Student Loans | College and Student Resources

Student loans get bad press but is still a big source of funds that help many afford college. So what happens during and after college with your student loans? Find the answers and resources to help understand your payment options, consolidate loans and get rid of student loans forever.


Types of Student Loans

Federal Student Loans

A loan funded by the federal government to help pay for your education. A federal student loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest.

Private Student Loans

These loans are nonfederal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

FAQ on Student Loan Types

+ Should I choose federal student loans or private student loans?
+ How will I receive my student loan?
+ What types of federal student loans exist?
+ Do private student loans affect my taxes?
+ How do I pay back my student loans?

Articles on Student Loan Types

Federal student loans for college or career school are an investment in your future. US Department of Education
Understanding Student Loans 101. LearnVest
Financial Aid | Student Loans. FinAid.org
+ Choosing a loan that’s right for you. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
+ Choosing a Student Loan: Public vs. Private. FastWeb


Applying for Student Loans

All loans made by the U.S. Department of Education require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools that receive information from your FAFSA will be able to tell you if you qualify for federal student loans. Almost every American family qualifies for federal student loans.

For private student loans, you might first consult your local credit union or bank, if you or your family holds an account there. You should also consult your school’s financial aid office to see if they have any lenders who offer special rates to their students. Apply for student loans at a credit union.

Articles on Applying for Student Loans

You know you have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), but maybe you’re not sure what to do. US Department of Education
Follow these suggestions and increase your chances of earning aid. Adventures in Education

Calculators | Estimating Student Aid Package

FinAid.org Calculators Custom calculators to help you estimate student loan payments, family contribution, etc.
FAFSA4Caster Understand your options to pay for college.
EFC Calculator by The College Board will help estimate your family’s expected contribution.


Student Loan Repayment

FAQs on Student Loan Repayment

+ When do I have to pay back my student loan?
+ How can I lower my student loan payments?
+ Are there student loans forgiveness programs?
+ Should I consolidate my student loans?
+ How can I pay my student loans if I am strapped for cash?

Articles on Student Loan Repayment

Estimate Your Student Loan Payments.  StudentLoans.gov
Paying Off Your Debt Faster.  Investopedia
Get all the information you need to manage repayment of your federal student loans.  StudentAid.Ed.gov
How to Pay Off Student Loans Within 5 Years of Graduation.  US News
15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster.  Wisebread

Calculators | Student Loan Repayments

Loan Payment Calculator.  FinAid.org
Direct Loan Calculator.  Department of Education
Repayment Plans and Calculators.  Department of Education


Student Loan Consolidation

FAQs on Student Loan Consolidation

+ What is a direct consolidation loan?
+ What are private consolidation loans?
+ Are there different repayment plans for consolidation loans?
+ How can I consolidate my federal student loans?
+ Can I consolidate my private student loan with my federal student loan?

Articles on Student Loan Consolidation

Estimate Your Student Loan Payments.  StudentLoans.gov
Paying Off Your Debt Faster.  Investopedia
Get all the information you need to manage repayment of your federal student loans.  StudentAid.Ed.gov
How to Pay Off Student Loans Within 5 Years of Graduation.  US News
15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster.  Wisebread

Resources on Student Loan Consolidation

Consolidate your private student loans. cuStudentLoans

+ Refinance your federal and private student loans. SoFi


Student Loan Deferment and Forbearance

Loan Deferment

A deferment is a temporary pause to your student loan payments for specific situations such as active duty military service and reenrollment in school. You can receive a deferment on Federal student loans for certain defined periods.

Forbearance

Forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of your student loan payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty. You can receive forbearance if you’re not eligible for a deferment. With forbearance, you will eventually owe the new interest charges even if you’re not making payments.

The following table provides situations that may make you eligible for a deferment of your federal student loan.

Situations When You May Apply for Deferment

Deferment Available? (and for how long, if applicable)

Direct Loans

FFEL loans

Perkins Loans

 During a period of at least half-time enrollment in college or career school

Yes

Yes

Yes

 During a period of study in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training  program for the disabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

 During a period of unemployment or inability to find full-time employment

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

 During a period of economic hardship (includes Peace Corps service)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

 During a period of service qualifying for Perkins Loandischarge/cancellation

No

No

Yes

 During a period of active duty military service during a war, military operation, or national emergency

Yes

Yes

Yes

 During the 13 months following the conclusion of qualifying active duty military service, or until you return to  enrollment on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earlier, if

  • you are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. armed forces and
  • you were called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time

Yes

Yes

Yes

If you are a Direct Loan or FFEL Program borrower who has a loan that was first disbursed (paid to you or on your behalf) before July 1, 1993, you may be eligible for additional deferments for such situations as teaching in a teacher shortage area, public service, being a working mother, parental leave, or temporary disability. For more information, contact your loan servicer.

FAQs on Student Loan Deferment and Forbearance

+ Is forbearance available for private student loans?
+ What happens to the interest on my loan during forbearance?
+ Do I have options besides deferment or forbearance?
+ How do I request a deferment?
+ Can I obtain a deferment for my private student loan?

Articles on Student Loan Deferment and Forbearance

A deferment or forbearance allows you to temporarily postpone making your federal student loan payments or to temporarily reduce the amount you pay.  US Department of Education
Deferment vs. Forbearance: What’s the Best Option for Student Loan Borrowers?  iGrad
How to Defer Your Student Loans – 5 Options to Extend or Postpone Paying Back School Loans.  Money Crashers


Student Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharges

Student Loan Forgiveness is the cancellation of all or some portion of your remaining federal student loan balance. If your loan is forgiven, you are no longer responsible for repaying that remaining portion of the loan.

The list below is a quick view of the types of forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge.

Type of Forgiveness, Cancellation, or Discharge

Direct Loans

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans

Perkins Loans

Closed School Discharge

x

x

x

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

X

X

X

Death Discharge

X

X

X

Discharge in Bankruptcy (in rare cases)

X

X

X

False Certification of Student Eligibility or Unauthorized Payment Discharge

X

X

Unpaid Refund Discharge

X

X

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

X

X

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

X

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge (includes Teacher Cancellation)

X

Articles on Student Loan Forgiveness

If you work full-time in a public service job, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  StudentAid.Ed.gov
Wondering whether you can get your federal student loans forgiven or canceled for your service as a teacher?  StudentAid.Ed.gov
How to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven in Bankruptcy. Credit.com
Student loan forgiveness: What you don’t know (but should). USA Today
Is Student Loan Forgiveness for All Students a Good Idea? ReadyforZero
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Can Save You Thousands.  The Motley Fool
The Top Ways To Get Student Loan Forgiveness.  The College Investor

Resources on Student Loan Forgiveness

Loan Forgiveness Programs.  FinAid.org
6 True Answers About Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness.  US News
Forgiveness, Cancellations and Discharges.  US Department of Education


Calculators | Student Loan Payments

Loan Payment Calculator.  FinAid.org
Direct Loan Calculator.  Department of Education
Repayment Plans and Calculators.  Department of Education


Resources

cuStudentLoans – Apply for student loans or consolidate existing private student loans.

+ SoFi – Refinance your federal and private student loans.

Tuition.IO – A student loan management tool that helps organize and prioritize your student loan debt.

ReadyforZero – Access the Student Loan Resource

StudentLoan.gov – Access to information on all topics of student loan financing.

NSLDS.Ed.gov – The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid.

Direct Loan Program – Homepage of the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program