What you need to know about repaying student loans…
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 six months for a Federal (FFEL) or Direct Stafford Loan. nine months for Federal Perkins Loans (If you�re a parent reading this and you have a FFEL or Direct PLUS Loan, you don�t have a grace period�repayment generally must begin within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.)
If you�ve attended college or received other education beyond high school, and you received federal student loans from the US Department of Education (ED) along the way – You�re now about to deal with paying them back. You�ll need to know how to manage your student loan debt to avoid repayment problems.
There are several available repayment options so you can successfully repay your debt. Federal student loans are real loans, just like car loans or mortgage loans. You can�t just get out of repaying a student loan if your financial circumstances become difficult, unless you qualify for bankruptcy. But, it�s very difficult to have federal student loans discharged in bankruptcy; this happens only rarely. Also, you can�t cancel your student loans if you didn�t get the education you expected, didn�t get the job you expected, or didn�t complete your education, unless you leave school for a reason that qualifies you for a discharge of your loan – Remember, your student loans belong to you; you have to pay them back.
A Consolidation Loan allows you to combine all the federal student loans you received to finance your college education into a single loan.
New Provisions Permitting Borrowers to Enter Repayment Early Under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended and the Department’s regulations, a borrower can request a repayment schedule that provides for repayment to commence at a date that is earlier than six months after the date the borrower ceases to carry at least one-half the normal full time academic workload.
If the lender grants the request, the loan enters the repayment period and the borrower waives any applicable grace period. This is the case even if the borrower is currently enrolled in school. Such a borrower will be eligible to obtain a consolidation loan to repay the loan on which early conversion to repayment was granted, assuming all other eligibility criteria are met. As stated above, the borrower waives any applicable grace period, now and in the future.
To apply for a Direct Loan Consolidation or an FFEL Consolidation the borrower must contact the lender and complete an application. Most lenders provide borrowers with the ability to apply on-line or request an application over the telephone. Once an application is completed and submitted, the lender will request information from the borrower�s other lenders or from its own system to determine the amounts outstanding on the borrowers loans. The borrower will then receive notification about the consolidation loan, normal consumer disclosures, the amount owed, and if appropriate, where to make payments.
Consolidation loans have fixed interest rates that are based on the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated. A lender can provide a new consolidation loan borrower with the lowest statutory weighted average interest rate for loans by using the lower of the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated as of July 1 or the date the lender received the borrower’s consolidation loan application. The lender should apply a consistent method of determining when an application is received.
Lenders’ Options for Determining Federal Consolidation Loan Interest Rates and Permitting Borrowers to Enter Repayment Early
If the lender determines that the borrower is still enrolled, the lender can put the loan that will now be in repayment, into an in-school deferment status at the borrower’s request. The interest rate on the loan would be the deferment rate. If the borrower consolidates the Stafford Loan, the deferment interest rate should be used in calculating the weighted average interest rate on the consolidation loan.
When repaying your student loan, you have some choices in repayment plans (for FFEL and Direct Loans) that can make repaying easier and help you avoid delinquency or default. If you�re delinquent, it means you�re late making a scheduled loan payment (most often, you�re 30 days or more late). Default, explained in more detail (see default page), generally means you�re 270 days or more late in making a loan payment. (Note that for Federal Perkins Loans, however, default is defined as the failure to make an installment payment when due or the failure to comply with other terms of your promissory note or written repayment agreement.)
Although default is more serious than delinquency, even delinquency can be reported to credit bureaus. A delinquency notation remains part of your financial history and could affect your credit rating. Repaying your loan on time will help you establish and maintain a good credit rating, which is crucial when you want to buy a car or a house, or even if you want to rent an apartment. Sometimes, your credit rating can even affect whether you�ll be selected for a particular job. It�s important to keep paying on your student loans!
Defaulting on your Student Loans
If you default, it means you failed to make payments on your student loan according to the terms of your promissory note, the binding legal document you signed at the time you took out your loan. In other words, you failed to make your loan payments as scheduled. Your school, the financial institution that made or owns your loan, your loan guarantor, and the federal government all can take action to recover the money you owe. Here are some consequences of default:
National credit bureaus can be notified of your default, which will harm your credit rating, making it hard to buy a car or a house.
You would be ineligible for additional federal student aid if you decided to return to school.
Loan payments can be deducted from your paycheck.
State and federal income tax refunds can be withheld and applied toward the amount you owe.
You will have to pay late fees and collection costs on top of what you already owe.
You can be sued.
How to Apply for a Student Loan
U.S. Department of Education – FAFSA
Gather the documents you need
Start with your Social Security Number, driver’s license, income tax return, bank statements and investment records.
Print a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet
Write in your answers and gather your parent’s information then transfer the data to FAFSA on the Web.
Plan how to sign your FAFSA
Sign electronically with a U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN) or by mailing in a signature page.
Apply for a PIN now!
Speed up the process by signing your FAFSA electronically with your PIN. Your parent can sign electronically too.
Check your eligibility for federal student aid.
Note important deadlines
To meet the Federal Student Financial Aid deadline:
Apply as early as possible beginning January 1st of each year.
Schools and states have their own deadlines. Contact them for exact deadline dates.
Vermont Universities and Colleges
Admissions Office, Bennington College, Bennington, VT 05201 Phone: 800-833-6845 or 802-440-4312 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax: 1-802-440-4865
Employment: 260 Programs Offered: 4 year undergraduate, graduate program Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 793 Tuition & Fees: $31,070 Tuition Room & board: $37,980 Year Established: 1932 Web Site: bennington.edu
Admissions Office, Burlington College, 95 North Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401 Phone: 800-862-9616 Email: email@example.com, Career Services Fax: 1-802-660-4331
Employment: 22 FT, 8 PT Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year, cert Highest Degree Awarded: Bachelor’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 280 Tuition & Fees: $14, 170 Year Established: 1972 Web Site: www.burlcol.edu
Castleton State College
Admissions Office, Castleton State College, Castleton, VT 05735 Phone: 800-639-8521 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax: 1-802-468-1357
Email: email@example.com Employment: 218 FT/111 PT Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s/CAGS Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 1,800 Tuition & Fees: $6,146 Year Established: 1787 Web Site: www.castleton.edu
Center for Northern Studies
Admissions Office, Center for Northern Studies, TR20 Crossroad, Wolcott, VT 05680-9726 Phone: 802-888-4331, Career Services Fax: 1-802-586-2596
Tuition, Fees, R & B: $22,216 Year Established: 1971 Web Site: www.sterlingcollege.edu/CNS
Admissions Office, Champlain College, 163 S. Willard St., Burlington, VT 05402 Phone: 800-570-5858 or 802-860-2727 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax: 1-802-860-2772
Champlain College offers: Undergraduate Programs Professional Certificates Master’s Degree Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 2500 Tuition, Fees, Room & Board: $24,500 Year Established: 1879 Web Site: www.champlain.edu
College of St. Joseph
Dean of Admissions, College of St. Joseph, 71 Clement Rd., Rutland, VT 05701 Phone: 802-773-5900 ext. 205 Email: email@example.com, Career Services Fax: 1-802-776-5258
Employment: 94 Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 550 Tuition & Fees: $13,200 Room & Board: $19, 600 Year Established: 1956 Web Site: www.csj.edu
Community College of Vermont
Admissions Office, Community College of Vermont, Wasson Hall, P.O. Box 120, Waterbury, VT 05676 Phone: In VT 800-CCV-6686 or 802-241-3535 Fax: 802-241-3526 Email: CCVinfo@CCV.vsc.edu, Career Services Fax: 1-802-241-3526
Employment: 160 Programs Offered: 2 year Highest Degree Awarded: Associate Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 8,000 Tuition & Fees: $3,796 Year Established: 1970 Web Site: www.ccv.edu
Director of Admissions, Goddard College, Plainfield, VT 05667 Phone: 800-468-4888 or 802-454-8311, Career Services Fax: 1-802-454-8017
Programs Offered: 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 500 Tuition Room & Board: $10,000 (average) Year Established: 1938 Web Site: www.goddard.edu
Green Mountain College
Admissions Office, Green Mountain College, One College Circle, Poultney, VT 05764 Phone: 800-776-6675 or 802-287-8220 Fax: 802-287-8099 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax: 1-802-287-8099 Programs Offered: 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Bachelor’s Continuing Education: Yes (non-degree) Enrollment: 650 Tuition & Fees: $21,114 Tuition Room & Board: $28,104 Year Established: 1834 Web Site: www.greenmtn.edu
Johnson State College
Director of Admissions, Johnson State College, 337 College Hill, Johnson, VT 05656 Phone: 800-635-2356 or 802-635-1219 Fax: 802-635-1230 Email: email@example.com, Career Services Fax: 1-802-635-1295 Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 1,661 Tuition & Fees: $6,146 Tuition Room & Board: $12,600 Year Established: 1828 Web Site: www.johnsonstatecollege.edu
Dean of Admissions, Landmark College, River Road South, Putney, VT 05346 Phone: 802-387-6718 Fax: 802-387-4279 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax:1-802-387-6880
Programs Offered: 2 year Highest Degree Awarded: Associate Continuing Education: Yes (teachers) Enrollment: 420 Tuition & Fees: $37,000 Tuition Room & Board: $44,550 Year Established: 1984 Web Site: www.landmark.edu
Lyndon State College
Director of Admissions, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT 05851 Phone: 800-225-1998 or 802-626-6413 EMail: email@example.com. Career Services Fax: 1-802-626-6335
Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 1,300 Tuition & Fees: $7,056 (VT); $13,996 (Non-Res.); $10,046 (Nebhe) Year Established: 1911 Web Site: www.lsc.vsc.edu
Director of Admissions, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT 05345 Phone: 800-343-0049 or 802-257-4333 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Career Services Fax: 1-802-257-4154 Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: N/A Enrollment: 320 (Undergraduate); 45 (graduate) Tuition & Fees: $25,740 (Undergraduate); $10,800 (Graduate) Room & Board: $7,770 (Undergraduate); $18,000 (Graduate) Year Established: 1946 Web Site: www.marlboro.edu
Admissions Office, Middlebury College, Emma Willard House, Middlebury, VT 05753-6002 Phone: 802-443-3000 Fax: 802-443-2056, Career Service Fax: 1-802-443-2056 Employment: 1,263 Programs Offered: 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: AB; Doctorate of Modern Languages; & Masters Continuing Education: N/A Enrollment: 2,350 Tuition: $40,400 (Comprehensive) Year Established: 1800 Web Site: www.middlebury.edu
New England Culinary Institute
Admissions Office, New England Culinary Institute, 250 Main St., Montpelier, VT 05602-9720 Phone: 802-223-6324 Fax: 802-223-0634, Career Services Fax: 1-802-225-3375 Programs Offered: 1, 2, & 3.5 year Highest Degree Awarded: Associate Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 700 Tuition & Fees: $23,335 Tuition Room & Board: $27,050 Year Established: 1980 Web Site: www.neci.edu.
Dean of Admissions, Norwich University, Northfield, VT 05663 Phone: 802-485-2001 Fax: 802-485-2032 Email: email@example.com, Career Services Fax: 1-802-485-2032 The nation’s oldest private military academy of Northfield, Vermont.
Saint Michael’s College
Director of Admissions, Saint Michael’s College, One Winooski Park, Colchester, VT 05439 Phone: 800-SMC-8000 or 802-654-3000 Fax: 802-654-2591 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Career Services Fax: 1-802-654-2539 Programs Offered: 4 year & Master’s Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 2,300 Tuition Room & Board: $31,785 Year Established: 1904 Web Site: www.smcvt.edu
School for International Training
Admissions Counselor, School for International Training, Kipling Road, Brattleboro, VT 05301 Phone: 802-257-7751 Fax: 802-258-3500, Career Services Fax: 1-802-258-3252 Programs Offered: Graduate degrees & study abroad Highest Degree Awarded: Master’s Continuing Education: Yes (Graduate school) Enrollment: 1,767 Tuition & Fees: $24,500 ($12,000 for abroad by semester) Tuition Room & Board: $31,500 Year Established: 1964 Web Site: www.sit.edu.
Southern Vermont College
Admissions Office, Southern Vermont College, 982 Mansion Drive, Bennington, VT 05201 Phone: 802-442-5427 Fax: 802-447-4695 Email: email@example.com Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: Bachelor’s Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 500 Tuition & Fees: $12,498 Tuition Room & Board: $18,930 Year Established: 1926 Web Site: www.svc.edu
Director of Admissions, Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, VT 05827 Phone: 800-648-3591 or 802-586-7711 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax: 1-802-447-4695 Programs Offered: 2 & 4 year Highest Degree Awarded: BA Continuing Education: N/A Enrollment: 106 Tuition Room & Board: $22,300 Year Established: N/A Web Site: www.sterlingcollege.edu
University of Vermont (UVM)
Admissions Office, University of Vermont, 194 S. Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05401-3596 Phone: 802-656-3370 Email: email@example.com, Career Services Fax: 1-802-656-0126 Programs Offered: 4 year, graduate, professional, & certifications Highest Degree Awarded: PhD. Continuing Education: Yes Enrollment: 10,967 Tuition Room & Board: $16,128 (R); $29,768 (NR) Year Established: N/A Web Site: www.uvm.edu
Vermont Law School
Admissions Office, Vermont Law School, Chelsea Street, South Royalton, VT 05068-0096 Phone: 888-763-8303 Fax: 802-763-7071, Career Services Fax: 1-802-763-3217 Programs Offered: 1 & 3 year Highest Degree Awarded: JD of Law, Master of Studies in Environmental Law (MSEL); Master of Law in Environmental Law (LLM). Continuing Education: Summer session Enrollment: 545 Tuition: $25,020 Year Established: 1973 Web Site: www.vermontlaw.edu
Vermont Technical College
Director of Admissions, Vermont Technical College, P O Box 500, Randolph Center, VT 05061-0500 Phone: 800-442-8821 or 802-728-1000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Career Services Fax: 1-802-728-1714
Northern New York Colleges & Universities
Clarkson ranks among the finest universities in the nation, according to such diverse measures as U.S. News and World Report, the Association for Independent Technological Universities, and corporate recruiters. Clarkson focuses on providing a rigorous professional experience, real-world experiences for a real-world education, and developing a collaborative community for students, faculty, and staff.website: http://www.clarkson.edu/
St. Lawrence University
23 Romoda Drive � Canton, NY � 13617 � 800-285-1856
In an ideal location, St. Lawrence is a diverse liberal arts learning community of inspiring faculty, serious students, accomplished graduates guided by tradition and focused on the future.It is our expectation that students at St. Lawrence University engage in the process of academic planning over their academic career in order to best achieve their academic goals and reach their full potential. website: http://www.stlawu.edu/
North Country College of Essex and Franklin
23 Santanoni Ave., P.O.Box 89, Saranac Lake, NY 12983-0089 Phone: 518-891-2915
Toll Free: 1-888-879-6222
North Country Community College is committed to providing, within Essex and Franklin counties, an innovative, challenging, supportive environment where the intellectual, career, personal and creative aspirations of all interested individuals can be realized. website: http://www.nccc.edu/
34 Cornell Drive � Canton, NY 13617 315.386.7011 1.800.388.7123
The State University of New York at Canton is a public, coeducational, residential college located on a spacious campus along the banks of the Grasse River. Its northern location places SUNY Canton close to the Adirondack Mountains, the St. Lawrence River, and major Canadian cities such as Ottawa and Montreal. website:http://www.canton.edu/
The State University of New York at Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam NY 13676, (315) 267-2000
SUNY Potsdam, located in beautiful northern New York, is a small liberal arts college providing an education that is driven by quality delivered in a way that is uniquely personal. We are one of 64 units of the State University of New York and one of 13 SUNY Arts and Science Colleges. SUNY Potsdam offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in several areas of liberal studies, music and teacher education. website:http://www.potsdam.edu/
Jefferson Community College
1220 Coffeen Street, Watertown, NY 13601 (315) 786-2200
Jefferson Community College (JCC) is a participating eArmyU college. JCC is one of the 30 community colleges in the 64-campus system of the State University of New York (SUNY). A two-year public institution supervised by SUNY and sponsored by Jefferson County, the College offers both transfer and career programs leading to the associate degree or certificate. website:http://www.sunyjefferson.edu/
101 Broad Street Plattsburgh, New York 12901.
Phone: (518) 564-2000Plattsburgh State’s remarkable campus culture and environment combine with an exceptionally high quality of teaching to produce success for students. The Plattsburgh experience challenges students to discover their potential, to seek new intellectual horizons, and to learn skills that can turn dreams into realities. It’s an experience that calls students to explore new ground and reach still greater heights of achievement.website:http://www.plattsburgh.edu/
Clinton Community College
136 Clinton Point Drive Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Clinton Community College, a member unit of the State University of New York, is situated at Bluff Point, approximately 4 miles south of Plattsburgh, on forested heights overlooking Lake Champlain. While the college features the modern equipment and facilities necessary for contemporary educational needs, its distinctive architecture and spectacular natural setting hint at significant times of the past. In fact, the Bluff Point locale has been the scene of some of the most important events in the founding of the American Republic and its tradition. It is fitting that an area so magnificently beautiful and so much a part of the early development of the United States is maintained for public use and enjoyment.website: http://www.clinton.edu/
Paul Smith’s College
Route 86 & 30 P.O. Box 265 Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0265 Tel: 518-327-6227 1-800-421-2605
Paul Smith’s College is set in the Adirondacks of Northern New York amid awe-inspiring mountains, sparkling lakes and lush forests. The main campus of the 14,200 acre property is on the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake, providing a safe, comfortable and invigorating environment to obtain baccalaureate or associate degrees. Bachelor�s programs include Biology, Business, Culinary Arts and Service Management, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Forestry, Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management, Natural Resources, and Recreation, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism (RATE). Alternatively, careers also start with Associate degrees in programs such as Business, Culinary Arts, Forest Recreation or Forest Technician, Liberal Arts, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Outdoor Recreation, Surveying, or Urban Tree Management.website:http://www.paulsmiths.edu/
College loans bear biggest part
of budget-cutting plan
Tuesday, December 20, 2005; Posted: 10:58 a.m. EST (15:58 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress moves to slash $40 billion in spending, no program will take a bigger hit than college loans, where almost $13 billion would be cut over five years.
For students, the upshot is mixed. Excessive government payments to banks would be halted, freeing up some dollars for new grants, larger loan limits and reduced loan fees.
But overall, the student loan program would endure the largest cut in its history, and most of the money would not be pumped back into education. Instead, under a plan the House approved Monday, the money would be counted only toward reducing the federal deficit.
“At a time when the entire country believes we need to make higher education more affordable, Congress is trying to balance the budget on the backs of students,” said Jasmine Harris, legislative director for the United States Student Association.
Parents who take out loans on behalf of their students would pay higher interest rates. And other parts of the college package could indirectly drive up costs for students, if banks pass on new expenses or offer less attractive loans as their profit margin shrinks.
“You don’t want to say the news is all bad. It’s a decidedly mixed bag,” said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, the largest coalition of colleges and higher education groups in the nation.
“But on balance, one comes to the conclusion that this is a sad step in the history of the student loan program,” Hartle said.
The $12.7 billion in college cuts are part of an effort, led by conservative Republican lawmakers, to show discipline with the public’s money. But Democrats say GOP leaders only want to pay for tax cuts, all the while eroding the ability of parents to pay for college.
The timing of Senate action was unclear. Colleges and university associations scrambled Monday, urging the Senate to reject the bill as the Congress tried to end its 2005 work.
Within higher education, the single biggest cut appears to be in the profits of lenders.
Under current law, banks get to keep the excess money when the amounts that students pay in interest exceed the rate of return that the government has guaranteed. That would end. Lenders would have to refund the difference to the government, meaning billions of dollars.
“We were able to reduce spending through changes in the way lenders operate,” said Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the chairman of the Senate education committee. “But at the same time, we shielded the direct impact to students, and actually increased student opportunities.”
The interest rate for parent loans would increase to a fixed rate of 8.5 percent in July. It is now a variable rate and had been set to move to a fixed rate of 7.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the interest on students loans would also move to a fixed rate of 6.8 percent in July, up from its current variable rate of 4.7 percent. But that change was already set to happen under law, and the deficit-reduction bill does not alter that plan. Student groups tend to support a fixed rate as a protection against unstable, rising interest rates.
Loan limits would increase from $2,625 to $3,500 for first-year students, and from $3,500 to $4,500 for second-year students. The total borrowing limit allowed for undergraduates would remain at $23,000. Lawmakers aimed for a compromise of letting students borrow more at the start of college, reflecting current needs, without sanctioning a bigger overall debt.
The bill would offer grants to poorer, high-achieving students in the first two years of college and older undergraduates studying math, science or high-demand foreign languages.
John Boehner, R-Ohio, the chairman of the House education committee, said the bill “offers significant new benefits to students pursuing a college education.”
But critics said the size of those benefits doesn’t come close to offsetting the cuts.
Said Bob Shireman, director of The Institute for College Access and Success: “Overall, there will be less money out there for helping students pay for higher education. And it’s not being returned to the system, except in some small ways.”