Exit Information

Exit Counseling Requirements

Federal regulations require that all federal student loan borrowers complete an exit counseling session prior to graduation, or upon dropping below half-time status. You will be provided information regarding your obligation to repay your federal loans, as well as the conditions for deferment, forbearance, and cancellation. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about loan management after college.

If you are withdrawing, you should contact us at 617-373-3190 so we can provide you with information on the loans that you have borrowed while in attendance at Northeastern. 

If you borrowed any private loans while attending the university, please contact your lender(s) directly for information regarding current balances, repayment, and deferment options.

Exit Sessions

There are two separate processes that you may need to complete depending on which types of loans you borrowed:

1. If you borrowed a Federal Stafford or PLUS loan, you can complete the online exit counseling for these loans by visiting:

• www.studentloans.gov

The same federal PIN used in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be used to log in to the NSLDS website and view your federal loan history.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact your financial aid counselor. Be sure to keep confirmation that you completed your session:

2. If you borrowed a Federal Perkins, Health Professions, Nursing and/or Physician Assistant Student Loan, the Student Loan Collections Office will contact you with details for completing additional requirements. If you completed exit paperwork for these types of loans in a prior semester, but did not graduate, you will need to complete exit paperwork again as the dates of loan repayment will change.

Please note: your diploma will not be released until all necessary steps are complete.

Federal Student Loan Repayment Options

Standard Repayment
In this repayment method, equal monthly payments of principal and interest are made over the loan repayment term (usually ten years). You'll pay the least amount of total interest using this payment plan.

Income-Based Repayment

The amount of the monthly payment is calculated at 15% of discretionary income (the difference between AGI and the federal poverty line). The maximum repayment period is 25 years; if you are unable to repay your loan in this amount of time, the loan will be discharged. Additional information on the IBR plan is available here. 

Income-Sensitive Repayment
In this plan, monthly payment amounts are calculated as a percentage of monthly gross income. As your income may change, you must reapply for this plan every year. 

Graduated Repayment

This repayment method payment allows you to make reduced payments in the earlier years of your loan repayment term, with a gradual increase in payment amount over time. 

Extended Repayment

If the total balance of your Federal Stafford, PLUS, or Consolidation loans is above $30,000, you may apply for an extension on your repayment term (up to 25 years). 


You may pay all or part of your loan balance during the term of the loan without penalty. This will greatly reduce the total interest paid on your loans. 


A deferment is a period during which payments of principal are postponed. No interest accrues on either Subsidized Stafford or Perkins loans. Interest is charged on Unsubsidized Stafford loans and may be paid or allowed to accrue and capitalize. Borrowers must meet specific eligibility criteria and request the deferment from their lender(s). 


During a period of forbearance, borrowers may either suspend payments or reduce their scheduled monthly payment amount on a temporary basis. The lender grants forbearance for a period of up to one year for borrowers who are willing but unable to make their monthly payments. The forbearance is renewable upon the borrower's request and the lender's approval. Interest continues to accrue on the subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The accrued interest may be paid or will be capitalized after the forbearance ends.

Loan Consolidation

A consolidation loan combines several federal student or parent loans into one larger loan from a single lender, which is then used to pay off the balances on the other loans. This includes subsidized and unsubsidized Staffords, Perkins, HPL, Nursing, and Parent PLUS loans; Private student loans cannot be included in a consolidation loan.

The interest rate on a federal consolidation loan is the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of a percentage point. The weighted average does not change the cost of the individual loans; it will always be in between the highest and lowest rates of the underlying loans. Thus, the amount of interest you pay over the lifetime of the loan will be about the same as if you did not consolidate. You actually pay a little bit more, due to the 1/8th percentage point increase on the interest rate. If you were deferring the interest on an unsubsidized Stafford loan, it will be capitalized and added to the loan principal when you consolidate.

A consolidation loan often reduces the amount of your monthly payment by extending (12-30 years) the term of the loan beyond the 10-year repayment plan that is the standard for federal loans. This reduction in monthly payment can make the loan easier to repay for some borrowers. However, by extending the term of a loan, the total amount of interest you will pay is increased.

For additional information on loan consolidation, please visit http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.

FSA Ombudsman Office

The Ombudsman's office is a resource for borrowers when other approaches to resolving student loan problems have failed. Contact: toll-free at 1-877-577-2575 or online at http://fsahelp.ed.gov.