Beginning monthly payments on a student loan can be stressful, but you can reduce your stress by knowing what to expect and how to prepare before your first payment. The information below is designed to help you understand the repayment process.
Get to Know Your Loan Servicer
The loan servicer is the financial institution that manages your outstanding loan. After the original lender disburses your loan, the loan servicer:
- Communicates with you as the repayment period approaches so that you know what to do when it’s time to begin repaying the loan.
- Sends monthly bills, tracks repayments, and reports delinquencies.
Always keep your loan servicer updated with your current contact information, and contact your loan servicer with any questions about your loan repayment. To find out your servicer for your federal loans, log into StudentLoans.gov. Your loan servicer for all MEFA loans is ACS Education Services and can be reached at 800-397-8386.
Make the Most of Your Grace Period
If you have a deferred loan, it usually comes with a grace period that postpones your first repayment until six months after the student graduates, reduces enrollment to below half-time status, or withdraws from the academic program. This is designed to give the recent graduate time to find a job and get on his or her feet financially. During the grace period:
- Read all of the information that is sent to you by your loan servicer carefully as it will explain your repayment amount, due date, and options.
- Make sure you know when your payments are scheduled to begin. Your loan servicer can provide this information. If you are a MEFA borrower, you can long into ACS Education Services to find out your exact date.
- Plan your loan repayment into your monthly budget so you’re prepared when the first payment is due.
Make Payments On Time
Do everything you can to pay your loan on time, as becoming delinquent or defaulting on your loan can impact your credit score. Here are a few helpful tips:
- If you anticipate difficulty in making a payment, contact your servicer right away to find out your options.
- Explore the different repayment options available to repay your federal loans.
- Use an automatic debit payment process, which ensures on-time payment and avoids delinquencies. MEFA borrowers should enroll in Checkmate ll® with ACS Education Services.
If you’d like to make a MEFA loan payment, you can log in online here (you’ll be brought to the website of ACS, our loan servicer) or send your loan payment to:
PO Box 371821
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7821
Consider Refinancing Your Loans
It may make sense to refinance your loans, which could lower your monthly payment and interest rate, and make it easier to manage your loan debt. Learn more about MEFA’s Education Refinancing Loan to see if this option is right for you.