Success in repaying
your student loans doesn’t just mean staying out of default. It also means staying out of delinquency, keeping your account current. A
key part of keeping current is knowing the options that are available to you in repaying your loans, particularly when repayment
option that most people use in successfully repaying their student loans is making regular monthly payments! Successful
borrowers develop the habit of making their monthly payments on time. We know what you’re thinking: That’s easier said than done. True,
but there are steps you can take that will help you develop that habit!
deferment is considered an entitlement: that is, if you qualify, and submit a complete and timely request,
your lender is required to grant it to you.
your loans are subsidized (i.e., you were not responsible for the interest on them while you were in school), the
federal government will pay the interest accruing on your loan during your deferment. Otherwise, you remain responsible for the interest, and can either pay it during the deferment, or have it added to your
principal balance (capitalized) at the end of the deferment.
descriptions of all the deferments available in the Federal Family Education Loan Program, and to access the forms you need to
request them, click here for a list of deferments.
If you are
experiencing financial difficulty, but do not qualify for a deferment, your lender or servicer may grant you a forbearance. Under a forbearance, you can agree to either make reduced payments or no payments at all for a limited period.
In a period of forbearance, you remain responsible for the interest accruing on your account, even if your loans were
subsidized while you were in school.
deferments, most forbearances are not entitlements: your lender may choose when or whether to grant one. Most lenders will require evidence of your commitment to repay your loans, and, therefore, may not grant a forbearance at
the very beginning of a repayment period, or may not grant back-to-back forbearances.
are, however, some forbearances that are entitlements. These are available under certain circumstances to medical and dental interns and residents, to borrowers with
exceptionally high education debt, to victims of natural disasters, and to military personnel who are suddenly called into
action. Click here to learn more about these Mandatory
request a forbearance, you need to contact your lender or servicer. Click here to
find a list of servicers.
Alternative Payment Plans.
The most common type of repayment plan is one in which the monthly payment
amount remains the same until the loan is paid in full. Your lender is also
prepared to offer you two alternative repayment plans:
aware that, under both graduated and income-sensitive repayment plans, you may wind up paying a larger amount of interest than
through a conventional, or “level” repayment plan.
a Federal Consolidation Loan, you can combine all of your federal student loans into a single repayment schedule. Consolidation
is not limited to FFELP loans: you can include any federal education loan (e.g., Perkins, HEAL, Direct Loans). You may also include your spouse’s loans.
consolidation loan may be a good idea if:
obtain a Federal Consolidation Loan, you must be out of school. And you must first
inquire with a holder of at least one of the loans you wish to consolidate. If none
of your current holders is willing or able to make a Consolidation Loan for you, you may contact another lender to make the
These are some of the strategies you can use for success in repaying your student loans. If you need to be convinced that staying current is a good idea, click here to view the Benefits
of Staying Current, and the Consequences