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Paying off Student Loans Student Loan Repayment … - government program to pay off student loans


Paying off Student Loans Student Loan Repayment …-government program to pay off student loans

Paying off Student Loans
Student Loan Repayment Options for Military Borrowers
GETTING STARTED
Determine Debt Balance: The first step to managing your student loan debt is to understand where you stand with
your debt. With military moves, address changes, variable due dates, and the passage of time, it is easy to lose
track of one or more outstanding loans. It is important to know how much you owe, and to whom, so you can stay
on top of repayment.
Identify Loan Servicers: Most students will have been issued multiple loans, each potentially assigned to a
different servicer. A loan servicer collects payments from borrowers. Student loan servicers can include any or all
colleges or schools attended, banks and other lenders, or private companies specializing in loan management.
You should make sure you know who your loan servicers are and have contact information for them.
Consider Options: Most repayment plans are specific to one or more loan programs and cannot be used with
others. There are a number of federal student loan programs, though most individuals will have been funded by
just one or two of them. If you have multiple instances of the same loan type with different servicers, you must
make the same request to each servicer.
Stay Current with Loan Payments: The standard repayment plan for student loans is 120 equal monthly
payments, or 10 years. The interest rate on federal loans is fixed at the time a loan is signed and does not change
during the life of the loan. Some private loans have adjustable rates. You should not reduce or change payments
until you are directed to do so by your loan servicer. Delinquency and default on student loans can have severe
negative consequences for future credit, housing options, and employability.
Maximize Use of Automatic Payments: To ensure payments are made on time, have your loan payment
automatically deducted from your bank account each month.
Build a Spending Plan: Knowing your current financial situation includes accounting for more than just your
student loan debt. To ensure that you understand your overall financial status, you should make a budget or
spending plan. This will help you see how your student loan payments and debt fit into your current spending.
STUDENT LOAN TYPES
FEDERAL LOANS
Federal student loans fall into two categories:
? Direct Loans: "Direct" means that the federal funding comes to the financial aid office of the school or
college rather than being funneled through a commercial bank. Direct Loan programs include Direct
Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans. These
loans may also be referred to as "Stafford Loans."
? Perkins Loans: These are small, need-based loans for students with exceptional need. The money comes
from the U.S. Department of Education but is serviced by the school or college that offers the loan.
PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS
Privately issued student loans, also called "alternative" student loans, are interest-generating instruments
promoted by banks and other lenders. Private loans offer fewer consumer protections and fewer opportunities to
reshape payment terms. Like the loans people take out for houses and cars, a student's credit score influences
the terms of private loans, and repayment can begin immediately on disbursement. The loan's terms may include
increasing interest over time.
Flight Plan to Financial Freedom
MANAGEMENT OPTIONS
Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA): The SCRA caps the interest rate on debt obtained prior to your military
service at 6% during periods of active duty. This includes student loans--federal and private--as well as consumer
loans and credit cards. The SCRA also applies to National Guard and Reserve personnel, whether in state or
federal service. Check with your installation legal services office about how the SCRA may apply to you.
College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP): Under the CLRP, enlisted Airmen may be eligible for assistance to
repay postsecondary educational loans based upon their rate and the specific terms and conditions listed on their
original enlistment contract. The Air Force will repay up to $10,000 for student loans obtained prior to enlistment.
The Air Force Reserves do not offer the CLRP program. Air National Guard members are not eligible for CLRP.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program may help borrowers who
intend to make the military a career or transition into jobs in the public or nonprofit sectors. If you qualify, the
remaining balance of your federal Direct Loans may be forgiven. You must be employed full-time in a qualifying
government or nonprofit public service organization, including military service, and make 120 qualifying payments
(after October 1, 2007). To determine eligibility, you will need to submit an Employment Certification for Public
Service Loan Forgiveness form.
Deferment: Under certain conditions, payment on the principal of student loans may be suspended for a period of
time. Loans may be deferred for up to three years while borrowers continue their education, serve on active duty,
or deal with a financial hardship. The loan servicer determines documentation requirements. Private lenders may
have deferment options.
Forbearance: Forbearance, or the suspension of payments, may be granted to borrowers who do not qualify for
deferment or have exhausted deferment options. Private lenders may have forbearance options.
Graduated Repayment: Graduated repayment structures a student loan so that the borrower pays less in the early
years of repayment and more later on, presumably when the borrower is better established financially. The term
of a graduated repayment plan is 10 years. Because the principal does not decrease as quickly, the total cost of
borrowing at the end of 10 years will be higher than under a standard repayment plan.
Extended Payment: An extended payment plan can reduce payments by spreading them over a period of up to 25
years. Most federal loans qualify for extended repayment. However, the borrower must owe more than $30,000
to be considered. Extended repayment plans can also be graduated. Payments will be lower with an extended
payment plan, but the total cost of borrowing (principal plus interest paid) will be much higher.
Payment Reductions: Income-driven repayment options differ by the loan program(s) to which they apply, the
conditions borrowers must meet, and the length of the payment schedule. They also have procedural and benefit
differences. Options include the Revised Pay As You Earn Plan (REPAYE) and the Pay As Your Earn Plan (PAYE).
With both plans the monthly payment is 10% of the borrower's discretionary income but never more than what
the borrower would pay under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan. Repayment period can be 20 to 25 years,
depending on the loan and plan.
Consolidation Loans: Consolidation loans may be available to combine student loans into a single payment under
one servicer. The effective interest rate is usually a little higher than what you have been paying, and the term of
the loan may be extended--up to 30 years--which means that the cost of the borrowed money will be higher in the
end. You can consolidate loans only once. Many financial experts advise to not consolidate federal student loans
with private student loans because doing so can result in losing options such as federal protections, repayment
options, and loan forgiveness.
Before you select a repayment option or loan consolidation, you should be aware of all your options and of the
consequences of the option you select. Contact your loan servicer or private loan lender to discuss which option
is best for your situation. The Federal Student Aid website (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans) contains
detailed information about repayment and consolidation loan options for federal student loans.
Flight Plan to Financial Freedom
USEFUL WEBSITES
? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/repay-student-debt/
? Federal Direct Consolidation Loan:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation#page
? Federal Student Loan Repayment Estimator:
https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action
? Federal Student Aid Repayment Options:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans
? Federal Student Aid Ombudsman:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare
? National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS):
https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/
? Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service
? U.S. Department of Education Loan Default Resolution Group:
https://myeddebt.ed.gov
OTHER RESOURCES
CFPB Private Education Loan Ombudsman
Email: CFPBOmbudsman@cfpb.gov
Phone: 1-855-830-7880
TTY: 202-435-9835
Fax: 202-435-7888
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group
Phone: 1-877-557-2575
Fax: 606-396-4821
Direct Consolidation Loan Application
Phone: 1-800-557-7392
TTY: 1-800-557-7395
https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchConsolidation.action
Flight Plan to Financial Freedom

What charities help pay off student loans? Medical school loan forgiveness. National Health Service Corps offers an assistance program in many states that will help you with paying off your high medical school student loan and also ... Nurses and doctors. ... Occupational or physical therapy education loan forgiveness. ... Military Service. ...

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