Loan Repayment and Exit Counseling

On this page, you will find links to mandatory student loan exit counseling  as well as resources and advice on managing your loans. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to  contact the TUSDM Financial Aid Office, we are here to help!

Managing Student Loan Indebtedness

The years following your graduation may be the most financially challenging as you seek balance between monthly student loan payments and other competing needs. When selecting a repayment plan, borrowers need to carefully understand the terms of their repayment plan including what might happen if you change your repayment plan, when interest may capitalize, and what your options are if you no longer qualify for the original repayment plan you had selected.

  • Borrowers who have incurred high student loan debt should plan to maximize their financial effort to pay down their student loan debt as quickly as possible. 

    Depending on the types of student loans borrowed and other qualifications, some student loan repayment plans offer longer repayment periods of up to 25 years which helps to lower the expected monthly payments. Some of these plans offer loan forgiveness if an outstanding balance remains at the end of the prescribed repayment period. You can learn more about all of the federal student loan repayment options here

    Although some  federal loan repayment plans will  offer extremely low monthly payments, there are some drawbacks to these plans. The longer the repayment period, the longer it will take for you to pay off the principal amount of the loan and the more interest you will pay. Income-driven repayment plans such Income-Based Repayment (IBR) or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) offer loan forgiveness on any remaining balance at the end of the full repayment term but the amount of loan forgiven is considered taxable income based on current federal tax rules. This “taxable event” could lead to a sizable tax bill the borrower will be required to pay the year in which the loan forgiveness occurred. 

  • The Federal Student Aid Loan Simulator helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can also use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans. Access FSA Loan Simulator.

  • Loan forgiveness or loan repayment programs are also offered at both the federal and state levels. 

    Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) provides federal loan forgiveness to qualified borrowers who work in the public/non-profit sector which can include  hospitals or community health centers. Qualified borrowers’ loans are forgiven after 10 years of employment in the public/non-profit sector and the amount forgiven IS NOT a taxable event like it is under an Income-Drive Repayment Plan. For more information on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

    The National Health Service Corps has a loan repayment program and some states have private, state or federally funded loan repayment programs usually in return for service in under-served areas. Here is a comprehensive list of these programs.

    The Tufts Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is a university-wide program that helps selected Tufts graduates working in public service pay a portion of their annual education loan bills. The purpose of the Tufts Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is to encourage and enable Tufts graduates to pursue careers in public service by reducing the extent to which their educational debt is a barrier to working in comparatively low-salaried jobs in the non-profit and public sectors.

    Learn more about the Tufts LRAP program.

Required Exit Counseling

Upon graduation, withdrawal or when the student drops below half-time status, education loan borrowers are required to complete student loan exit counseling. Students who have withdrawn or dropped below half-time status are encouraged to meet with a member of the Financial Aid Office to review the terms of their student loans and repayment options. The student loan exit counseling process plays an integral role in understanding student loan repayment and helps the student/borrower develop a repayment strategy.

All graduating DMD and DIS federal and/or institutional loan borrowers will also have to complete a Student Loan Exit Counseling Presentation course. Students will receive a student loan exit packet from the Financial Aid Office with information on how to enroll in the course through the Tufts Learning Center.  The student loan exit packet as well as the presentation should be used as  resources while completing all necessary online exit counseling sessions and will help students understand general loan terminology and loan repayment options. After reviewing the materials, please follow up with your assigned financial aid coordinator with any questions.

For more information pertaining to student loan terms and your rights and responsibilities concerning repayment of your student loan debt, refer to the most recent copy of the Student Loan Repayment Manual. For lender/loan servicer contact information of most used lenders at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, refer to the resources below:

Click on the appropriate link below to complete online student loan exit counseling.

  • For online exit counseling for Federal Stafford/Direct Loan and Grad PLUS/Direct Grad PLUS Loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid website

  • Students who have received Tufts Loan, Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL), and Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) while enrolled at Tufts must complete  online exit counseling sessions for these specific loans. Repayment of these loans is managed by Tufts University’s Student Loan Office which is part of the Student Financial Services Department on Tufts’ Medford campus. Tufts contracts with a third-party loan servicer, University Accounting Services (UAS), who services these loans on Tufts’ behalf. UAS merely acts as a billing agent and can process deferment forms for  HPSL or LDS loans. For deferment, forbearance, or change in your repayment schedule on a Tufts Loan, HPSL or LDS you must contact the Tufts Student Loan Office ( or 617-627-4605). Changes of address can either be given to UAS or the Tufts Student Loan Office.

    Students who must complete an online exit session for Tufts Loan, HPSL, and/or LDS will receive an instructional email from UAS that provides the link to begin the online exit session. 

    Click here to access Tufts Loan, HPSL, or LDS account information managed by University Accounting Services (UAS).

    If you’ve received a Tufts Loan and wish to postpone payment because you are enrolled in school at least half-time, participating in an internship or residency or are experiencing financial hardship, click here for a Tufts Loan Deferment Form

Advice for Student Loan Repayment

Click on the following points to get some helpful hints as you prepare for repayment.

  • Borrowers should keep track of their student loans by visiting their loan servicers’ website. Reviewing this information annually will allow you to track your level of debt including the principal amounts borrowed, the interest accrued on your loans, and the payments made. Federal loan borrowers can also access their Federal loan information at Federal Student Aid Website and log in using the FSA ID.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to know their student loan servicer’s name, address and other contact information. The Financial Aid Office will provide this to a borrower during the financial aid exit counseling session but realize you might need to contact your loan servicer while enrolled. If the borrower obtained any non-certified student loans, such as a residency, relocation, and board examination loan or direct to consumer student loan, the Financial Aid Office would not have record of any of these loans.

  • Like any creditor, your student loan lenders/loan servicers need to know where you  live to send billing statements to you. You are responsible for your student loan payments even if you  never receive a bill from your lender/loan servicer. Borrowers can easily find themselves delinquent on student loan payments  if they do not notify their loan servicers of any change of address. It is especially important to establish contact with your loan servicers to update your contact information once you have graduated, dropped below half time status, or have withdrawn from school as well as throughout repayment.

  • Since students will often borrow  multiple types of student loans, it can be difficult to keep all the various loan terms straight. A good rule of thumb is to review the basic terms of your loans each time you receive an Award Notification Letter. The Financial Aid Office’s website provides a brief description of each loan – interest rate, interest accrual, repayment, and deferment options. This periodic review will help you remember why certain loans are considered more favorable than others so you will know which loans you should try to pay off more quickly than other loans because they are more costly.

  • You can usually obtain access to your student loan accounts online through your loan servicer’s website. You will need to register to request a username and password. We encourage you to obtain online access as soon as you borrow the loan or, at the very least, as you enter repayment on the loan. Your loan servicer’s website is a wealth of information too. You can usually download deferment forms or request forbearance as well as make payments online.

  • Loan servicers will give you the option to receive an electronic billing statement. Depending on your loan servicer, electronic payments can usually be made on a month-to-month basis, or you may be able to schedule the payments for a number of months in advance. 

    The other type of electronic billing is referred to as ACH payments. ACH (Automated Clearinghouse) payments are made when you authorize the loan servicer to take the payments out of your bank account on a specific date each month. Borrowers opting for ACH will be provided with an interest rate reduction on their loan. 

    When setting up ACH, you authorize the loan servicer to withdraw a specific dollar amount each month. Loan servicers are unable to withdraw more than the specified amount. If you want to make an additional payment towards your loan, you can usually do that electronically or by sending a paper check.

  • Most student loans have a grace period after you have graduated, dropped below half-time or have withdrawn. This short period of time, typically between 6 months and a year depending on the loan program, gives the borrower time to find a job and get their living situation settled. During this time, you should be creating a budget anticipating student loan payments. You need to be careful to not live beyond your means considering monthly student loan payments coming due. You will need to develop an effective repayment strategy by considering all the different repayment options that are available on your student loans. What is suitable for you is going to be based on your net income, how much student loan debt you have and what your other expenses are such as rent/mortgage, transportation, insurance, and other living costs. The goal should be to repay your student loans as soon as possible by paying down less favorable loans earlier.

    Once you develop a plan, monitor it to make sure it is realistic. The first few years of repayment, when your income is usually at its lowest point, will be the most challenging time to manage student loan payments. After  a period of time, you will hopefully feel less burdened by student loan payments and  will have additional discretionary income (that is income left for spending after paying taxes). Remember there is no penalty for paying off your student loans early. You can also consider formally changing your repayment schedule by contacting your loan servicer(s). Realize that, as your income increases, you may need to change your repayment schedule if you have selected an income-based repayment schedule.

  • There are, at times, regulatory changes affecting repayment of student loans. Although your loan servicers are able to counsel you on any changes in federal regulations affecting repayment of student loans, you can use the Financial Aid Office and our website as a resource.

  • If you are running into trouble financially where you are overburdened by student loan payments, do not procrastinate in getting help. Remember you can usually adjust your repayment plan to make the payments more affordable or, if you feel it is only a temporary financial setback, you can contact your loan servicer(s) to request forbearance. Remember if you have borrowed Tufts Loan, HPSL, or LDS you need to contact the Tufts University Student Loan Office if you need to adjust your repayment schedule on either of these loans or to request forbearance. They can be reached at or by calling 617-627-4605.