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Exit Counseling: Requirements and Recommendations for FAOs*

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Student loan borrowers make a significant financial investment in their future, and because of this, the Department of Education requires that these students receive an “Exit Interview” to receive guidance on how to repay their debt.

In addition to this fact sheet, the AAMC has resources to help support you in completing the exit process, including a general presentation on exit topics (with speaker’s notes) and a thorough print resource, Education Debt Manager (offered in print or as a free PDF download). All of these resources are available on the Graduating Student Resources for Financial Aid Officers page.

Please note that these resources are not meant to fulfill the Exit Interview requirements, but rather to enhance the schools loan counseling resources.

Exit Interview Requirements**

  • Explain the purpose of an MPN
  • Describe National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and how to obtain loan status
  • Describe consequences of default, including: adverse credit reports, garnishment, and litigation
  • Reinforce importance of repayment and that repayment is required whether or not:
    • program is completed and/or completed within the specified timeframe;
    • borrower obtains employment;
    • borrower is satisfied with experience;
    • services purchased were received
  • Provide estimates of monthly payment amounts based on either:

    • the student borrower's indebtedness, or
    • the average indebtedness of borrowers at your school or in the same program of study at your school. The average calculation of payments must reflect (1) Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, or (2) Direct PLUS Loans only, or (3) Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS Loans.
  • Review all repayment plans, the features, estimated payment amounts, and the difference in total interest cost and payments made under each plan
  • Discuss effects of loan consolidation: total interest and fees to be paid, repayment term, changes in benefits, grace, forgiveness, and deferment opportunities, and the right to prepay the loan and change repayment plans
  • Offer information on debt management strategies to assist during repayment
  • Emphasize borrower’s ability to prepay each loan, pay each loan on a shorter schedule, or change repayment plans
  • Terms and conditions for obtaining deferment, forbearance, forgiveness, discharge or cancellation
  • Explain purpose and availability of Federal Student Aid Ombudsman’s Office
  • Provide a general description of the types of tax benefits that may be available
  • Collect and update the borrower’s personal information*** including:
    • name
    • Social Security number
    • current address
    • expected permanent address
    • driver's license number and state of issuance
    • name and address of next of kin
    • name and address of expected employer, and
    • references
  • Discuss possible tax benefits available to borrowers
  • Explain how to contact loan servicer(s)
  • Provide information from the Department of Education on federal student assistance programs to allow borrowers to assess the debt burden and their management options

AAMC's FIRST Team Also Recommends

  • Emphasize communication with servicers

  • Suggest retention of all servicer(s) correspondence

  • Encourage the use of the MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (to see estimated costs based on career paths and future potential incomes)

  • Explain how to submit complaints to the FSA office using the FSA Feedback System

  • Advise that payments are due on-time (even if a statement is not received)

*For details on Exit Counseling for Perkins Loans, see FSA Handbook, Volume 6, Chapter 3.
**Based on AAMC’s interpretation of regulations as of 12/2019 (FSA Handbook, Volume 2, Chapter 6).
**School must provide updated borrower information to the Direct Loan servicer within 60 days.

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