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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College can assist you with the Federal Stafford Loan.

For more information on the Federal Stafford Loan, please click here. Below you can find general information on federal loans.


Loan Repayment

When you borrow money for your education, you sign a promissory note legally obligating you to repay the loan according to the stated terms and conditions. When the time comes for repayment meeting your student loan obligation promptly helps you earn a good credit rating, which follows you throughout your life.

If you do not repay your loans, you will suffer serious consequences:

  • You will be ineligible for future financial aid.
  • You may not be able to obtain more credit, (i.e., to buy a car or house).
  • You may be turned down for a credit card.
  • You will forfeit your tax refunds.
  • Your employer can be ordered to garnish your pay (i.e., withhold what you owe from your paycheck).
  • You will be sued and will owe collection fees and attorney fees, in addition to repaying your loan.

Remember, you must repay your student loans, even if:

  • You do not graduate or otherwise complete your education.
  • You cannot find a job after graduation.
  • You are not satisfied with the education you received.

Grace Period

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment (less than 6 credits), you have a grace period (a period of time before you have to begin repayment). The grace period will be six months for a Federal Stafford Loan (If you're a parent reading this and you have a PLUS Loan, you don't have a grace period—repayment generally must begin within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.)

Know your loan Information

  • Total amount borrowed.
  • Lender and servicer of your loans.
  • When your grace period ends.
  • Amount of payments.
  • Payment due dates.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) contains the status of your loans, balance amounts, and the agency who services your student loans. The agency that services your student loans is where you will be sending payments. To view this information, log on to www.nslds.ed.gov.


Loan Forgiveness

In some circumstances such as certain kinds of teaching service and total and permanent disability, a student may have their obligation to repay their federal student loan removed. For more information about forgiveness, cancellation or discharge of federal student loans, please click here.

Having Trouble Making Payments?

If you have trouble making payments, contact your loan servicer immediately! They have several options that may help. You may qualify for a deferment or forbearance. There are also several different repayment plans that may lower your monthly payment.


Deferment

A deferment is an approved temporary suspension of loan payments based on certain events or criteria. A deferment enables borrowers under certain conditions to postpone loan repayment for specified periods of time. You must apply for a deferment through your loan servicer. If you have a subsidized Stafford Loan or Perkins Loan you will not accrue interest during a deferment. If you have an unsubsidized Stafford Loan you are responsible for the interest during the deferment. You can make interest payments or choose to have the interest capitalized. You must continue to make payments on the loan until you are notified that the deferment has been approved. Deferments can be granted for students who are:

  • Enrolled at least half time at a post-secondary school.
  • Studying in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled.
  • Unable to find full time employment.
  • Experiencing economic hardship.

Forbearance

Forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty. You can receive forbearance if you're not eligible for a deferment. Unlike deferment, however, interest accrues, and you're responsible for repaying it. Forbearance is granted in increments of one year. You must apply for forbearance with your loan servicer. You must continue to make loan payments until you have been notified that the forbearance has been granted.


Federal Direct Loan Consolidation

A Direct Consolidation Loan will allow you to consolidate multiple federal education loans into one loan.  Consolidation will result in one single monthly payment instead of multiple payments on different loans.  There is no application fee to consolidate your federal education loans.  Loan consolidation can simplify your loan repayments into one bill. It can also lower your monthly payments by giving you up to 30 years to repay your loans, however, keep in mind that increasing the time of your repayment makes you pay more interest and make more payments.  You may also lose borrower benefits offered with the original loans that may include interest rate discounts, principal rebates, and some loan cancellation benefits.  Once your loans are combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan they cannot be removed.  Before consolidating your federal direct loans, you should discuss these points with your lender/servicer to determine the best option for you to repay your student loans.


Eligibility

To be eligible for loan consolidation, you must fit the following criteria:

  • Must be in repayment or grace period.
  • PLUS loan borrowers can consolidate at any time once fully disbursed.
  • Must have only one application pending.

Eligible Loans include:

  • Federal Stafford Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
  • Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL)
  • Health Professions Student Loans
  • Nursing School Loan
  • Health Education Assistance Loans
  • Consolidation Loans (Existing consolidation loans are only eligible if you have at least one other eligible loan).

Private or alternative loans are not eligible for consolidation. Other types of personal debt, including credit cards and car loans, cannot be included in a consolidation loan.

How to Apply

You may apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan through www.studentloans.gov. They offer both an electronic and paper application process.


Repayment Plans

Students may change their repayment plans at any time for free.  Contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment plan options or to change your repayment plan.  Repayment plan options are outlined below:  

Repayment Plan

 

Eligible Loans

 

Monthly Payment and Time Frame

 

Monthly Payment and Time Frame

Standard Repayment Plan

 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

All PLUS loans

AlConsolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)

 

Payments are a fixed amount.

Up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).

 

All borrowers are eligible for this plan.

You’ll pay less over time than under other plans.

Graduated Repayment Plan

 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

All PLUS loans

All Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)

 

Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years.

Up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).

 

All borrowers are eligible for this plan.

You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.

Extended Repayment Plan

 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

all PLUS loans

all Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)

 

Payments may be fixed or graduated.

Up to 25 years.

 

If you're a Direct Loan borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans.

If you're a FFEL borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans.

Your monthly payments will be lower than under the 10-year Standard Plan or the Graduated Repayment Plan.

You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.

Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment  Plan (REPAYE)

 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Direct PLUS loans made to students

Direct Consolidation Loans that do not include PLUS loans (Direct or FFEL) made to parents

 

Your monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income.

Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.

If you're married, both your and your spouse’s income or loan debt will be considered, whether taxes are filed jointly or separately (with limited exceptions).

Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 20 or 25 years.

 

Any Direct Loan borrower with an eligible loan type may choose this plan.

Your monthly payment can be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.

You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)

 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

all PLUS loans made to students

Consolidation Loans  (Direct or FFEL) that do not include  Direct or FFEL PLUS loans made to parents

 

Your monthly payments will be 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income.

Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.

If you're married, your spouse's income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return.

Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 20 or 25 years.

You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

 

You must have a high debt relative to your income.

Your monthly payment will never be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.

You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.

Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)

 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Direct PLUS Loans made to students

Direct Consolidation Loans

 

Your monthly payment will be the lesser of:

20 percent of discretionary income, or the amount you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over 12 years, adjusted according to your income. Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans.

If you're married, your spouse's income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return or you choose to repay your Direct Loans jointly with your spouse.

Any outstanding balance will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 25 years.

 

Any Direct Loan borrower with an eligible loan type may choose this plan.

Your monthly payment can be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.

You may have to pay income tax on the amount that is forgiven.

Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Parent borrowers can access this plan by consolidating their Parent PLUS Loans into aDirect Consolidation Loan.

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

 

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

FFEL PLUS Loans

FFEL Consolidation Loans

 

Your monthly payment is based on annual income.

Up to 15 years.

 

You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.

The formula for determining the monthly payment amount can vary from lender to lender.

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