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Pay for College

How to Manage Student Loans

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 how to manage student loans. You can also watch our webinar to learn helpful student loan repayment tips.

Get to Know Your Loan Servicing Provider

Your lender provides you the money for your loan, and your loan servicing provider administers your loan and collects your payments. After your lender disburses your loan, the loan servicing provider:

  • 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, keeps track of your payments, and reports your loan status to the credit reporting agencies.
  • Answers questions about your loan and manages all other tasks associated with your loan

Always keep your loan servicing provider updated with your current contact information, and contact your loan servicing provider with any questions about your loan repayment. Your loan servicing provider for all MEFA loans is American Education Services (AES) and can be reached at (800) 233-0557. You can learn more about AES here. To find out your loan servicing provider for your federal loans, log into StudentLoans.gov.

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 servicing provider 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 servicing provider can provide this information. If you are a MEFA borrower, you can log into your AES account 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. Remember that all borrowers on the loan are equally responsible for repayment of the loan. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • If you anticipate difficulty in making a payment, contact your servicing provider 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 Direct Debit with AES.

If you'd like to make a MEFA loan payment, you can log in online here (you'll be brought to the website of AES, our loan servicing provider) or send your loan payment to:

American Education Services
PO Box 65093
Baltimore, Maryland 21264-5093

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.

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