New Grad Student Loan Checklist


Veterinary School Post-graduation

☐ Review NSLDS.ED.GOV for complete federal student loan history

☐ Ensure loan status and graduation info correct
 Download your "MyStudetData" file
☐ Confirm your loan servicer(s) for each loan

☐ Check your school financial aid account for loans not listed in NSLDS

☐ Check your Credit Report

☐ Update your contact information with your loan servicer(s), school after you relocate from school

☐ Upload your NSLDS "MyStudentData" file to VIN Foundation My Student Loans tool

  • Check the "Income-Driven Repayment Eligibility" tab
  • Note any federal student loan balances you've discovered outside of NSLDS
  • Simulate your repayment to see which repayment plan might be best for you

☐ Consider a Federal Direct Consolidation loan, particularly if your federal student debt balance exceeds your expected income

  • Consolidation allows non-Direct loans to qualify for more beneficial income-driven repayment plans as well as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
    • Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL)
    • Perkins Loans
    • Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
    • Family Federal Education Loans (FFEL)
    • Prior federal consolidation loans
  • Consolidation allows you to choose your federal student loan servicer
    • Lean towards FedLoan Servicing/PHEAA or Great Lakes
    • Avoid Navient or Nelnet
  • Consolidation allows you to waive your grace period and enter repayment
    • Minimize your starting repayment balance
    • Secure a $0/mo payment using income-driven repayment for the first 12 months of repayment
  • If you consolidate any/all of your federal student loans, the best time is immediately after graduation

☐ Apply for the most beneficial federal student loan repayment plan that you can use

  • The application window opens 45-60 days prior to the end of your grace period
  • You can choose a repayment plan as part of your federal consolidation loan process
  • If you do not opt-in to a specific repayment plan, you will be assigned the standard 10-year plan by default

☐ To utilize an income-driven repayment plan, you must provide income documentation

  • Adjusted Gross Income from a recent tax return (no more than 2 years old)
  • Alternative documentation of income from a recent paycheck or offer letter
  • Zero income if you are applying before you start your first job/internship/residency after graduation

☐ Set a reminder in your calendar for at least 60 days prior to your IDR renewal date the following year

☐ Follow-up frequently with your loan servicer(s) to confirm that your consolidation or repayment application has been processed timely and accurately

☐ Once your loans are in repayment, sign-up for autopay with your loan servicer.  You will receive a 0.25% interest rate discount on your Direct loans with autopay -- even if your minimum monthly payment due is $0/mo 

☐ Begin your financial wellness plan:

☐ Pay down credit card debt
☐ Start an emergency fund
☐ Start a “forgiveness savings fund(s)” to prep for any tax on forgiven student loan amounts
☐ Start saving/building retirement fund(s)
☐ Save for vacation/house/family/practice…Enjoy life :-)

☐ Re-assess your repayment strategy at least each year or anytime your income and/or family situation changes

☐ Ask a lot of questions...


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