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Washington State University
Student Financial Services Student Loan Repayment
Student Loan Repayment

After a long payment pause, federal student loan interest will resume beginning September 1, 2023, and payments will be due for most borrowers starting in October. We understand that this may be challenging for many borrowers, but don’t panic. You have options!

WSU is committed to helping students through this transition! For this reason, we have partnered with Student Connections to help students navigate their repayment options! Students entering repayment will be receiving a communication from Student Financial Services introducing you to the Student Connections team. You will also be receiving an email from Student Connections with next steps.  As always, we are here to help!

Student Connections

JUST RELEASED: Student loan borrowers can get lower payments from the new SAVE Plan. If you sign up for the REPAYE Plan now, you will automatically be enrolled in the SAVE Plan before payments resume.

Helpful Resources

Are you borrowing money for school? If so, it is always helpful to plan ahead and map out your path for repaying your loans. What will your monthly payments be? How long is it going to take you to pay them off? Learn more to prepare yourself on how you are going to manage your loans upon leaving WSU.

  1. Cougar Money Matters

    • offers i-Grad, a free online program that helps you manage your finances.
  2. Repayment Calculator

    • Use this calculator to get an idea of what your federal student loan payments might be under each repayment plan that is available to you.
  3. Direct Consolidation Loan Application

    • This application allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments.  Not everyone will qualify to consolidate their loans, so please review the requirements at the link above.
  4. Repayment through Heartland ECSI

    1. If you have a Perkings or Nursing/Health Professionals Loan, setting up repayment through Heartland ECSI will help you manage and repay either of these loans.
  5. Loan Forgiveness Programs

    • The US Department of Education offers 2 loan forgiveness programs to encourage borrowers to enter full-time public service or teach in certain high-need areas in high-need subjects.  Not everyone will qualify for loan forgiveness.  Please review the requirements at the link above

How to Prepare for Successful Student Loan Repayment

  1. Use your FSA ID to log into

    • Your FSA ID (the same you used to complete your FAFSA) will include a username and password. Once logged in, update your personal information and confirm your student loan servicer(s).
  2. Confirm your student loan servicer

    • Your servicer may vary depending on the type of loan you have. If you don’t know who your servicer is, log into and visit the “My Loan Servicers” section of your dashboard.
  3. Log into your loan servicer account and update your contact information

    • Create an account or log into an existing one via the servicer’s website. Review and update your personal contact information, including your email and mailing address, so your servicer can reach you.
  4. Reauthorize or select auto debit for monthly payments

    • If you were previously signed up for automatic debit before the payment pause began, you must reauthorize or select automatic debit through your loan servicer account. This will allow your loan payments to be automatically withdrawn from your bank account every month.
  5. Review payment due date and amount

    • Make note of your monthly payment amount and the date your first payment will be due, and update any changed banking information to ensure you either proactively make a payment by the deadline OR are prepared for the funds to be drawn down by auto debit.

Picking the Right Repayment Plan

  1. Review your student loan servicer account

    • The contact information your servicer has may need to be updated. It is important that your servicer has accurate contact information so they can reach you with pertinent updates. You should also review your outstanding balances and accrued interest.
  2. Consider your repayment strategy and decide whether you need to change plans

    • When you completed loan exit counseling, you selected a plan to repay your student loans. If you didn’t select a repayment plan, you were automatically placed in the standard plan. If the plan you were previously in no longer aligns with your repayment strategy, you may want to consider switching.
  3. Research repayment options and confirm the best plan for you

    • The standard repayment plan is solely based on the amount you borrowed, and divides your balance (plus interest) into equal, fixed monthly payments. Others, known as income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, take your income into account. In many cases, an IDR plan will provide you with a lower monthly payment. If you don’t remember which plan you’re in, you can find it on or on your loan servicer’s portal. You can also find information on your outstanding balances, accrued interest, and current monthly payment. Your loan servicer may also have repayment calculator tools to help you figure out which plan is right for you.
  4. Once you’ve selected your plan, make the change in your servicer portal or

    • If you decide to change your repayment plan to a non-IDR plan, log into your loan servicer’s website to initiate the change. If you would like to apply for an IDR plan, you can do so via Keep in mind that if you select an IDR plan, you may be asked for additional information to certify your income and family size. If you need help selecting a plan or completing the process, contact your loan servicer.

Tips & Tricks to Prepare for Student Loan Repayment

  1. Start Early & Be Ready

    • Don’t delay being proactive if you anticipate encountering any troubles as repayment begins, as there are consequences to not being prepared.
  2. Review Your Personal Budget

    • Review your personal budget to ensure that you’ll be able to make your necessary monthly payments. You can find resources to help you create, manage, and maintain your budget on
  3. Be Patient & Remain Diligent

    • With millions of borrowers transitioning into repayment at the same time, it is possible that loan servicers may be overwhelmed with a high volume of inquiries. It is possible you may not reach your servicer via phone the first time you call, and you may need to call a few times before getting connected. You may be able to find the information you’re looking for on your own on your loan servicer’s website, or by emailing or using live chat features.
  4. Keep Documentation

    • Keep good documentation of your financial aid and loan servicer records and communications, such as forms, research, who you spoke to, and detailed notes of what you discussed.
  5. Stay Alert to Avoid Scams

    • Your student loan servicer will provide you with free assistance; you should never pay an outside entity to help with your student loans.
    • If you don’t know who your servicer is, you can find out by logging into and visiting the “My Loan Servicers” section of your dashboard.
    • While you may reach your loan servicer via phone, your servicer will always initiate communications with you via email. Unless you initiate the contact, you should never share personal information over the phone.