Dealing with loan debt may seem overwhelming, and you may have questions. The Financial Wellness Program is here to help you understand your loans, and your options, to manage student loan debt. Because the Financial Wellness Program is committed to assisting you with the navigation of the loan repayment process, we invite you to join us for loan repayment sessions which are offered throughout the year. Below, you will find a link to our upcoming student loan repayment sessions. We have also posted key terminology to help you navigate student loan repayment.
- Types of Student Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: The Federal Direct Student Loan Program is the most widely used student loan program for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in borrowing to help meet educational expenses. The Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled in classes, but the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan accrues interest starting at the date of disbursement. Borrowing limits, interest rates, and terms of repayment are determined and regulated by the U.S. Department of Education. Visit StudentAid.gov to learn about federal repayment plans and options if you are unable to make payments.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan - The Federal Parent PLUS Loan Program enables parents with good credit histories to borrow money to pay the education expenses of their children. The student must be a dependent undergraduate student making Satisfactory Academic Progress and attending school at least half-time.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans - The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program enables graduate students with good credit histories and a need for funding beyond the Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program to borrow money to pay education expenses. Graduate students considering this option must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Private Education Loans - Students and their families can borrow additional loan funds to assist in financing any gap that may exist between the cost of education and the amount of financial aid received. These private education loans are provided by commercial lenders and are not supported by state or federal financial aid funds. A private education loan is typically issued in the student’s name and most often requires a credit worthy cosigner, who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Additionally, students must normally be at least 18 years of age. Students should compare interest rates, fees, and repayment options such as deferment and forbearance. Maximum loan amounts, loan terms, borrower qualification, repayment schedules, and interest rates vary among lenders. Some private education loans may require interest payments while the student is enrolled in school.
- Important Terms Regarding Student Loans
Default is failure to repay a loan outlined in the agreed promissory note. Most federal student loan default occurs when a payment isn't made in more than 270 days. It can result in legal consequences and a loss of eligibility for additional federal student aid.
A deferment is a temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally doesn’t accrue on certain types of subsidized loans.
A Direct Consolidation Loan combines federal education loans into one loan for free via completion of the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note. You will have a single monthly payment on the new Direct Consolidation Loan.
Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students use to help pay for education expenses.
A Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal student loan where a borrower isn’t generally responsible for paying interest while in an in-school, grace, or deferment period. To apply, start by submitting a FAFSA® form: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.
An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if the borrower becomes delinquent in making payments or defaults on the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.
Entrance counseling explains your rights and the obligations you agree to meet as a condition of accepting a Direct Loan. More information about entrance counseling is available at: https://studentaid.gov/entrance-counseling/.
Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you repay your federal student loan(s). Topics include: Contact Settings, My Loans, Preparing to Repay, Determining Your Repayment Strategy. Exit counseling is available at: https://studentaid.gov/exit-counseling/.
Interest is a loan expense charged for the use of borrowed money. Interest is paid by a borrower to a lender. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan. You can find your federal student loan interest rate(s) by logging in to StudentAid.gov and reviewing your Aid Summary page.
A judgment lien gives a creditor the legal right to keep property when the owner fails to pay a debt. It can only be granted by a court. A student (or parent in the case of a parent borrower) with a judgment lien will not qualify for federal student aid.
A lender is the organization that made the loan (borrower’s school, bank, credit union, etc.).
A loan is money borrowed from the federal government or a private source like a bank or financial institution, and must be paid back with interest.
Loan discharge is the removal of a borrower’s obligation to repay a loan under certain circumstances including but not limited to death, disability, bankruptcy, fraud, and identity theft.
Student loan forgiveness is offered to encourage certain types of employment. A loan may be fully or partially forgiven after a certain number of years of qualifying employment.
A Master Promissory (MPN) is a legal document that contains the Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities and Terms and Conditions for repayment. Direct PLUS and Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized loans have different MPNs. Access the MPN at: https://studentaid.gov/mpn.
Principal refers to the sum of money lent, on which interest is paid.
Loan rehabilitation is one method of getting your student loan out of default. To begin the rehabilitation process, you must contact your loan holder. If you’re not sure who your loan holder is, log in to your account to get your loan holder’s contact information.
Repayment is paying back money you borrowed by making scheduled payments to a loan holder or servicer.
A Student Debt Letter is a personalized loan summary of what a student has borrowed. This letter is intended to provide the student with a summary of what has been borrowed.
A total and permanent disability discharge relieves you from having to repay your federal student loan(s) and/or complete your Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligation. Learn more at: https://disabilitydischarge.com/.
An unsubsidized loan through the Direct Loan Program offers students a low, fixed interest rate and flexible repayment terms. It is not based on financial need. To apply for federal student aid, start by submitting a FAFSA® form: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.