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Student Loan Repayment

Managing your student loan debt is important. If you have any difficulty with your loans, the best strategy is to immediately contact your student loan servicer. You can get information about all of the federal student loans you have received and find the loan servicer­ for your loans by logging in to My Federal Student Aid.

Know Your Repayment Options for Federal Loans

After you graduate, you'll be able to decide on a repayment plan of your choice. If you don't, then you're automatically enrolled in the Standard Repayment Plan. With the Standard Repayment Plan, monthly bills are higher but the loan is paid off sooner, saving you money over time. Alternatively, the Graduated Plan begins with lower payments and they increase every two years. There are several repayment plans that you can choose from, and you are able to change your plan at any time. 

The different plans may seem similar, but each has distinct pros and cons. As a result, choosing the best option for your personal situation is important. Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time—for free. Contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information on the different types of repayment plans.

Department of Education’s Loan Simulator

Before you contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment plans, you can use the Department of Education’s Loan Simulator to get an early look at which plans you may be eligible for and see estimates for how much you would pay monthly and overall. Have the information you will need on hand. The DoE website cautions that you will need to complete the Loan Simulator in one session.

NOTE: If you're seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness for your federal student loan, you are required to be enrolled in one of the four income-driven repayment plans: PAYE, REPAYE, Income-Based Repayment, or Income Contingent Repayment. Learn more about income-driven repayment options on the Federal Student Aid website.

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Consolidating vs. Refinancing Student Loans

Nomenclature is important with student loans. Although the terms consolidating and refinancing may be used interchangeably, they have very different meanings in the world of student loans.

Technically, consolidation applies only to federal loans. Borrowers with more than one federal loan may take a new government consolidation loan to effectively combine all of their outstanding federal loans. The primary benefits of a consolidation loan: one new loan, one payment, one servicer. The payment term may be extended to 30 years if the outstanding loan balance is large enough. Consolidating federal student loans may be a good strategy to lower monthly payments or to get out of default, but it is not always a good idea.

CAUTION: The consolidation loan interest rate is the weighted average of the loans being consolidated rounded UP to the nearest 1/8 of 1%. This means that the interest rate on the consolidation loan may be higher than your current interest rates.  Also, the total cost of your loans will likely increase because the term is likely to be extended and the interest rate may be slightly higher. 

On the other hand, refinancing student loans generally indicates that you have found a private lender who will make a new loan for you to pay off your outstanding loans. You may refinance one or more of your outstanding student loans. You may also refinance federal and/or private loans. There are some great reasons to refinance student loans: You can lock in lower interest rates, reduce monthly payments, and/or get rid of debt faster.

CAUTION: When you refinance federal loans, you lose all of the federal benefits associated with federal loans including the favorable repayment programs and access to many of the loan forgiveness programs.

Deferment and Forbearance

A deferment or forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making your federal student loan payments or to temporarily reduce the amount you pay. If necessary, after your grace period ends you can further delay loan repayment through either deferment or forbearance, which allows borrowers to suspend or reduce their payments under special circumstances. Be aware that unless you have a Perkins or Subsidized Loan, you are responsible for paying the interest that builds up during the deferment period. 

If you don't qualify for a deferment, then you can apply for forbearance to stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment for up to 12 months. There are two types of forbearances:

  • Discretionary – Forbearance requests due to illness or financial hardship that your lender decides to grant or not to grant.
  • Mandatory forbearance – Your lender is required to grant you a forbearance if you meet the eligibility requirements.

There are pros and cons to each of these options. It's important to know the costs and benefits of each before you make a decision about which is right for you.

Learn more about student loan deferment and forbearance on the Department of Education's website.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program can be very beneficial to borrowers who qualify. The key is being an educated consumer and ensuring that you meet the requirements for the program right from the start.

  • You need to make 120 eligible payments, on eligible loans, while working for an eligible employer. The key to PSLF eligibility is that you must fulfill all the requirements concurrently, but you don’t need to do so consecutively. This means that only payments made while under an eligible repayment plan on a Federal Direct Loan, and while working for an eligible employer will count towards the 120 you’ll need to receive forgiveness of your loan balance. With that said, if you leave eligible employment at some point, say to return to school, or take a job in the private sector, your prior eligible payments will still be counted if you return to work for an eligible employer and want to continue pursuing PSLF.
  • Be careful about consolidating your loans. Consolidation re-starts the clock for counting the 120 eligible payments. This means if you made payments on your federal student loans and then consolidated those loans, the payments made on the loans which were consolidated do not count toward the 120 eligible payments. Once it’s done, there’s no reversing the process to make those payments on the underlying loans eligible for PSLF. Most borrowers do not need to consolidate their loans to pursue PSLF. The benefits of consolidation may still be important to you; just be aware that the eligible payment clock will restart. 
  • Get in the habit of submitting your proof of employment annually. Submitting the Employment Certification Form annually will trigger the servicer to start counting your eligible payments right away. It will also result in the borrower receiving notification if the employment or payments are not seen as eligible – something borrowers should know when they are starting to make payments rather than after ten years have passed. The PSLF Employer Certification Form and FAQ’s can be found on the Department of Education’s website.

Because you have to make 120 qualifying monthly payments, it will take at least 10 years before you can qualify for PSLF. After you make your 120th qualifying monthly payment for PSLF, you’ll need to submit the PSLF application to receive loan forgiveness. You must be working for a qualifying employer at the time you submit the PSLF application and at the time the remaining balance on your loan is forgiven. Access the application and learn more about the process to apply on the Department of Education’s website.

Depending on a number of factors, including whether you provided timely proof of being employed by an eligible employer via the ECF process, it could take a couple of months or significantly more time if you have to provide additional documentation.

Learn more about the PSLF program and resources on the Department of Education’s website

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Don’t pay for help managing or consolidating your federal student loan. There are plenty of free resources.


USSFCU membership is a great asset when it comes to managing your day-to-day finances and financial wellness as a whole. For 85 years, USSFCU has provided the U.S. Senate and Capitol Hill communities with world-class financial stability, security, and service. Learn more about us, check out our financial literacy blogs, and explore our other financial education and learning resources.


The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of third-party information.

It's your staff that make us keep coming back for years and years.

Thank you for letting all of us be a part of your celebration - Happy 85!

USSFCU makes me feel more appreciated than any bank I've had before and helps me save for my future home.

USSFCU Happy 85!!! Best banking and customer service since I was 12. Thank you!

Happy Anniversary to an institution that has become part of our family! Thank you for everything!

Happy Anniversary, thank you for helping retirees with better rates.

Happy Anniversary and thanks to all employees for always being friendly and providing great service.

It's your 85th anniversary, and it's my birthday month - Happy Anniversary to you and Happy Birthday to me!!!

I really enjoy USSFCU's great customer service! They are always so helpful when I call or visit a branch and make my banking experience easy and enjoyable. Thank you!

Congratulations on your 85th year! Thank you for being the best credit union in the business.

Happy 85th Anniversary! I've been a member for 27 years and have always appreciated the great rates and service. Here's to at least 85 more years...

I was referred to USSFCU when I was building my swimming pool. This is the first banking experience that I have had in 48 years that has been so pleasant. USSFCU is the best and the ease of utilizing them for your banking needs is a MUST! Happy Anniversary and MANY MANY MORE!

Happy 85th Anniversary USSFCU and thank you for providing the services that you do as you helped my family to fulfill a dream that we had and it is certainly appreciated.

Happy Anniversary! Much to be proud of... especially the customer service.

When I joined in 1992, I was young and didn't have much financial wherewithal. Over the years, when I've needed a loan, you've helped me out. When I had extra money not doing anything in a savings account, a representative reached out to me to open a money market account. When I bought my first car, you gave me that loan. You've helped me on my fin...

Happy 85th Anniversary! Thank you for providing such great service to all of us who have worked for the U.S. Senate. Having a credit union devoted to our financial care is appreciated. Here's to 85 additional years!!

Happy Anniversary, USSFCU! I have been a proud member since 1993 when I opened my account upon getting my first job out of college in the Architect of the Capitol Curator's Office. Thank you for your service! It's been a great banking experience for me for 27 years.

Happy anniversary! I'm a 20 year member -- I've had/have numerous loans and have always had a great experience working with your staff.

Happy 85th Anniversary. I have been a member for 27 years. I have had nothing but success with my financial goals as a member of USSFCU. Thanks so much!

I joined USSFCU in 1993. I had just started a job as Executive Assistant to a U.S. Senator and being a Black Woman, I felt intimidated and not always accepted in the Senate environment. The one place I felt truly welcomed and comfortable was in the credit union. The staff was professional, courteous and made me feel at home the minute I walked in ...

I am so grateful to be apart of the USSFCU family. I have received outstanding service and am very glad I decided to join this credit union.

Happy 85th to USSFCU!! Thanks for everything! Here's to 85 more years!

Happy 85 years! May your operations continue to flourish!

The USSFCU has been great. I signed up my 2 sons and they have been able use the banking services for their higher education.

Happy 85th from a 53-year member. I remember when the credit union was located adjacent to the barbershop in the basement of the Old Senate Office Building. Great service then! Great service now!

I work in-state but your agency has made it so easy to do business with in many ways. I have a VISA, checking, savings etc. with you and even when I call from Ohio, everyone is so helpful and eager to help. Thank you and Happy Anniversary.

My 38th year as a USSFCU member! I love the personalized service and your kindness over the years. Happy 85th Anniversary!

My first job in Washington was at NRSC which came with Senate FCU privileges. That was in 1989 - I left DC in 1995 and to this day I love the reaction when people see the senate emblem on my credit card and checks.

I joined right after college after accepting my fist job in the USS; now 26 years later, I'm still a member and so happy with your products and service! Congratulations on 85 years of doing right by your members!

As a member of USSFCU since 1967, I can remember when it consisted of one room in the basement of the Russell Building. Congratulations!

Happy 85th! You don't look a day over 30.

Thanks for the great service members receive every day. Happy anniversary.

I have been a member of USSFCU for sixty years and it is still my financial institution of choice. Their service is exceptional and their staff is friendly and helpful.

I was a senate page and messenger for the sergeant of arms when I was 15. 43 years later I'm still a member. I could find no better place to bank despite overseas military serves. Simper Fi! Works here also.

Happy 85th Anniversary USSFCU. I have been a member since I began working for Senator Alan Cranston (Democrat from California) in 1982. Although, I left the Senate when Senator Cranston left office, I have remained a member of the United States Senate Federal Credit to this day. I have had nothing but positive service from USSFCU and will continue ...

More than 20 years with the USSFCU. I am grateful for their friendship. Happy Anniversary!

Happy anniversary! I feel safe and secure banking with my USSFCU family.

Happy anniversary! The wife and I are so happy to be members.

Happy Anniversary! Keep adding value to the great banking services provided to make peoples' lives better.

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all you've done for our family over the past 3 years.

Congrats!! This is the first credit Union I've ever joined and my experience so far has been fantastic!! From everyday help with new cards, to recently adding my new wife to our account after our wedding on 9/27! Thank you for all of you do!! Looking forward to another 85 years!

It's hard to believe how much we've been through since we got together in 1972- two children with accounts, cars, home improvements. I don't know what I would have done without you.

Happy Anniversary to our wonderful family! Wishing you many more years of accomplishments!

Happy Anniversary to USSFCU! I have been a member since 1982. I only worked in the Senate for one year but I'd never give up my membership in the USSFCU! Here's to at least 85 more years!!

My 85 year old mom was born on October 8, 1935... exactly when USSFCU was founded! How's that for karma!!

Happy anniversary United States Senate Federal Credit Union. I love my credit union and the great rates with Visa and car loans. Hoping to refinance my home soon with y'all. My birthday is October 8 and I'll be 57, to think that USSFCU was already 28 years old when I was born. That's amazing keep the good work up.

Thank to the entire USSFCU Team. My every interaction with all of you has been kind and efficient. I appreciate all our your efforts to make our days a little easier and brighter!

Congratulations to USSFCU for 85 years of service...I joined when the Credit Union was just a room in the basement of the Russell Building nearly 50 years ago.

Congratulations Senate Federal Credit Union on celebrating 85 years! I have been blessed to be a member since 1998! I also had the great honor and pleasure to support the Hart Branch of the USSFCU while an employee of the Senate Sergeant at Arms Operations Division! The Hart Branch of the USSFCU has the kindest, friendliest, most professional emplo...

I started in the Senate in 1977. I was in need of a car and had just a few hundred dollars to my name since coming from Minnesota. My boss told me about the Credit Union and walked me over to the Russell building and introduced me to Virginia P. where I joined and she gave me a loan for 1600.00 to buy a car that afternoon.

Congrats! USSFCU has been a reliable financial partner for my family saving me on fees and with low car and personal loan rates. On to the next 85 years!

Thank you for your wonderful service. I joined in 1989 when working for Senator Cochran.

Happy anniversary! Thank you for decades of superb service!

Glad to be part of this great anniversary!

Wishing you a most happy 85th Anniversary. You provide excellent service!

Congratulations to USSFCU on 85 years of service to the community.

Happy Anniversary to one of the best credit unions in the United States! Great for all banking needs.

Happy Anniversary!!! I have been a member since 1993...thank you for the excellent service throughout the years...I wouldn't trust anyone else with my money!

Happy Anniversary USSFCU, you have always been there for me! Your personalized businesses model is unprecedented exhibited by professionalism, kindness with a willingness to make your clients happy will keep us all coming back for years to come! Cheers to the next 85 years.

Happiest of anniversaries to a super credit union. You have given us kind, faithful service. May you be richly blessed in return.

Our family really appreciates all the services the credit union has to offer. We have financed (and re-financed) our mortgage, opened retirement accounts, and established our kids' first bank accounts with USSFCU. Thanks for all that you do!

Thank You for being there through all of these years.

Been a member for more than 50 years. Congratulations!

Happy Anniversary. Keep up the great Union benefits.

I've been a member since I first moved to the area and wouldn't change a thing!

When I became part of the Senate staff it was clear many new doors would open. One, to ussfcu, has remained so for many (about 50 or more) years, helping us through small and larger problems, We have used, enjoyed and appreciated their services.

I've enjoyed banking with USSFCU over the years! It was helpful for managing my money for everything from grad school to my first home to my kids!

A colleague told me she was getting a higher than average interest rate on her savings. I said, "That's the bank for me!"

Congratulations on 85 years. Opening a USSFCU account was one of the very first things I did when I started working on Capitol Hill 20 years ago and I?ve never looked back. It?s my primary bank account to this day. Best wishes for the next 85 years.

Happy 85th. I joined at age 16 in 1979 when I started what turned out to be a full career with the Senate. Things certainly have changed as USSEFCU grew and dropped the "E".

The USSFCU has always been there for me. The staff has shown nothing but professionalism.

Congratulations on 85 years of service to the Congressional community!

I had just graduated from college mid-year and moved to DC from the Midwest in January 1982. One of the first things I was told to do after starting work in the Senate was to open an account at the credit union. I did, and despite the fact that my boss lost in 1984, I have kept my account. The credit union helped me buy my first car. Lots of great ...

It?s a Happy Anniversary for all USSCU members thanks to the 85 years of wonderful and thoughtful service!!! I still love my classic checks! Happy Anniversary!

Happy 85th Anniversary USSFCU! I have been a member since 1983 and I appreciate the tremendous service that I have received throughout my 37 year membership. Keep up the great work!

Ever since I joined in 2011, I've experienced nothing but superior service from USSFCU! From teller assistance to phone conversations, I have never been disappointed. I've banked with many different institutions but I can never see myself leaving USSFCU. Thanks so much!

Happy 85th birthday to an incredible credit union who is always looking out to its members each and every year. Congratulations on this milestone!

Congratulations USSFC! Great customer service. A first class organization!

Very thankful of the stability provided by the USSFCU in these crazy times. Wishing you all safety and love and Happy Anniversary.

Congratulations USSFCU!!! I am a long time member, not only because it is convenient but because of the great service from Credit Union staff. Friendly efficient service from staff at the Hart, Alexandria and GAO locations always comes with a smile. I can't wait for the next annual meeting. Thanks and looking forward to another 85 years.

Thanks to the USSFCU I was able to receive a car loan after years of bad credit. This is a wonderful institution.

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all that you do. We love our new pool!

I worked in the Senate for 23 years and it was so convenient to dash down to the Credit Union. Following that, I went to the State Department to work for a senior official. My contact from the Credit Union (Dana) was extraordinarily helpful in all things money-related for my "Principal" and for me. I couldn't have managed nearly as well as I did wi...

Thank you for serving the community. It is a pleasure and a joy to say I am a member.

Congratulations USSFCU! I appreciate your efforts to expand services and protect your membership here and abroad.

As a member for more than 40 years, I am thrilled that the USSFCU has reached this milestone, and I wish continued success in the next 85!!!

I have been a member for 40 years and it is one (1) of the best decisions I have ever made for my financial future. Greta, was my 1st teller and has continued to be a very supporting advisor throughout all these years..Happy Anniversary to all your members.

The USSFCU has ALWAYS given me and my family the best service for the last 20 years. I would never switch my banking to any place else. They?re the best!

Eighty-five years is about a lifetime. That's how long we can depend on USSFCU to be with us in good times and bad - for a lifetime.

Estoy muy contento ...

Congrats on making it to 85 and still giving the 3S: Stability, Security, Service and do add Satisfaction

Happy Anniversary! 85 years of helping people fulfill their financial goals, woohoo!!!

I just heard! Is it true? Eighty-five years... Whoop-de-do!

USSFCU has been a great resource for this service disabled Vet - thank you & happy anniversary!!!

Happy 85 Anniversary, I thank for the great job you guys always do, Thanks for allowing me to be part of your family.

Awesome to be celebrating my 25th year Silver anniversary with my credit union spouse the same week that USSFCU is celebrating 85. Much love and gratitude.

A credit union is the financial bestie for working people. I was employed as a credit union rep for 9 years. I promoted legislation to save credit unions as a Us Senate staff representative. Credit unions know who we are as people. I salute the services and dedication of 85 years non stop from the UNITED STATES SENATE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. Please g...

It?s not just a corporate anniversary, it is an anniversary of a family and community that has grown stronger over the years. USSFCU started with a few but now there are many, not only in numbers but also in engagement, resources, and talents. Wishing you many more years of unparalleled service and success. Happy 85th anniversary USSFCU!

Congratulations from Michigan. Many more successful years ahead.

Happy Anniversary! Your dedicated customer service, both in person and by phone, is greatly appreciated. Thanks for doing it right!

Happy 85th anniversary USSFCU. Thank you for your service! I appreciate the credit union so much.

Congrats! Thanks for being my bank for 42 years!

Have been a happy USSFCU member since the 1980's!

Cheers to our Credit Union on its 85th! Proud to be a Member! Being part the USSFCU has special meaning for me because the first Federally-chartered credit union in the United States was in my hometown: Texarkana, Texas (Morris Sheppherd FCU, in 1934). In addition, a huge influence in my future life in Washington was Congressman Wright Patman, who ...

Happy anniversary USSFCU! I've been a member for 30 years (I'm pretty sure). It's been a great convenience having you in the building, and everyone is always super nice. Thank you!

Thank you for all of your great support over the years! It's nice to call and get similar voices, too, so that means you take care of your employees. Keep up the good work!

2 years ago my dream of owning my own pool came true! Thanks to USSFCU we were able to put in a pool, making my childhood dream come true! Today my children enjoy the pool all the time! Thank you and happy anniversary!!

Happy 85th Anniversary! I have been with the USSFCU since the 80's when I first started working as a teenager. Many loans, careers, military service and years later I am still here despite attempts by other institutions to gain my business. The USSFCU has always been fair, reasonable and looked out for my family and I.

It's been a pleasure banking you'll for nearly 20 years starting with a young savers account. You'll have great rates and the new learning tools are just amazing keep up the great work.

Happy Anniversary! I've been a member over two decades and appreciate the ease of banking and excellent customer service I?ve always received. Cheers to 85 more years!

USSFCU was my first bank - I can remember back in 1998 when I deposited my first check! I have continued to rely on USSFCU for all my banking needs throughout my life milestones and look forward to the future.

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