Loan Repayment

Repayment Information

While you are enrolled at least half-time time (six credit hours as an undergraduate, or four credit hours as a graduate student) your loans will be in an “in school deferment” status.  This means you are not required to make payments on your federal loans.  It is a good idea, if you are able, to make payments on your loans while you are enrolled.  This will help reduce your overall indebtedness when you leave school.

Once your enrollment drops to less than half-time, your federal loans will enter a grace period status.  The grace period is a length of time during which you are not required to make payments on your loans. The length of the grace period depends on the type of loan that you have borrowed.  Direct Loans have a six month grace period while the Perkins Loan offers a nine month grace period.  This is a great time to set up an account with your loan servicer as well as review and select a repayment plan that works for you.  Once your grace period ends your repayment begins. 

If you are entering repayment click here for NMU's Steps to Repayment.

Repayment Plans

There are several repayment plans available for students. The chart below provides an example of the repayment plans where the student had borrowed $31,000.

Loan Repayment Chart

You may use the Federal Student Aid Repayment Estimator to calculate your repayment options.  You may choose to either log in and your personal loan information will be calculated or you may proceed without logging in and you may “Add Loans” to estimated repayment.

Federal Loan Servicers

The Loan Servicer is the organization responsible for billing, collecting and managing your loan repayment, and deferment/forbearance processing. You will send loan payments directly to your servicer.

Your servicer will contact you to provide important information about your repayment terms. It is your responsibility to notify your servicer directly any time your phone number, email address, or mailing address information changes.

Your servicer will send you information about your loans by mail and/or email - Be sure to open and read it!

If you do not know which agency services your loans, visit NSLDS to view your loan details and obtain your loan servicer contact information.  It is a wise choice to create an on-line account with your federal loan servicer.  This way you will be able to easily make a payment and review your loan balance.

Federal Loan Servicer




Cornerstone Education Loan Services


ESA/EdFinancial Services


FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)


Granite State Management and Resources


Great Lakes Educational Loan Services






OSLA Servicing




VSAC Federal Loans


Perkins Loans


Department of Education - Federal Student Aid 1-800-433-3243

Loan Consolidation
Consolidating your federal education loans can simplify your payments, but it also can result in loss of some benefits.  A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments.  Read more to determine if loan consolidation is right for you.

Federal Direct Loan Forgiveness Programs
The Department of Education offers two Federal Direct Loan forgiveness programs to encourage individuals to enter or continue to work full-time in certain fields of employment. Forgiveness eligibility is based on career type, repayment plan, and loan type.  

Public Service Forgiveness Program | Teacher Loan Forgiveness


William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loans

Repayment of subsidized and unsubsidized loans begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. To access information on your previously disbursed Direct Loans, as well as an overall balance, go to the Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System website. Based on the Winter 2013 Semester results the average graduating student borrowed $25,905 in Direct Loans.

Sample Repayment A student that borrowed $25,905 in Direct Loans at 6.8% while at Northern Michigan University who enrolls in the Direct Loan standard repayment plan would expect to pay $298 a month for 10 years (120 payments). That student would have paid back the $25,905 plus $9,869 in interest during repayment. To calculate your estimated monthly payments on your Federal loans, use the calculator on the Department of Education's website here.

Exit Counseling Students who borrowed Direct Loans while at Northern Michigan University must complete exit counseling at This counseling will not only stress the necessity of paying back your Direct Loans, but also give you options for repayment, options if payments cannot be made on time, etc. Please remember, the longer it takes for you to pay back your Direct Loans, the more you will end up paying back in the end.

Late Payments/Defaulting

Making late or no payments on your Direct Loan will negatively impact your credit. Your loan will go into a defaulted status once you are 360 days behind on your loan payments. This action will have serious consequences for you on many levels. There are always options before defaulting.

  • NMU's 2012 - 3 year cohort default rate = 9.6%
  • NMU's 2011 - 3 year cohort default rate = 12.1%
  • NMU's 2010 - 3 year cohort default rate = 10.3%

The cohort default rates is the percentage of students that default on their Federal loans within two years of the fiscal year they enter repayment. For tips on how to prevent defaulting on your student loans, please click here.