Debt Management

Keeping records:

Educational loans have long-term implications for your financial future.  Therefore, special attention must be given to the management of your personal and educational debts from the very beginning.  You must keep accurate records of all the debts you incur, including but not limited to:

  copies of loan applications
  loan disclosure statements 
  copies of promissory notes
  correspondence from lenders  
  award letters

 If you have not kept records during your undergraduate years, send a letter to your school’s financial aid office requesting a copy of your financial aid records.  You can then use the information you receive to begin accurate record keeping.

After you have collected and sorted your papers by loan types (e.g., Federal Stafford Loan, Grad PLUS Loan, Alternative Loans, Primary Care Loan, University Loan) it is important to keep your records in one place and to summarize your loans on a loan record chart.  This information should include:

  loan type 
  interest rate 
  year loan received 
  loan amount

This chart can serve not only as a record and an accounting of your debt, but also as a vehicle for responsible budgeting.  Promissory notes and award letters should provide you with most of the information you need to complete the chart.  An example is provided below.

Date Disbursed Type In-school Rate Repayment Rate
7/2006-6/2012 Stafford 6.80% 6.80%
PLUS 8.50% 8.50%
7/1998-6/2006 Stafford 3.61% 4.21%
PLUS 5.01% 5.01%
7/1995-6/1998 Stafford 4.41% 5.00
PLUS 8.05% 8.05%
7/1995-10/1992 Stafford 5.01% 5.01%
PLUS 8.05 8.05%

It is highly recommended that you check your lenders’ web site to access your loan account information online.  This will give you the ability to check the accuracy of your records and payments applied to your account.  Deferment and repayment information is also available at these sites.

Access Group
Key Bank
Discover Student Loans
USA Funds

Student Lending Works