Federal programs may help you when you are in need of assistance.
If you are having a hard time paying off your student loans and need to know what options are available for you, then you have come to the right place. Review the information below to learn what your options are or call one of our experienced counselors at 888-512-1708 to learn about your options.
- Qualifying employment
- Qualifying loan types
- Qualifying repayment plan
- Qualifying monthly payment
- Identify and fill out the correct enrollment forms
- Submit completed forms to appropriate loan servicer(s)
- Conduct conference calls with you and your servicer(s)
- Follow up with your loan servicer(s) to make sure
you’re on the right track
If you have federal loans (or even if you have private loans) it’s worth researching the government programs that exist to help people like you manage their student loan debt. There are programs for things like consolidating your student loans, lowering your monthly payment, and stopping repayment while you’re unemployed. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by!
- Student Loan Debt Consolidation
- Income-Based Repayment Program
- Pay-As-You-Earn Program
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Deferment and Forbearance
Student Loan Debt Consolidation
Student loan consolidation is different than other kinds of debt consolidation. So if you are interested specifically in student loan consolidation, use the resources below to determine what your best course of action will be.
- Direct Consolidation Loans (Department of Education)
- Special Direct Consolidation Loans (Department of Education)
- Student Loan Consolidation Checklist (Department of Education)
Income-Based Repayment Program
Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan for the major types of federal student loans that caps your required monthly payment at an amount intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.
All Stafford, PLUS and Consolidation Loans made under either the Direct Loan or FFEL Program are eligible for repayment under IBR, EXCEPT loans that are currently in default, parent PLUS Loans (PLUS Loans that were made to parent borrowers), or Consolidation Loans that repaid parent PLUS Loans. The loans can be new or old, and for any type of education (undergraduate, graduate, professional, job training).
- IBR Calculator (Department of Education)
- Official Income-Based Repayment Program Information (Department of Education)
On October 25, 2011, the Obama Administration proposed a Pay-As-You-Earn plan that would cap certain student loan borrowers’ loan payments at 10% of their discretionary income. Under this proposal, borrowers paying under the Pay-As-You-Earn plan would also be eligible to have their remaining loan balance forgiven after making 20 years of payments.
UPDATE: Eligible borrowers can now apply for Pay As You Earn online at StudentLoans.gov
- Obama Administration’s Fact Sheet (White House)
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
- Official Public Service Loan Forgiveness Information (Department of Education)
Deferment and Forbearance
A deferment is a postponement of payment on a loan, during which interest does not accrue if the loan is subsidized.
- Official Deferment and Forbearance Information (Department of Education)
Your student loan debt may be cancelled if you meet certain conditions, including teacher service, school-related discharges, disability, bankruptcy, or death.
- Official Cancellation Information (Department of Education)