For federal student loans, Direct (or Stafford) Loans are student loans. Federal PLUS loans are parent loans and always remain the obligation of the parent.
In addition, contact the Financial Aid Office at the college(s) you have attended to determine which lender(s) hold your private student loan(s).
For federal student loans, work with your loan servicer to choose a federal student loan repayment plan that’s best for you. To make your payments more affordable, repayment plans can give you more time to repay your loans or can be based on your income. Federal student loans offer more options for repayment plans than private student loans. http://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans
For private student loans, contact your loan servicer.
The information surrounding the different federal loan repayment plans can be difficult to understand and overwhelming to figure out. Use this calculator to better understand what your federal student loan payments would be under each repayment plan.
Deferment and forbearance options are available for your federal student loans and may be available for your private student loans. Contact the servicer for each of your student loans for additional information.
Deferment - A period of time when a borrower does not need to make payments. Interest may continue to accrue. For federal loans, deferments may be available during periods of unemployment, economic hardships, and more.
Federal Student Loans - A loan funded by the federal government to help pay for your education. Federal loans must be repaid and do accrue interest.
Forbearance - A temporary postponement of payments.
Lender - A private or public entity that extends credit to borrows, i.e. loans money.
Private Student Loans - Non-federal student loans given by a private entity, such as a bank or other organization, to help fund your education. Private loans must be repaid and do accrue interest.
Repayment Plan - A schedule outlining the number of payments, amount of payments, etc.
Servicer - An organization that acts on behalf of a lender to perform tasks such as collecting loan payments.
Your student loan servicer will help you successfully manage your student loan repayment for free. Learn about avoiding student loan repayment scams here.