Our free student loan helpline will help you feel confident about your financial strategy
You don’t need to go it alone. If you need help applying for financial aid, understanding scholarships, grants, loan terms and/or evaluating your student loan repayment options, contact AccessConnex by AccessLex.
Our team of Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC®) deliver clear, unbiased and accurate financial information to help you understand your options and feel more confident about the financial decisions ahead.
You can call, email or chat with a member of our team Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. You can also schedule an appointment directly with a counselor at a time most convenient for you.
So, if you have specific questions about student loans and loan repayment, or if you are considering pursuing a legal education – or any other graduate or professional education – and have questions before you get started, contact AccessConnex today for clear, unbiased information to help set you on a sound financial path.
Personal. Confidential. Free. And effective. We’re here to help you get there.
If calling about student loan repayment, we recommend you have a copy of your federal student loan summary and/or a recent credit report for the most tailored advice and accurate analysis. AccessConnex counselors will never request, require, or store any personal information (SSN, DOB, etc.).
Visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for a list of all your federal student loans – including loan type, loan amount and loan servicer information. You will use your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to log into NSLDS. To create or manage your FSA ID, go to fsaid.ed.gov.
Once you log in to NSLDS, you will have access to the following loan details:
- Loan type
- Current loan status
- Outstanding principal
- Outstanding interest
- Interest rate
If you have non-federal loans, check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com or ask your financial aid office to identify those loans.
A grace period is a period of time where you are not yet required to make loan payments and it varies based on loan type. Some of your loans will enter repayment after a 6- or 9-month grace period, while others may enter repayment upon graduation.
When it comes to repaying your federal student loans, you have options. Unlike a traditional consumer loan (such as a car loan or mortgage), student loans allow you to choose the repayment plan that’s the best fit for you. Choosing the right repayment plan can have a long-time effect on your financial situation, and it’s worth taking time to compare plans. There’s no one right answer, but there’s likely a right answer for you.
You have options in two major categories:
With Debt-Driven Repayment plans, your monthly payment is based on your total debt, the interest rate on those loans and the length of the repayment term. Examples of debt-driven repayment plans include: Standard Repayment, Graduated Repayment and Extended Repayment.
With Income-Driven Repayment plans, your monthly payment is based on your income, household size and state of residency. Examples of income-driven repayment plans include: Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE).
For more information about these plans, visit our Student Loan Repayment Summary Chart. You can also access The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment guide.
To apply for an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan, visit StudentLoans.gov or request an application from your servicer. It is recommended that you start the IDR application process 2-3 months before the end of your grace period.
Under Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), federal student loan borrowers may qualify for forgiveness on the remaining balance of their Federal Direct Loans after making 120 on-time qualifying payments on those loans under an eligible repayment plan while employed full-time by certain public service employers.
You can track your progress toward qualifying forgiveness by submitting an Employment Certification Form with the U.S. Department of Education. This form is not required; however, it is advised that you submit this form to the Department annually (and when switching employers). Once you have made your 120 qualifying payments, complete and submit the official Application for Forgiveness. The current Employment Certification Form and instructions for completing it are available at studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.
About AccessLex Institute
AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to fulfilled professional. In partnership with our nearly 200 Member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of our Company’s mission since 1983.
Through the work of the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence℠, we advocate for policies that make legal education work better for students and society alike, and we conduct research on the most critical issues facing legal education today: improving access for all students, with an emphasis on historically underrepresented minority students and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; increasing affordability; and strengthening the value of a legal degree.
The AccessLex Center for Education and Financial Capability℠ offers on-campus and online financial education programming and resources to help students confidently manage their finances on their way to achieving personal and professional success. The Center also provides professional development opportunities and guidance for school administrators working to improve financial education at their institutions.
Read what others have to say about their experience with AccessConnex:
“I feel so much better now – I hadn’t realized that I don’t need to borrow the full amount of loans I was offered in my law school financial aid package. Thanks for helping!”
Graduating senior, City College of New York
"This was my first counseling call with AccessConnex and I could not be more pleased or grateful. My counselor provided me with detailed and clear answers and information, all of which was tailored to my specific circumstances. She was a pleasure to speak to and I would definitely recommend this service to others. Thank you!"
Harvard University Law Student
“It was really helpful to talk to my AccessConnex counselor about the financial aid awards from the schools I’m considering. I appreciated knowing I could use the student loan calculator to estimate different loan repayment terms. It’s a fairly staggering amount of money but it’s good to have an accurate idea of what I’m up against. I found the Project Your Future function immensely helpful! The salary number I’ll need to pay off my loans in 10 years and have reasonable living expenses left over is attainable in bigger markets if I do well at school. Now I have a clear picture of what I need to do to reach my goal.”
Incoming 1L, Vanderbilt Law School
"My AccessConnex counselor was amazing! Very complete explanations of my options and she understood my special economic situation. I was overwhelmed by my finances and she gave me the answers I needed. I am feeling much better now. Thank you so much!"
Suffolk University Law School Student