Every MIT student borrower is assigned a loan counselor based on the first letter of the student's last name. Counselors work with you on issues related to borrowing, repayment and debt management.
A student loan, unlike a scholarship or grant, is borrowed money and must be repaid. You must begin repaying your student loans when you do any of these things:
Repaying your loans on time will help you establish and maintain a good credit rating, and it also helps ensure there will be loan funds available for future MIT students to borrow.
To repay your student loans, you’ll need some information. You can review some of it in a mandatory loan exit counseling session, which you’re required to complete online when you leave MIT under any of the circumstances listed above. Here’s what you need to know to repay your loans:
To make sure your loan repayments go smoothly, remember to:
When you obtain your loan, you will be asked what repayment plan you expect to use. Depending on the loan, you may be able to switch from one plan to another after starting repayment. Options vary among different loans, but may include:
Standard repayment – This plan gives you the option to pay less total interest than other plans because the repayment period is shorter. You make fixed payments of at least $50 a month for up to 10 years. Payments apply toward both the interest and the principal balance.
Extended repayment – This plan, available only to Federal Direct Loan borrowers, gives you lower monthly payments than standard repayment. It usually calls for fixed payments of at least $50 a month over a period that varies from 12 to 30 years.
Graduated repayment – This plan may work for you if you’re just starting your career and expect your income to increase steadily over time. Payments start out low and then increase, generally every two years over a period of 12 to 30 years. However, your monthly payment will never increase more than 1.5 times what you would pay under the standard repayment.
Income-contingent repayment – This plan, available only to Federal Direct Loan borrowers, gives you the flexibility to meet your obligations without causing you financial hardship. Payments are based on the borrower's income and the total amount of debt. Monthly payments (minimum of $5) are adjusted each year as the borrower's income changes. The loan term is up to 25 years; after that point, any remaining balance on the loan will be discharged, though you will have to pay taxes on the amount that is discharged.
Income-based repayment – Payments are calculated on a sliding scale based on income and are capped at 15 percent of the family income above that level. No payments will be required if the borrower is below 150 percent of the poverty level (in 2007, about $31,000 for a family of four). Any unpaid amounts will be added to the loan balance in most cases. The Project on Student Debt and Studentloans.gov have more information, and Finaid.org has a calculator to help borrowers compare the income-based repayment option with the standard repayment option. With income-based repayment:
When you're considering loans with different interest rates and repayment terms, it might help to use the online repayment calculator offered by the U.S. Department of Education.
If you’re having trouble making your student loan payments on time because of financial hardship or other reasons, there are ways to postpone or reduce your payments.
Loan exit counseling
If you borrowed a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you are required by federal law and MIT policy complete an exit interview online before graduation. If you borrowed an MIT Technology Loan, contact your loan counselor to schedule an exit interview. Required reading: the SFS loan exit counseling guide.
Loan entrance counseling
For Federal Direct Loans visit StudentLoans.gov to complete loan entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note. For Federal Perkins Loans visit iPROMise to complete loan counseling and sign a master promissory note.
Campus Partners handles billing and payment for Federal Perkins Loans and MIT Technology Loans.
StudentLoans.gov handles billing and payment for Federal Direct Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans.
Loan payment calculator
Estimate your loan payments.