"Repayment typically begins anywhere from 6 to 12 months after a student leaves school, regardless of whether or not they complete their degree program."
This article contains information on cancellation, consolidation, deferment, and discharge of U.S. student loans.
NOTE: If you wish to calculate your student loan repayments see our calculator and income based repayment chart at the bottom of the article.
In the United States, there are three types of student loans:
Two of them are federally subsidized and unsubsidized sponsored by the federal government and the other type is private student loans.
The unsubsidized program allows students to borrow money with interest accruing during school and subsidized loans allow them to defer interest accrual until they are no longer in school. Student loans may be offered as part of a total financial aid package that may also include grants, scholarships, and/or work study opportunities.
A student loan has some major differences over conventional loans:
Interest rates higher than most home loans and inability to negotiate. The interest rate on a student loan will generally be at least two percentage points lower than the going market rate for conventional loans, but this will vary.
Repayment typically begins anywhere from 6 to 12 months after a student leaves school, regardless of whether or not they complete their degree program. In some cases, repayment begins if course load drops to half time or less, so it is important to check the exact terms and conditions of any student loan.
The student may have multiple options for extending the repayment period, although an extension of the loan term will likely reduce the monthly payment, it will also increase the amount of total interest paid on the principle balance during the life of the loan. Extension options include extended payment periods offered by the original lender and federal loan consolidation. There are also other extension options including income sensitive repayment plans and hardship deferments. Extensions and consolidation will also add to the principle, many times the unpaid interest and penalties becomes capitalized.
What is a Master Promissory Note
The Master Promissory Note is an agreement between the lender and the borrower that promises to repay the loan. It is a binding legal contract. Direct student loans can be obtained by filling out the government FAFSA form, and each school will determine eligibility of a student for direct federal loans.
In general, you must repay your loan even if you don't graduate, can't find work in your field of study, or are dissatisfied with the education program. However there are some exceptions...
Student Loan Borrower Grace Periods:
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This "grace period" will be:
Further information and details at studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/repaying.jsp
Student Loan Deferment and Forbearance:
A deferment is a postponement of payment on a loan, during which interest does not accrue if the loan is subsidized.
You may qualify for a deferment while you are:
Further information and details at www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/postpone.html
Loan Discharge Due to Disability, Bankruptcy, or Death:
Under certain circumstances you may be able to cancel your student loan obligations, defer payments, or negotiate a more suitable payment plan - Debt Relief - Finding Legitimate Alternatives to Student Loan Consolidation.
Student Loan Cancellation:
Teacher service - If you are a new borrower (You are considered a new borrower if you did not have an outstanding balance on an FFEL or Direct Loan on Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date you obtained an FFEL or Direct Loan after Oct. 1, 1998) and are a full-time teacher in a low-income elementary or secondary school for 5 consecutive years, you may be able to have as much as $17,500 of your subsidized or unsubsidized loans canceled. This provision is not available for borrowers of PLUS Loans.
If you are employed in certain public service jobs and have made 120 payments on your Direct Loans (after Oct. 1, 2007), the remaining balance that you owe may be forgiven.
In certain cases, you may be able to have all or a part of your loan canceled due to:
Student Loan Consolidation:
There may be advantages to consolidating (combining) your federal student loans into one loan, starting with the convenience of making a single monthly payment. Consolidation generally extends the repayment period, resulting in a lower monthly payment. This may make it easier for you to repay your loans. However, you will pay more interest if you extend your repayment period through consolidation since you will be making payments for a longer period of time.
Contact the Direct Loan Consolidation Center for more information: at 1-800-557-7392, TTY for the hearing-impaired at 1-800-557-7395.
The Direct Loans Consolidation website has a loan consolidation calculator you can use to find out how much you'll pay each month if you consolidate.
Further information and details at www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/cancellation.html
|Income-Based Repayment Chart|
IBR Monthly Payment Amount
The chart above shows the maximum IBR monthly payment amounts for a sample range of incomes and family sizes using the Poverty Guidelines that were in effect as of January 20, 2011 for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia - More Information at studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/IBRPlan.jsp
(i) - Calculations are estimates and values may not reflect the actual amount computed by the loan servicing center.
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