Now That You've Graduated

Congratulations! You completed your degree and are ready for the next steps.

  • Organize your financial paperwork
  • Plan for your future
  • If you have student loans, avoid default

Student Loan Default

Defaulting on a student loan has serious consequences including a damaged credit rating and an inability to receive federal student loans in the future as long as you have an active default status.

Contact your lender as soon as you have difficulty repaying and be aware that student loans are not discharged in bankruptcy court. Switching repayment plans to an income-formula plan will allow your bill to scale to your level of income, even if you no longer have an income.

Helpful Tips When Leaving school

1. Student Loan Repayment

Visit our Student Loan Repayment webpage and learn how to repay your student loans.

2. Military Deferment

Are you being deployed for active duty? You may qualify for Military Deferments. Contact the holder of your loan for availability and applications.

3. Tax Credits 

You can deduct your student loan interest on your federal income tax return! Go to and search for publication 970.

4. Difficult Financial Circumstances 

Having difficulty repaying your loans? The Department of Education has suggestions and options during difficult financial circumstances. Click here for more information.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solves other problems with student loans. When you believe you have done all you can do to reach a solution, contact the Ombudsman.

5. Credit Report 

Become familiar with your credit report, and the state of your credit in general. Download a free credit report each year at private and federal student loan payment history is recorded on your credit report just like any other bill you pay.

Cash Course: How To Be Credit Savvy

6. Building Your Budget, Your Savings, & Your Future

Now that you are graduating, estimating your living costs after college is very important when planning for your future. Start by using the Budget Wizard to learn how to build a personal finaical budget and watch these helpful videos on budgeting, saving money, and gearing for retirement to get started on planning for your future.

Cash Course: Budgeting Basics

Cash Course: Tips To Save Money

Cash Course: Saving Money Made Easy

Cash Course: Investing in Your Future