Loan Repayment FAQ
How can I plan for successful repayment?
Whom do I have to repay?
When do I have to begin repayment?
How long do I have to repay my loan?
How much do I have to repay?
What repayment options do I have?
What payment incentives does Graduate School Loans offer me?
What are deferments and forbearance?
What if I have problems making my loan payments?
What are the consequences of default?
How can federal loan consolidation help with repayment?
|Q:||How can I plan for successful repayment?|
|A:||Although most borrowers think of repayment as starting after graduation,
successful repayment begins well before you don a cap and gown. It is
important to understand your options before entering repayment and choose one
that is right for you. Keep in mind you will have other financial obligations as well.
Therefore, to best plan out your repayment, follow these four simple steps:
Estimate Your Monthly Payments
You can estimate your monthly payments using loan calculators found online. To utilize these tools, you'll need to know the disbursed amount, interest rate, and repayment term of each loan.
Project Your Income
Realistically estimate what your income will be. Research average starting salaries in your area. You should also take into consideration the length of time it will take for you to find a job.
Develop a Personal Budget
Student loan payments are as important as car notes, insurance, and rent/mortgage. Figuring student loan payments into your budget will keep you on track, help you avoid making late payments or even missing payments, and help you pay off your loans successfully. Once you have estimated your monthly loan payments and projected salary, you can evaluate your debt-to-income ratio. This will come in handy when you are allotting funds to payments.
Prepay Your Loans
If possible, send in more than your required minimum monthly payment. Anything you send in above the required payment will pay down your principal. This will pay your loan off that much faster, and you'll be saving hundreds, even thousands, in interest.
|Q:||Whom do I have to repay?|
|A:||This is a question that many borrowers ask. With so many players in the industry (lenders, servicers, guarantors, etc.), it's difficult to keep track of whom you have to write a check to. You are responsible for paying the holder of your loan's promissory note. In most cases, lenders contract servicers to handle all transactions associated with repayment, such as billing, deferment, contact information updates, etc. If this is the case, you can contact your lender to find out who its servicer is. If you are unsure who holds your loans, you can visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at http://www.nslds.ed.gov. This system is the central location of all your federal loans. In order to access this system, you must have a FSA PIN, which can be generated from http://pin.ed.gov/request.htm. As for private loans, it's best to refer to any correspondence to find a repayment address.|
|Q:||When do I have to begin repayment?|
|A:||For most student loans, repayment begins following a grace period. Below you will find a list of types of loans and their corresponding grace periods. Your lender/servicer will send your repayment terms at least a month prior to your first payment. The repayment terms will outline the total amount you owe, your monthly payment, the monthly payment due date, and where to send payments.
|Q:||How long do I have to repay my loan?|
|A:||The amount of time you have to repay your loan is determined by several factors. The type of loan, the loan amount, and the repayment plan you choose all affect the number of years you'll be given to pay off the loan.
Below, you'll find the maximum repayment term for each type of loan:
Federal loans have no early repayment or prepayment penalties. This means you will not be not be charged for paying your loan ahead of time. If you are able to do this, by all means do so, as this will save you money on interest.
|Q:||How much do I have to repay?|
|A:|| You are responsible for paying the principal you borrowed in full, plus any
interest that accrues. Of course, you are not required to pay the entire amount
up front. Yet, if you'd like to, you can, as there are no early payment penalties
on most student loans. But unless you inherited a large portion of your late
Aunt Tilly's estate, you can pay off your loans with monthly payments.
Your monthly payment is determined by the type of loan you have, the amount you owe, the interest rate associated with the loan, and the repayment plan you choose. If your interest rate is variable, your monthly payment will change accordingly. Take advantage of federal loan consolidation to avoid fluctuating rates and payments. Read on for more information on this valuable federal program.
Keep in mind every loan type carries with it a maximum repayment term. The loan must be paid in full by the end of the term. Failure to do so will reflect negatively in your credit report. To avoid this, pay on time and pay in full.
|Q:||What repayment options do I have?|
|A:||Graduate School Loans offers many repayment plans to fit the many needs of college and grad
This option provides equal monthly payments over the term of the loan.
Select 2/Graduated Payments
This option allows for interest-only payments for the first two years of repayment. In the third year, payments increase to level installments of principal and interest payments for the remaining term of the loan.
Select 5/Graduated Payments
This option allows for interest-only payments for the first two years of repayment. In the third through fifth years, payments increase to include a portion of principal. In the sixth year, payments increase to level installments of principal and interest payments for the remaining term of the loan.
This option provides for payments to be adjusted annually, based on your expected total monthly gross income from employment and all other sources. For spousal consolidation loans, monthly payments are adjusted according to combined monthly incomes. Your account will initially be disbursed at the Select 2/Graduated repayment plan. After the consolidation loan is disbursed, you must contact your servicer to qualify. Once eligibility is determined, your servicer will calculate your new payment.
Extended Equal Payments*
This option allows up to a 25-year repayment term of equal payments.
Extended Select 2 Payments*
This option allows up to a 25-year repayment term with the Select 2/Graduated Payment plan.
Extended Select 5 Payments*
This option allows up to a 25-year repayment term with the Select 5/Graduated Payment plan.
*All Extended Repayment plans are for qualified borrowers with more than $10,000 in eligible loans. Applicants interested in any of the Extended Repayment plans should contact their servicers to determine eligibility.
|Q:||What payment incentives does Graduate School Loans offer me?|
|A:||Responsible graduates deserve to be rewarded for their responsible behavior. Thus, Graduate School Loans offers a .25% interest rate reduction on all private student loan consolidations. Simply make your monthly payments using auto-debit and we'll reduce your interest rate by .25%, saving you money on unnecessary interest.|
|Q:||What are deferments and forbearance?|
|A:||While repaying student loans without a break or pause is ideal, circumstances may arise in which you need to postpone or reduce monthly payments. For example, you may become temporarily unemployed or disabled, experience economic hardship, or return to school. When situations like these occur, deferment or forbearance options are available. You may qualify for a federal student loan deferment, a federal student loan forbearance, or a private loan forbearance.
Federal Student Loan Deferment
A federal student loan deferment is a period of time during which payments are postponed. Deferments usually require documentation. There are different types of deferment for which borrowers can apply, such as in-school deferments or unemployment deferments.
Federal Student Loan Forbearance
A federal student loan forbearance is an agreement between a borrower and the lender/servicer to temporarily postpone payments, extend the timeframe for making monthly payments, or reduce the amount of monthly payments on a short-term basis.
Private Student Loan Forbearance
Similar to a federal student loan forbearance, a private student loan forbearance is an agreement between a borrower and the lender/servicer to temporarily postpone payments, extend the timeframe for making monthly payments, or reduce the amount of monthly payments on a short-term basis.
Contact your lender/servicer to learn more about what options are available to you.
|Q:||What if I have problems making my loan payments?|
|A:||Uncontrollable circumstances can arise that might subsequently make it difficult to make your monthly payments. Lay-offs, medical emergencies, car accidents, or any number of unforeseen events can damage an otherwise immaculate record of on-time payments. If you have trouble making monthly payments, contact your lender/servicer immediately. Lenders or servicers offer many options to assist borrowers through difficult financial times. This is especially true if you have federal student loans. Federally guaranteed student loans come with a wealth of benefits, such as income-sensitive repayment.
Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan
|Q:||What are the consequences of default?|
|A:||When you originally borrowed your student loans, you signed a promissory note. You are responsible to repay your loans according to the terms set forth in this promissory note. Failure to do so can have negative consequences, such as your loans going into default. Default occurs when you fail to meet the terms of your promissory note.
Default can have the following consequences:
|Q:||How can federal loan consolidation help with repayment?|
|A:||Consolidating federal loans will automatically give you a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Consolidating federal loans is quick and easy. There's no reason not to consolidate. Taking advantage of this federal program will help you during repayment, as consolidating your federal student loans will lower your monthly payment. Also, consolidating federal student loans will extend your repayment term, giving you more time to pay off your loans.|
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