With Student Loans
(Also Includes Default, Discharge & Bankruptcy)
Can't Repay Your Student Loans? (FFEL & Direct Loan Repayment Plans For Those With Financial Hardship)
Are you on the wrong payment plan? If so, you may be able to change to a better one. Learn the pros and cons of "Pay As You Earn" and "Income Based Repayment Plans". Not everyone qualifies for both. For example: The latter applies only to loans from between Oct 2007 and Oct 2011. Both programs may require you pay taxes on any loan amounts which are eventually forgiven.
Help With Private Student Loans: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Student Loan Complaint System
This new agency will work with you and your lender for a better payment plan. What they can actually do is not clear. The CFPB takes complaints, gathers data and will talk to the lender on your behalf. Lenders know that unresolved complaints could mean new laws very unfavorable to them; so they have good reason to cooperate at least to some extent. Use them as an advocate.
Postpone Your Student Loan Repayment If You're Pregnant, Unemployed, Etc.
There are good and bad deferments that can stop your payments: In a good deferment, the government pays all the accruing interest, so if you stop paying for 6 months, your debt is the same as when the deferment began. (For example, If you have federal subsidized Stafford Loans, the federal government will pay your interest while you defer.)
A bad deferment will also stop your payments. But you'll still have to pay all the accruing interest, which is tacked on to the rest of your student loan. So this "quick fix" could get you thousands of dollars into more debt. If you're considering this type of deferment, please look for better options with the numerous student loan help groups listed here or elsewhere!
Common Situations Where You May Qualify For Some Kind of Deferment
Help With Federal Loans: The Department
of Education’s Federal Student Aid Ombudsman
The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group is where individuals can turn after trying other ways to resolve a federal student aid dispute. Assistance request are generated from phone calls, letters and e-mails, and are classified as either general assistance or research problem assistance.
Do I Have Private or Federal
Loans And Who Owns Them?
If you aren’t sure what kind of loans you have, visit the National Student Loan Database System for Students and select “Financial Aid Review” for a list of all federal loans made to you. (Enter in your Social Security # and your PIN issued by the Dept of Education) Click each individual loan to see who the servicer is for that loan (this is the company that collects payments from you). It’s very important to know your servicer. This might be a different company from the original lender.
Loan Discharge After 25 Years On
Income Contingent Plan ( )
Only For Certain Loans.
When You Can't Pay: Cancellation, Deferment and Forbearance
How to postpone payments--and when you can cancel your loans altogether.
Student Debt Alert
Student Debt Alert is a national campaign led by and for students. Our two main goals: to educate the public about the growing necessity of student loans to pay for college; and to directly address young people's concerns about the burdens of student debt.
Paying Back Your Student Loan
Describes the deferments and cancellations for teaching in low-income schools or shortage areas and connects you to the Direct Loan Program, where you can consolidate your existing loans. If your loan is in default, our Guide to Defaulted Student Loans can tell you how to get out of default.
Consolidating Your Defaulted Loans (Direct Student Loans)
Guide To Loan Disputes (US Dept. Of Education)
Cancellation & Discharge (US Dept. Of Education)
Discharging Your Student Loans (FAQs)
Discharging Student Loans In Bankruptcy
Hardship Discharge & More (Excellent)
Help! I've Already Paid Off My Student Loan (Nolo.com)
What to do if the Department of Education demands payment on a loan you've paid off.
Student Loan Collections (Nolo.com)
What might happen if you fall behind on your payments.
Loan Disputes (US
Dept. Of Education)
Federal Student Aid Information Center (800) 433-3243
Provides financial aid applications and helps you fill them out. This agency can refer you to other public and private agencies for aid and scholarships. Upon request, they will also give out copies of the formula that determines your expected family contribution. Your expected contribution is the amount you must come up with to meet the gap in your award. Make sure to ask for a free copy of their "Student Guide" which describes in detail available student grant and loan programs.
Note, that not all schools
qualify for federal loans and grants. Call this organization to find out which
schools qualify for federal aid and which do not. They will also tell you what colleges can and cannot do in
regards to loans, grants and work-study programs. You can even get the applicable regulation so you can quote
it to your advisor or financial aid office.
For example, did you know that you are entitled to a copy of your
expected award before the financial aid disburses your money?
Such is extremely important if you need to challenge your award or file
Contact their consolidation department to find out how to best consolidate your loans. They even have a borrower tracking service that can locate who is currently serving your loans and whether such are in default.
Student Loan Help Agencies When You're In Trouble
List legal help orgs, where to get assistance from guarantors and lenders and even how to get in touch with your legislators.
Helps borrowers determine if consolidation is the right move.
Nellie Mae Student Loan Financing Service (800) 988-4846
Call them to order their free book "Be Wise Borrower or booklets such as "An Early Planning Guide For Parents," "Steps to Success: A Comprehensive Guide to Preparing And Paying For College," and "Take The Right Road" (how to manage your student loans).
U.S. Department Of Education (800) USA-LEARN
This federal agency offers a lot of information about college planning. The "Think College Early" program encourages students and parents to plan early, with information for middle and high school students.
The Financial Information Page
is sponsored by the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators. It contains information on scholarships and grants, as well as warnings about fraudulent search firms.
Web site contains a database of scholarship sources called Expan Scholarship Search. A similar database is available in many libraries and guidance counselors' offices through a software program called Fund Finder, also from the College Board.
Student Loan Marketing Association home page offers information on
scholarships, grants and student loans.
The College & Career Center
has sections on selecting a college, finding loans, careers, and a look at what campus life is at various schools. The site also has a loan center where you can learn how to qualify for financial aid and get application forms and booklets.
National Association Of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Has extensive information on federal, state and private forms of financial aid.
Search here to find the best schools and graduate programs for you as well as information about financial aid. You can also apply to over 1200 schools online using the CollegeQuest eApply feature.
Direct Loans (Lots of Links)
Keenan Links On Financial Aid
They can direct you to funds specifically earmarked for higher education.
Foundation Center (800) 424-9836
(Sponsored By Sallie Mae) (800) 891-4599