are solely in the student's name, which means you are the only individual responsible for paying them back.
Drexel University utilizes Educational Computer Systems, Incorporated (ECSI) to manage all its campus-based loan programs, which include the following loan types:
- Federal Perkins Loans (discontinued)
- Drexel Institutional Loans
- Drexel Emergency Loans
- Primary Care Loans
- Nursing Student Loans
- HHS Loans for Disadvantaged Students
You can view your Perkins and institutional student loan accounts, download forms, update your address and make online payments by logging into the ECSI website. Your five-digit security code will be included on the first invoice from ECSI and will allow only you to access your confidential account information.
ECSI bills on the 15th of the month with payment due on the 1st of the month. Drexel University highly encourages you to participate in electronic billing and payment of your Perkins or institutional student loans. Mailed payments and correspondence, forbearance, deferment, and cancellation applications should be sent to:
100 Global View Drive, Suite 800
Warrendale, PA 15086
ECSI can also be contacted by:
Telephone – 888.549.3274
Fax – 886.291.5384