Please Don't Default

There are always options.
We can help.

Welcome and thank you for visiting PleaseDontDefault.org. This site is not run by your student loan servicer or your school. This is simply an informational website designed to give you the help and know-how you'll need to avoid defaulting on your student loans. There are options available no matter what your personal and financial situations may be. See the various options below for details about what you can do to avoid the financial nightmare that is student loan default. Please don't default!

If you're having trouble finding the information you need or if you have any questions you would like to ask us, please give us a call or send us an email.

NOTE: You, the borrower, made a legally binding promise to repay your student loan(s), plus interest and any other charges and fees that may accrue over the life of the loan. Click here for more information about your Master Promissory Note.

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FAQ's

Does defaulting on my student loans affect my ability to get a car, rent an apartment or buy a house?

Yes. The default is reported to the national consumer reporting agencies and will be reflected on your credit.

What happens if my student loans get sent to collections?

You will no longer be eligible for additional financial aid. You may also be subject to wage garnishment and your tax returns may be taken. If you receive a professional license, it could be revoked. Your diploma and transcripts may also be held.

I have been making my student loan payments every month and as far as I know, am not delinquent. What should I do? Who do I contact about making this right?

It is possible you have more than one student loan servicer. To locate all of your loans please visit the National Student Loan Data System. If you only have one student loan servicer, contact them directly to why the delinquency has occurred.

I don’t make much money, am already receiving government assistance (like food stamps, social security, etc.) to make ends meet and I can’t afford my student loan payments either. Are there options for me?

You may qualify to postpone your loan payments with deferment for the time you are receiving the assistance. To see if you qualify and to request the necessary paperwork you will want to contact your loan servicer.
Deferment with Sallie Mae - Understanding Deferment
Deferment with Nelnet - Nelnet Cost of Deferment/Forbearance Calculator
Nelnet Deferment Online Forms  
Deferment with Great Lakes - Understand Your Repayment Options – Temporarily Postpone Your Payments
Deferment with FedLoan

Volunteer Service: I have been called to serve a religious mission. Can I defer my payments until I come back?

Possibly. If you are serving in the Peace Corps you may be able to use deferment to postpone payments. If you are performing other volunteer servicer your student loan servicer can help you determine which options you qualify for and which options will be best for you in the long run.
Deferment with Sallie Mae - Understanding Deferment
Nelnet Cost of Deferment/Forbearance Calculator
Nelnet Deferment Online Forms  
Deferment with Great Lakes - Understand Your Repayment Options
Deferment with FedLoan

I recently experienced some automobile troubles (accident, repairs, etc.), which resulted in a shortage of funds to pay my expenses/bills. What can I do?

You may be able to temporarily reduce or postpone your payments. To find out your options, contact your student loan servicer.

Can I extend the length of my repayment period to lower my monthly payment?

Possibly. To be eligible for the extended plan, you must have more than $30,000 in Direct Loan debt and you must not have an outstanding balance on a Direct Loan as of October 7, 1998. If you meet these requirements, contact your servicer and inquire about an extended repayment plan. More information on the Extended Repayment Plan from StudentAid.ed.gov.

What is Income-Contingent Repayment? Who can use this option?

On Income-contingent-repayment (ICR) your monthly payments will be calculated on the basis of your adjusted gross income (AGI, plus your spouse’s income if you’re married), family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Similar to IBR, if you expect your financial situation to remain the same for several years, and you are unable to afford your monthly payment, this may be an option for you to consider.
More information on Income-Contingent Repayment from StudentAid.ed.gov.
Income-Contingent Repayment Calculator from StudentAid.ed.gov.

What is forbearance? Who can use this option?

Forbearance is a temporary postponement of payments. In can be used in certain hardship situations to bring and account current and possibly even postpone payments. Most borrowers can use this option, but you will want to contact your student loan servicer to see if you qualify for other options such as deferment.
Sallie Mae – Understanding Forbearance
Nelnet Forbearance Information - Cost of Deferment/Forbearance Calculator
Nelnet Forbearance Online Forms  
Great Lakes – Understand Your Repayment Options - Temporarily Postpose Your Payments
FedLoan Forbearance Information

I serve in the military. What options do I have to temporarily stop my payments, make smaller payments or extend the time I have to make payments?

If you are on active duty in support of a war or operation, you may be able to postpone payments.  See if you qualify for the Military Deferment.

I have an illness that has prevented me from working as much as I normally do. Is there anything I can do to temporarily stop my payments, make smaller payments or extend the time I have to make payments?

There are options available to assist you if you are unable to accommodate your monthly payment. Your servicer can you provide you with more information regarding options to lower or possibly even postpone payments.

I have fallen into an unfortunate financial situation and can’t afford to make my payments right now. Is there anything I can do to temporarily stop my payments, make smaller payments or extend the time I have to make payments?

Yes. You may be able to change your repayment plan to a plan that better suits your needs. If you can’t afford to pay at all, you may be able to postpone payments depending on your current situation. Your student loan servicer can help you determine which option is a best fit. The most common option in this scenario is called “Economic Hardship Deferment.” More information on Economic Hardship Deferment from StudentAid.ed.gov.

I am still enrolled in school at least half-time. Why am I receiving student loan payment letters?

It is possible that your student loan servicer hasn’t been notified of your current enrollment. Most schools report the information to the servicer electronically. However, you may want to follow up with your student loan servicer and your school to ensure the information. The postponement of payments while you are enrolled in school at least half-time is called In-School Deferment. More Information on deferment from StudentAid.ed.gov.

I can’t afford my monthly student loan payment. What can I do to make my payment affordable?

There are alternate repayment plans available, which may be able to reduce your monthly payment and make it more affordable.  For more information about alternate repayment plans you can call your student loan servicer.
Repayment Plans and Calculators from StudentAid.ed.gov.

What options are available from my servicer to avoid defaulting on my loans?

The most beneficial solution is to make payments to resolve the delinquency. If you can’t afford to make payments, contact your servicer to discuss options to lower payments or possibly postpone payments.

Can my student loan debt be forgiven if I declare bankruptcy?

Most likely the answer to your question is, “No”. Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy unless a borrower can provide proof that the debt causes “undue hardship”. If you file bankruptcy you will still be responsible for the remaining balance of your student loan debt. 
More Information from StudentAid.ed.gov.

What is a loan servicer?

Student loan servicers monitor loans while borrowers are in school, collect payments, process deferments and forbearances, respond to borrower inquiries, maintain loan records, etc.

What happens if I default on my student loans? What are the consequences?

You will no longer be eligible for additional financial aid. You may also be subject to wage garnishment and your tax returns may be taken. If you receive a professional license, it could be revoked. Your diploma and transcripts may also be held.

Has my credit score already been affected from being delinquent on my student loan payments? What can I do about it?

Possibly. Student loan servicers will report the delinquency to the national consumer reporting agencies. Contacting your servicer now could prevent future negative reporting.

What can I do to get my servicer to stop contacting me?

Resolve the delinquency. Your student loan servicer is contacting you to let you know that there are several options which may help you.

I wasn’t ever contacted about making my student loan payments. What can I do?

Contact your student loan servicer to make sure they have your current address on file. They may be able to resend some of the information you missed to you.

The owner of the delinquent student loan in question is incarcerated. What are my or his/her options?

Contact your student loan servicer to find out what options are available. Depending on the length of incarceration, payments may be able to be postponed, preventing default.

I am permanently disabled and can’t make my student payments. What can I do?

You may qualify to have your student loans discharged.  You do have to apply for the discharge, so you will want to contact your servicer to see if you qualify. If you do, they can help get you the necessary paperwork as well discuss options to bring your account current while you work on the paperwork with your physician. More information on Permanent Disability Discharge from StudentAid.ed.gov.

I recently went through a divorce/am going through a divorce. Do I have any options?

If your divorce is causing financial hardship, you may be able to temporarily reduce or postpone your payments (economic hardship deferment). To find out your options contact your student loan servicer. More information on Economic Hardship Deferment from StudentAid.ed.gov.

Is there a way to take care of my delinquent student loans without talking to my servicer?

You may be able to gain beneficial information about your student loans by visiting your student loan servicer’s website. However, we recommend contacting them directly. They are definitely there to help!

I just started going back to school and thought that I didn’t have to be making payments on my loan while in school. What should I do?

While you are attending school part time, you may qualify to postpone your payments (in-school deferment). Contact your servicer and your school’s registrar’s office to determine your eligibility for this deferment.
More Information on deferment from StudentAid.ed.gov:

Deferment with Sallie Mae - Understanding Deferment
Deferment with Nelnet - Nelnet Cost of Deferment/Forbearance Calculator
Nelnet Deferment Online Forms  
Deferment with Great Lakes - Understand Your Repayment Options
Deferment with FedLoan

What is income-based-repayment? Who can use this option?

Income-based-repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan which bases a monthly student loan payment on income and family size. If you repay under the IBR plan for 25 years and meet other requirements you may have any remaining balance of your loan(s) cancelled. If you expect your financial situation to remain the same for several years, and you are unable to afford your monthly payment, this may be an option for you to consider.
Sallie Mae - Income-Based Repayment & How To Apply
Nelnet - Income-Based Repayment
Nelnet Income Based Repayment Calculator
Great Lakes – Is Income-Based Repayment Right For You?
FedLoan Income-Based Repayment Information

What is deferment status? Who can use this option?

While loans are in a deferment, no payments are due and the loans are considered to be in good standing. If you are not able to make payments contact your servicer to discuss eligibility requirements for the different deferment types.
Deferment with Sallie Mae - Understanding Deferment
Deferment with Nelnet - Nelnet Cost of Deferment/Forbearance Calculator
Nelnet Deferment Online Forms  
Deferment with Great Lakes - Understand Your Repayment Options – Temporarily Postpone Your Payments
Deferment with FedLoan

I am serving in a medical or dental internship/residency. Is there anything I can do to temporarily stop my payments, make smaller payments or extend the time I have to make payments?

You may qualify to postpone your payments because you are in a residency program. If you are able to accommodate smaller payments, you may be able to change to a repayment plan that would allow you to make smaller payments during this time.  Contact your servicer to see what repayment options are available to you.

My monthly minimum payment is just too high and I cant afford it after paying all of my other bills. Is there any way to make my payment more affordable?

Yes. There are several alternate repayment plans available for student loans. Some of the repayment plans allow you to pay just your monthly interest accrual; others may allow you to make a $5.00 payment each month. To determine which options are available for your student loans and which options best fit your situation, you will want to contact your servicer. More information on the repayment plans available from StudentAid.ed.gov.

I am unemployed and can’t afford my student loan payments. Is there an option for me?

You may qualify to postpone your payments with deferment. However, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. To find out of you qualify and to find out how to apply please contact your student loan servicer.
Deferment with Sallie Mae - Understanding Deferment
Deferment with Nelnet - Nelnet Cost of Deferment/Forbearance Calculator
Nelnet Deferment Online Forms  
Deferment with Great Lakes - Understand Your Repayment Options – Temporarily Postpone Your Payments
Deferment with FedLoan

I work in public service. Isn’t there a public service loan forgiveness option?

If you are employed in certain public service jobs you may qualify to have your remaining balance on your loans forgiven.  Learn more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

I am four (or more) payments behind on my student loans. How can I avoid default?

You can try paying more than your minimum monthly payment to bring the account current quicker. If you can’t make a payment you may be able to postpone payments with deferment or forbearance.  Deferment and forbearance may also be able to bring your account current.  For more information about postponement option, contact your student loan servicer.
View Repayment Plans from ACS
View Repayment Plans from Great Lakes
View Repayment Plans from Nelnet
View Repayment Plans from Sallie Mae
View Repayment Plans from FedLoan

I have to make multiple student loan payments every month and I can’t afford them all. Can consolidation help me? 

Possibly. Consolidation would allow you to combine all of your existing loans into one new loan, allowing you to make one monthly payment.  More information about the benefits of consolidation.
More information on Loan Consolidation from StudentAid.ed.gov.

Why is UHEAA contacting me about my student loans if they aren’t my loan servicer?

The school for which you received student loans is concerned about your delinquent status. They have requested that UHEAA assist them in contacting you to resolve the delinquency.

Who is my loan servicer?

If you are unsure of who your student loan servicer is, please visit the National Student Loan Data System .
default avoid servicer

Ask Us A Question

The purpose of this site is to assist borrowers with contacting their federal student loan servicer. We want to answer any questions you have to help you avoid default. Please DO NOT send any personal information such as account numbers or social security numbers.

By Phone:

  • Local: (801) 321-7235
  • Toll free: (877) 533-9235

By Email




Default

Default means failure to make payments on your student loan. The federal government will take action to recover the money you owe. Here are some of those actions:

  • National credit bureaus will be notified of your default which will harm your credit rating and make it difficult to buy a car or a house.
  • You will be ineligible for additional federal student aid if you decide to return to school.
  • Loan payments can be deducted from your paycheck through wage garnishment.
  • State and federal income tax refunds can be seized.
  • You will pay collection costs on top of what you already owe.
  • You can even be sued.
  • Federal student loans are not dischargable in bankruptcy.
Source

As you can see, defaulting on student loans is an absolute nightmare. If you are unable to make your monthly loan payments, contact your loan servicer today and find a repayment plan that is right for you. Please don't default. There are always options.

avoid see faq servicer

Reasons to avoid default.

There are many reason to avoid default but here are a few specific consequences of default.

Collections

Your loans may be turned over to a collection agency.

You will be liable for the costs associated with collecting your loan, including court costs, attorney fees and any other fees.

To avoid "Collections" contact your servicer today.

Wage Garnishment

Your wages may be garnished. (Federal law limits the amount that may be garnished to 15% of the borrower's take-home or 'disposable' pay. This is the amount of income left after deducting any amounts required by law to be deducted. The wage garnishment amount is also subject to a ceiling that requires the borrower to be left with weekly earnings after the garnishment of at least 30 times the Federal minimum wage, per 34 CFR 682.410(b)(9), 34 CFR 34.19(b) and 15 USC 1673(a)(2).)

To avoid "Wage Garnishment" contact your servicer today.

Withheld Tax Returns

Your federal and state income tax refunds may be intercepted.

To avoid "Withheld Tax Returns" contact your servicer today.

Withheld Social Security Benefits

The federal government may withhold part of your Social Security benefit payments.

To avoid "Withheld Social Security Benefits" contact your servicer today.

Severely Damaged Credit Score

Your defaulted loans will appear on your credit history for up to 7 years after the default claim is paid, making it difficult for you to obtain an auto loan, mortgage, or even credit cards. A bad credit record can also harm your ability to find a job. The US Department of Education reports defaulted loans to TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

To avoid "Severely Damaged Credit Score" contact your servicer today.

Inability to receive any additional federal financial aid

You won't receive any more federal financial aid until you repay the loan in full or make arrangements to repay what you already owe and make at least six consecutive, on-time, monthly payments. (You will also be ineligible for assistance under most federal benefit programs.)

To avoid "Inability to receive any additional federal financial aid" contact your servicer today.

Less rehabilitation options

You'll be ineligible for deferments.

To avoid "Less rehabilitation options" contact your servicer today.

Denial of loan benefits

Subsidized interest benefits will be denied.

To avoid "Denial of loan benefits" contact your servicer today.

Professional Hold-Backs

You may not be able to renew a professional license you hold.

To avoid "Professional Hold-Backs" contact your servicer today.

Other Consequences

  • You will still owe the full amount of your loan.
  • You can be sued for the entire amount of your loan.

To avoid "Other Consequences" contact your servicer today.

How do you avoid default?

Did you know that there are several options available which make it possible to lower your monthly payments to a more affordable amount (repayment plans)? There are even options available for postponing payments until you're in a better financial situation if you qualify (deferment and forbearance). Check out the various options below and then give us or your servicer a call to see which option will work out best for you and your financial situation. Please don't default!

Repayment Plan/Repayment Option

You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose.
Source
View Repayment Plans from ACS
View Repayment Plans from Aspire
View Repayment Plans from CornerStone
View Repayment Plans from EdFinancial
View Repayment Plans from EdManage
View Repayment Plans from FedLoan
View Repayment Plans from Great Lakes
View Repayment Plans from GSM&R
View Repayment Plans from MOHELA
View Repayment Plans from Nelnet
View Repayment Plans from OSLA
View Repayment Plans from Sallie Mae

Does setting up a different repayment plan sound like the best option for your situation? Contact your servicer today.

Standard Repayment Plan

With the standard plan, you'll pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full. Your monthly payments will be at least $50, and you'll have up to 10 years to repay your loans. Your monthly payment under the standard plan may be higher than it would be under the other plans because your loans will be repaid in the shortest time. For that reason, having a 10-year limit on repayment, you may pay the least interest.
Source

Extended Repayment

Under the extended plan, you'll pay a fixed annual or graduated repayment amount over a period not to exceed 25 years. If you're a FFEL borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans. If you're a Direct Loan borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans. This means, for example, that if you have $35,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans and $10,000 in outstanding Direct Loans, you can choose the extended repayment plan for your FFEL Program loans, but not for your Direct Loans. Your fixed monthly payment is lower than it would be under the Standard Plan, but you'll ultimately pay more for your loan because of the interest that accumulates during the longer repayment period.

This is a good plan if you will need to make smaller monthly payments. Because the repayment period will be 25 years, your monthly payments will be less than with the standard plan. However, you may pay more in interest because you're taking longer to repay the loans. Remember that the longer your loans are in repayment, the more interest you will pay.
Source

Does an extended repayment plan sound like the best options for your situation? Contact your servicer today.

Graduated Repayment

With this plan, your payments start out low and increase every two years. The length of your repayment period will be up to ten years. If you expect your income to increase steadily over time, this plan may be right for you. Your monthly payment will never be less than the amount of interest that accrues between payments. Although your monthly payment will gradually increase, no single payment under this plan will be more than three times greater than any other payment.
Source

Does a graduated repayment plan sound like the best option for your situation? Contact your servicer today.

Income-Based Repayment

Income Based Repayment is a new repayment plan for the major types of federal loans made to students. Under IBR, the required monthly payment is capped at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on income and family size. You are eligible for IBR if the monthly repayment amount under IBR will be less than the monthly amount calculated under a 10-year standard repayment plan. If you repay under the IBR plan for 25 years and meet other requirements you may have any remaining balance of your loan(s) cancelled. Additionally, if you work in public service and have reduced loan payments through IBR, the remaining balance after ten years in a public service job could be cancelled.
Source

Sallie Mae - Income-Based Repayment & How To Apply
Nelnet - Income-Based Repayment
Nelnet Income Based Repayment Calculator
Great Lakes – Is Income-Based Repayment Right For You?
FedLoan Income-Based Repayment Information

Does Income-Based Repayment sound like the best option for your situation? Contact your servicer today.

Income-Contingent Repayment

This plan gives you the flexibility to meet your Direct Loans obligations without causing undue financial hardship. Each year, your monthly payments will be calculated on the basis of your adjusted gross income (AGI, plus your spouse's income if you're married), family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Under the ICR plan you will pay each month the lesser of:

  1. The amount you would pay if you repaid your loan in 12 years multiplied by an income percentage factor that varies with your annual income, or
  2. 20 percent of your monthly discretionary income.

If your payments are not large enough to cover the interest that has accumulated on your loans, the unpaid amount will be capitalized once each year. However, capitalization will not exceed 10 percent of the original amount you owed when you entered repayment. Interest will continue to accumulate but will no longer be capitalized (added to the loan principal).

The maximum repayment period is 25 years. If you haven't fully repaid your loans after 25 years (time spent in deferment or forbearance does not count) under this plan, the unpaid portion will be discharged. You may, however, have to pay taxes on the amount that is discharged.

As of July 1, 2009, graduate and professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrowers are eligible to use the ICR plan. Parent Direct PLUS Loan borrowers are not eligible for the ICR repayment plan.
Source

Does Income-Contingent Repayment sound like the best option for your situation? Contact your servicer today.

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan

The Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan helps keep your monthly student loan payments affordable, and usually has the lowest monthly payment amount of the repayment plans that are based on your income. If you need to make lower monthly payments, this plan may be for you.

To qualify for Pay As You Earn, you must have a partial financial hardship. You have a partial financial hardship if the monthly amount you would be required to pay on your eligible federal student loans under a 10-year Standard Repayment Plan is higher than the monthly amount you would be required to repay under Pay As You Earn. For this purpose, your eligible student loans include all of your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans that are eligible for Pay As You Earn, as well as certain types of Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans.

The following types of FFEL Program loans are counted in determining whether you have a partial financial hardship (although your FFEL Program loans cannot be repaid under Pay As You Earn):

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • Federal Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans for parents
You also must be a new borrower as of Oct. 1, 2007, and must have received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011. You are a new borrower if you had no outstanding balance on a
  • Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan as of Oct. 1, 2007, or had no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan when you received a new loan on or after Oct. 1, 2007.

    Your payment amount may increase or decrease each year based on your income and family size. Once you’ve initially qualified for Pay As You Earn, you may continue to make payments under the plan even if you no longer have a partial financial hardship. Find out whether you’re eligible for Pay As You Earn.

  • Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (CLAARP)

    The Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program was established to encourage qualified individuals to enter and continue employment as civil legal assistance attorneys.
    Source

    Loan Cancellation/Discharge

    It's possible to have your student loan debt discharged (canceled) or reduced, but only under certain specific circumstances:

    1. You die or become totally and permanently disabled.
    2. Your school closed before you could complete your program.
    3. For FFELSM and Direct Stafford Loans only: Your school owes your lender a refund, forged your signature on a promissory note, or certified your loan even though you didn't have the ability to benefit from the coursework.
    4. You work in certain designated public school service professions (including teaching in a low-income school).
    5. You file for bankruptcy. (This cancellation is rare and occurs only if a bankruptcy court rules that repayment would cause undue hardship.)
      Source

    Do you think that you may qualify for loan cancellation or discharge? Contact your servicer today.

    Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

    Please visit the federal government’s web page on Total and Permanent disability for complete details. www.disabilitydischarge.com

    Teacher Deferment/Forgiveness

    If you're a teacher serving in a low-income or subject-matter shortage area, it may be possible for you to cancel or defer your student loans. Find out whether you qualify.
    Source

    Do you think that you may qualify for loan cancellation or discharge? Contact your servicer today.

    Public Service Loan Forgiveness

    Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, if you are employed in a public service job, you may have the balance of your loans forgiven if you make 120 on-time monthly payments under certain repayment plans after October 1, 2007. You must be employed full-time in a public service job during the same period in which the qualifying payments are made and at the time that the cancellation is granted. The amount forgiven is the remaining outstanding balance of principal and accrued interest on eligible Direct Loans that are not in default.
    Source

    Do you think that you may qualify for public service loan forgiveness? Contact your servicer today.

    Deferment

    You can receive a deferment for certain defined periods. A deferment is a temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations such as re enrollment in school, unemployment, or economic hardship.

    You don’t have to pay interest on the loan during deferment if you have a subsidized Direct or FFEL, Stafford Loan or a Federal Perkins Loan. If you have an unsubsidized Direct or FFEL Stafford Loan, you’re responsible for the interest during deferment. If you don’t pay the interest as it accrues (accumulates), it will be capitalized (added to the loan principal), and the amount you have to pay in the future will be higher. You have to apply for a deferment to your loan servicer (the organization that handles your loan), and you must continue to make payments until you’ve been notified your deferment has been granted. Otherwise, you could become delinquent or go into default.
    Source

    Does a deferment sound like the best option for you and your situation? Contact your servicer today.

    In-School Deferment

    Until you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment you should be in deferment status on your student loans (you are not required to make payments on your loan while in deferment). If you are in school and not in deferment status, contact your servicer or talk with a representative at your school’s financial aid office today to easily resolve the situation.

    Are you currently enrolled in school half-time? You should be in the “In-School Deferment” period. Contact your servicer to defer your loan payments today.

    Military Service Deferment

    An active duty military deferment is available to borrowers in the Direct, FFEL, and Perkins Loan programs who are called to active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency. This deferment is available while the borrower is serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency and, if the borrower was serving on or after Oct. 1, 2007, for an additional 180-day period following the demobilization date for the qualifying service.
    Source

    Should you be Military Service Deferment status on your loans? Contact your servicer to defer your loan payments today.

    Post-Active Duty Student Deferment

    A Direct, FFEL, or Perkins Loan borrower who is a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces (current or retired) and is 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, is eligible for a deferment during the 13 months following the conclusion of the active duty service, or until the borrower returns to enrolled student status on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earlier.
    Source

    Does it seem like you should be in Post-Active Duty Student Deferment status? Contact your servicer to defer your loan payments today.

    Economic Hardship Deferment

    A Direct, FFEL, or Federal Perkins Loan borrower may qualify for an economic hardship deferment for a maximum of three years if the borrower is experiencing economic hardship according to federal regulations. The Summary of Loan Deferment Conditions chart here shows Stafford and Perkins Loan deferments for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 1993. For information on deferments for loans received before that date, Direct Stafford Loan, FFEL, and PLUS Loan borrowers should contact their loan servicer.
    Source

    Are you experiencing an economic hardship? Contact your servicer if you qualify for Economic Hardship Deferment today.

    Unemployment Deferment

    If you are unemployed, you can receive a deferment for certain defined periods.

    Are you currently unemployed? You may qualify to have your loan payments deferred. Contact your servicer about unemployment deferment today.

    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, whether your loans are subsidized or unsubsidized, interest accrues, and you’re responsible for repaying it. Your loan holder can grant forbearance in intervals of up to 12 months at a time for up to 3 years. You have to apply to your loan servicer for forbearance, and you must continue to make payments until you've been notified your forbearance has been granted.
    Source

    Are you experiencing financial difficulty? You may qualify to postpone your monthly loan payments for a period of time. Contact your servicer today about forbearance.

    Internship Residency Forbearance

    The Internship/Residency Forbearance is available if your two-year Internship Deferment eligibility has expired or if you are not eligible for an Internship Deferment because of the terms of your promissory note. This forbearance is granted in yearly increments and you must reapply annually. To qualify for the forbearance you must complete and return this request form along with a statement from an authorized program official certifying:

    1. That the internship or residency program is a supervised training program that requires the completion of at least a bachelor’s degree before acceptance into the program.
    2. That you have been accepted into the program.
    3. The anticipated dates on which you will begin and complete the program, or begin and complete the minimum period of participation in the program that the state requires before an individual may be certified for professional practice or service, whichever is less.
    4. That completion of the program leads to a degree or certificate awarded by a hospital, health care facility, or institution of higher education that offers postgraduate training (for a medical internship or residency training program performed at a hospital, health care facility, or institution of higher education only).
    5. That completion of the program is required before you can begin professional practice or service (for a non-medical internship program that is required of you to begin professional practice of service only). You must also provide this certification from the appropriate state licensing agency. Remember, forbearance is a temporary postponement of your monthly payment. While the forbearance period is in effect, interest will continue to accrue and you will be responsible for the accrued interest. You may pay the interest while it accrues by accessing your account at www.uheaa.org. If you choose not to pay the interest, it will be added to your principal balance (capitalized) in accordance with the terms of your Master Promissory Note. If you allow the interest to capitalize, you will pay interest on interest.

    Do you think you may qualify for Internship Residency Forbearance? Contact your servicer today.

    Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness/Forbearance

    You might be able to have a portion of your undergraduate FFEL or Direct Stafford Loan forgiven if you are a childcare provider.
    Source

    Are you a childcare provider? Contact your servicer about Childcare Provider Loan Forgiveness/Forbearance today.

    Consolidation

    A Consolidation Loan allows you to combine your federal student loans into a single loan.
    Source

    Do you have multiple federal student loans at different servicers? Contact your servicer about consolidation today.

    Terms you should know

    There are many terms out there dealing with student loans. Here are a few important terms.

    Direct Stafford Loans

    Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) at participating schools.
    Source

    Master Promissory Note (MPN)

    When you receive a Stafford Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that you receive over several years of study. If you previously signed an MPN to receive a FFEL Program loan, you will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct Loan.
    Source

    Delinquency

    If you are delinquent on your student loan(s), it means that you have missed one or more monthly payments. For example, if it has been 60 days since your last student loan payment was due, you are 60 days delinquent.

    If you are delinquent on your loan payments, you still have time to avoid defaulting. Contact your servicer today to talk about the options available to help make your monthly payments manageable and affordable.

    Default

  • 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:
    1. 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.
    2. You will be ineligible for additional federal student aid if you decide to return to school.
    3. Loan payments can be deducted from your paycheck.
    4. State and federal income tax refunds can be withheld and applied toward the amount you owe.
    5. You will have to pay late fees and collection costs on top of what you already owe
    6. You can be sued.
      Source
    7. No one should have to experience the terrible consequences that come with defaulting on student loans. If you are delinquent on your loan payments and approaching default, contact your servicer to talk about the various options available to help make your loan payments more manageable and affordable.

    Grace Period

  • The grace period is the length of time after you have completed or stopped attending school when you prepare to enter repayment on your student loans. During the grace period, you are not yet required to make payment on your loan. If you have a subsidized loan, interest is not accrued until after the grace period ends. Length of grace period depends on the type of student loan you hold.
  • 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 Stafford Loan (Direct Loan Program or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program).
    • Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans.
      Source
  • NSLDS

    The National Student Loans Data System is a centralized database that stores information on all U.S. Department of Education loans. You can find out which organization services your loan using the NSLDS loan locator.
    Loan Locator

    PLUS Loan

    Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses.
    Source

    GradPLUS Loan

    Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses.
    Source

    Subsidized Loan

  • Awarded on the basis of financial need. You won't be charged any interest before you begin repaying the loan because the federal government subsidizes the interest during this time.
  • Subsidized means “to pay part of the cost of producing (something) to reduce prices for the buyer,” or in the case of student loan, the borrower.
  • Unsubsidized Loan

    Interest is charged from the time the money is first disbursed until it is paid in full. The interest is capitalized, meaning that you pay interest on any interest that has already accrued. One way to minimize how much interest accrues is to pay the interest as it accumulates.

    Borrower Rights & Responsibilities

    For a list of student loan borrower rights and responsibilities, please visit: studentaid.ed.gov

    Loan Servicer

    A loan servicer is a public or private entity that collects, monitors and reports loan payments.

    If you’re not sure who your loan servicer is, just visit the NSLDS Loan Locator.

    Interest Rates

    For a listing of federal student loan interest rates, please visit www.direct.ed.gov.

    Repayment Calculator

    There are various repayment calculators available from your servicer and from the federal government to help you figure out or better understand your monthly payments. You can find calculators for every repayment plan available on your student loans (Standard Repayment, Extended Repayment, Graduated Repayment, Income-Based Repayment, etc.) studentaid.ed.gov
    Standard Repayment Calculator
    Extended Repayment Calculator
    Graduated Repayment Calculator
    Income-Based Repayment Calculator
    Income-Contingent Repayment Calculator
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    acs

    ACS - Federal Student Loan Servicing
    www.myedaccount.com 1-800-848-0979

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.myedaccount.com
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: 1-800-848-0979
    International: 011-315-738-6634

    Business hours:
    Monday through Friday 8:00 am E.S.T. to 8:30 pm E.S.T.

    By Fax

    Toll free: 1-800-848-0984

    By Mail

    Correspondence Address:

    Borrower Services Department
    P.O. Box 5609
    Greenville, TX 75403-5609

    Payment Address:

    U.S. Department of Education
    Direct Loan Payment Center
    P.O. BOX 530260
    Atlanta, GA 30353-0260

    Have A Question?

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    aspire

    Aspire Resources
    www.aspireresourcesinc.com (855) 475-3335

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.aspireresourcesinc.com
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: (855) 475-3335

    Business hours:
    Monday thru Friday: 7am - 7:30 pm (CT)

    By Fax

    Toll free:(515) 471-8180

    By Mail

    Correspondence Address:

    Aspire Resources Inc.
    PO Box 65970
    West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970

    Payment Address:

    U.S. Department of Education,
    Aspire Resources Inc.
    PO Box 530308
    Atlanta, GA 30353-0308

    Have A Question?

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    greatlakes

    Cornerstone Education Loan Services
    mycornerstoneloan.org (800) 663-1662

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: mycornerstoneloan.org
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: (800) 663-1662

    Business hours:
    Walk-In: Monday thru Friday 8am - 5pm (no cash payments),
    Call Center: Monday thru Thursday: 6am - 9pm, Friday: 6am - 5pm, Saturday: 8am - Noon

    By Fax

    Toll free: (801) 366-8400

    By Mail

    Payment Address:

    Cornerstone Education Loan Services
    P.O. Box 145122
    Salt Lake City
    UT 84114-5122

    Have A Question?

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    greatlakes

    EdFinancial Services LLC
    www.edfinancial.com (800) 337-6884

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.edfinancial.com
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: (general inquiries): (800) 337-6884
    Toll Free: (phone payments): (866) 709-0202
    Local: (865) 342-5500

    Business hours:
    Monday thru Thursday: 8:30 am – 8:00 pm (ET)
    Friday: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm (ET)

    By Fax

    Toll free: (865) 692-6386

    By Mail

    Correspondence Address:

    EdFinancial Services
    PO Box 36014
    Knoxville, TN 37930-6014

    Payment Address:

    EdFinancial Services
    Dept. 888055
    Knoxville, TN 37995-8055

    Have A Question?

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    greatlakes

    EdManage - A US Department of Education Servicer
    edmanage.myedloan.com 1-855-479-0490

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: edmanage.myedloan.com/info/home
    Account Login: Click Here
    Email Contact: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: 1-855-479-0490

    Business hours:
    Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM to 9:00PM ET, Friday: 8:00AM to 5:00PM ET

    By Fax

    Toll free: 1-855-479-0487

    By Mail

    Correspondence Address:

    EdManage
    P.O. Box 91388
    Raleigh, NC 27675-1388

    Payment Address:

    Dept of Education
    EdManage
    P.O. Box 105144, Atlanta, GA 30348-5144

    Have A Question?

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    fedloan

    FedLoan Servicing/PHEAA
    www.myfedloan.org (800)699-2908

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.myfedloan.org
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll Free: (800)699-2908
    TDD: (800)722-8189
    International: (717)720-1985

    Business hours:
    Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET)

    By Fax

    Fax: (717)720-1628

    By Mail

    Correspondence Address:

    FedLoan Servicing
    P.O. Box 69184
    Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

    Payment Address:

    Department of Education
    FedLoan Servicing
    P.O. Box 530210
    Atlanta, GA 30353-0210

    Have A Question?

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    greatlakes

    Great Lakes Educational Loan Services
    www.mygreatlakes.org (800) 236-4300

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.mygreatlakes.org
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: (800) 236-4300
    Local/International: (608) 246-1700

    Business hours:
    7:00 a.m. - 8:45 p.m. Central, Monday through Thursday
    7:00 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. Central, Friday

    By Fax

    Toll free: (800) 375-5288
    Local/International: (608) 246-1608

    By Mail

    Your payment mailing address may be different depending on several factors. Please Call us or log into your account to get the correct payment mailing address for your loans.

    Correspondence Address:

    Great Lakes
    PO Box 7860
    Madison, WI 53707-7860

    Have A Question?

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    greatlakes

    GSM&R: Granite State Management & Resources
    www.gsmr.org (800) 719-0708

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.gsmr.org/
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    Customer Service: (800) 719-0708
    Direct Loan: (888) 556-0022
    Defaulted Loan Payments: (800) 525-2577

    Business hours:
    Customer Service Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8 am - 6pm (ET)
    Direct Loan Customer Service: Monday thru Friday, 8am - 6pm (ET)
    Walk-In Service: Monday thru Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (ET), use drop box if after 4:30 pm
    Defaulted Loan Payments: Monday thru Friday, 8 am - 5 pm (ET)

    By Fax

    Customer Service: (603) 227-5401
    Direct Loan: (603) 227-5401
    Defaulted Loan Payments: (603) 226-0356

    By Mail

    Correspondence Address:

    GSM&R
    3 Barrell Court
    Concord NH 03301

    Payment Address:

    GSM&R
    PO Box 9560
    Manchester NH 03302-9560

    Defaulted Loan Payment Address:

    GSM&R
    PO Box 877 Concord
    NH 03302-0877

    Correspondence Direct Loan Address:

    Granite State Management & Resources
    PO Box 3420 Concord
    NH 03302-3420

    Have A Question?

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    MOHELA
    www.MOHELA.com (888) 866-4352

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.mohela.com
    Account Login: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free:(888) 866-4352
    TDD: (636) 532-5189

    Business hours:
    Monday thru Thursday: 8 am – 8 pm (CT) Friday: 8am – 5 pm (CT)

    By Fax

    Toll free: (866) 222-7060

    By Mail

    Not Available

    Have A Question?

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    nelnet

    Nelnet Education Planning & Financing
    www.nelnet.com (888)486-4722

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.nelnet.com
    Account Login: Click Here
    Online Email form: Click Here

    By Phone

    U.S.: (888)486-4722
    International: (303)696-3625

    Business hours:
    24/7

    By Fax

    Not availible

    By Mail

    Payment Address:

    If account number begins with "E":
    Department of Education
    P.O. Box 740283
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0283

    If account number begins with "D":
    Nelnet
    P.O. Box 2970
    Omaha, NE 68103-2970

    If account number begins with "J":
    Nelnet
    P.O. Box 2877
    Omaha, NE 68103-2877

    Have A Question?

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    OSLA

    OSLA Student Loan Servicing
    www.osla.org (866) 264-9762

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.osla.org
    Account Login: Click Here
    Email: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: Customer Service: (866) 264-9762

    Business hours:
    Monday thru Friday: 8am - 5pm (CT)

    By Fax

    Toll free: (855) 813-2224

    By Mail

    Payment Address:

    Oklahoma Student Loan Authority
    525 Central Park Drive, Suite 600
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105

    Have A Question?

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    Navient

    Navient - Student Loan Servicer
    www.navient.com (800)722-1300

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.navient.com
    Account Login: Click Here

    By Phone

    Toll free: (800)722-1300
    TDD: (8778)713-3833
    Business hours:
    Monday – Thursday 8 am – 9 pm ET
    Friday 8 am – 8 pm ET

    By Mail

    Address:

    Navient
    U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing
    P.O. Box 740351
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0351

    Have A Question?

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    vsac

    VSAC Federal Loans
    www.vsacfl.org (888)932-5626

    Contact Information

    Online

    Web Site: www.vsacfl.org
    Account Login: Click Here
    Email: fedinfo@vsac.org

    By Phone

    Toll free: (888)932-5626
    Local: (802)654-3796
    TTD Toll Free: (800)281-3341
    TTD Local: (802)654-3766

    By Mail

    Mailing Address:

    VSAC Federal Loans
    Po Box 777
    Winooski, VT 05404

    Have A Question?

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    default avoid servicer

    Why Borrow Wisely is contacting you: Explicit consent/permission to contact borrowers regarding the repayment of their loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is granted to Borrow Wisely by the Federal Department of Education's Master Promissory Note (MPN) in Section C, 13-H. The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education (Section D, 16).

    Terms and conditions of your loan(s): It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance it includes information on how interest is calculated and what deferment and cancellation provisions are available to you. All individuals must have signed a Master Promissory Note before receiving federal loans.

    You can scroll over and zoom in on a copy of the most recent William D. Ford Direct Loan Program MPN on the left-hand side of this webpage.

    NSLDS
    includes/images/MPN_large.jpg

    What Would You Like To Do?

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    How to use NSLDS to Find your Federal Student Loan Servicer

    If you don't know who your federal direct loan servicer is, you will need to log-on to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and provide a small amount of personal information to find out. Using the NSLDS website can be a little tricky, so we have put together some directions that will help you find your loan information quickly and easily.

    Information you will need to log on to NSLDS.ed.gov:

    Your Social Security Number (no dashes), the first two letters of your last name, your date of birth (format: MMDDYYYY), and your PIN (the same pin you use to sign and submit your FAFSA - If you don’t remember your PIN, you can request a duplicate at http://PIN.ed.gov).

    NOTE: The NSLDS website can be touchy depending on what Internet browser you use to view the site. If you are using any browser other than Internet Explorer (like Chrome, Safari, or Firefox), you may experience some trouble when prompted to input your PIN. If you are unable to view the numbers displayed in the area where you enter your PIN, try again using Internet Explorer.

    Once you have successfully logged in...

    ...you will be able to view the following information for any federal student loans you have borrowed:

    Loan type (Stafford Subsidized, Stafford Unsubsidized, etc.), Loan Amount, Disbursed Amount, Canceled Amount, Outstanding Principal, and Outstanding Interest.

    By clicking on the number to the left of the “Type of Loan” column...

    ...you will be taken to another page containing in-depth information about each individual federal student loan you have borrowed. Including:

    The date you entered repayment, your interest rate (%), the status of your loan (in repayment, deferment, grace period, default, etc.), your current loan servicer (who you will call to discuss repayment plans and make your monthly payments to), your current Lender, your current ED Servicer.

    NSLDS

    What Would You Like To Do?

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