Taking exit counseling seriously

Graduating college seniors, you probably have a lot on your mind as this final semester of your college career winds down.

No doubt you’ve got finals looming and you’re probably deep in job-hunting mode, not to mention the fact that you probably have to pack up and move in the next few weeks. And there’s one more pesky item that should be on your to-do list if you have a federal student loan: complete your exit counseling session.

If you have a federal student loan, completing your exit counseling session is a requirement. If you have private student loans, it depends on the lender and/or your school as to whether it’s required. I had federal student loans, and when I was a graduating senior, students had to attend these exit sessions in person. This was B.I., of course (Before Internet).

Today, you can sit in the comfort of your dorm or apartment and whiz through your exit counseling session online while in your jammies. And in an effort to cross one more thing off your list, you may be tempted to get it done quickly, without paying much attention to the content.

But please don’t.

Trust me, there will come a day, maybe only a few months down the road when you’ll wish you knew a little more about your student loan. Repaying your student loan is a big responsibility—this time it’s critical to pay attention to the details.

But the exit session is not just about what you have to do. You also have rights as a borrower, and it’s important that you understand them. What if you need to postpone your payments and want a deferment or forbearance on your federal student loan at some point? Is loan consolidation right for you? (Remember that you may not be able to get the same repayment plans, deferment options, loan forgiveness, etc. with private student loans as you do with federal student loans.)

These are just some of the questions that exit counseling can answer for you. So take the time to walk through it carefully and pay close attention. It’s information that you’ll want to know.

About Caroline Hanson

Caroline is a communications consultant for Wells Fargo Education Financial Services. Although she has been known to forget her own ZIP code, she has memorized the lyrics to every bad 1970s pop song ever written. Unfortunately, she also loves karaoke. Caroline spends her spare time at Target®. She also likes biking slowly and has participated in RAGBRAI. Caroline is a graduate of Iowa State University and has worked in journalism and public relations for the past 14 years. She lives in Iowa with her husband and has a 19-year-old stepdaughter and 2-year-old son.
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2 Responses to Taking exit counseling seriously

  1. Jeaneane says:

    I have student loans and since I am a year out from graduation I want to learn as much possible now before I too become overwhelmed by student loans and repayment.

    • studentloandown says:

      Hi Jeaneane, way to be proactive about your student loans! We have a lot of information on the blog that may be useful to you. If you click on the ‘Archive’ tab at the top of the page, you can search for other relevant posts by category. Some categories that may be helpful to you now are ‘After College,’ ‘Budgeting,’ and ‘Paying.’

The Student LoanDown

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