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Education Loan Repayment

 Graduation/Entering Repayment

Loan Repayment Plans

Important Dates

 

Graduation/Entering Repayment:

Who is my loan servicer?  How much do I owe?:

The best and most comprehensive source for information about your federal loan borrowing history (both undergraduate and graduate) is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You will need to register a PIN (or use your FAFSA PIN) in order to access your data.  All federal loans (Stafford, Perkins, Graduate PLUS) will be displayed, along with the loan amounts, the lender and guarantor for the loan, and the school which you were attending when you borrowed the loan. Private loan information is not included on NSLDS – you must contact either the lender from whom you borrowed the loan, the school you were attending, or you can pull your credit report.
 
For students who have borrowed through the Direct Loan Program (any loans at New England Law post-7/1/2010), you should contact the Direct Loan servicer associated with your federal loans (in most cases, borrowers will have just one or two federal loan servicers).  The following is contact information for the current DL loan servicers:
 
Direct Loan Servicer: For Loan Servicing Questions:
ACS 800-508-1378
FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) 800-699-2908
Great Lakes 800-236-4300
Nelnet 888-486-4722
Sallie Mae 800-722-1300
 
 
Common FFEL Loan and/or Private Loan Lender Information: For Loan Servicing Questions:
Access Group (800) 282-1550
Bank of America (888) 344-8382
Citibank (800) 967-2400
Citizens Bank (800) 708-6684
EdAmerica (888) 337-6884
JP Morgan Chase (800) 487-4404
Key Bank (800) 539-5363
National Education (800) 353-3357
Sallie Mae (888) 272-5543

 

Exit Interviews:

Once you have graduated or withdrawn from New England Law, you will be asked to complete an exit interview.  You must complete an exit, as it provides you with important repayment information about your law school student loans and will update your contact information with your loan servicers.  Exits should be completed for your all of your federal loans.  Federal Stafford and Federal Graduate PLUS exits can be done online at NSLDS.  Additional exit materials are required to complete for your Federal Perkins Loan and will be mailed to you prior to graduation.
 

Updating Your Information:

It is extremely important to update your lenders and the law school whenever you have changed your contact information. The burden is on the borrower to notify the lender of an address change.  While the exit interview is a big part of this, for students who may move multiple times in the years following school, it will be necessary to continue updating everyone to make sure you don’t fall behind on payments.  Failing to make on-time payments due will do damage to your credit rating, which could impact your ability to borrow in the future. 
 

Entering Repayment:

Your law student loans will enter repayment at different times post-graduation (or less than half-time enrollment):
           
Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized)
6 month grace period
Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
First payment due 60 days after final disbursement of loan; borrowers who are still enrolled at least half-time will be placed on in-school deferment until date of graduation*
Private Alternative Education Loans
Varies by lender
Federal Perkins Loans
9 month grace period
 
*Grad PLUS loans borrowed on or after July 1, 2008 will automatically go into a 6 month administrative forbearance.
 

FFEL Loans vs. Direct Loans:

As of July 1, 2010, all federal loan disbursements at all schools were through the Direct Loan Program.  Prior to that, schools were allowed to decide the source of their students' federal funding, whether through DL or through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).  For students enrolled in New England Law prior to July 1, 2010, your loans would have been processed through the FFEL program and you would be responsible for making repayment to a lender (unless notified otherwise - see PUT Program).  All federal loans, regardless of being borrowed through DL or FFEL can be consolidated together in the Direct Loan Program (this may be required for participation in programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness).

Loans Purchased by the Department of Education (PUT Program):

The U.S. Department of Education began purchasing FFEL Program loans from FFEL loan holders in 2010. Borrowers with federal loans borrowed prior to July 1, 2010 may have loans that were transferred to the Department of Ed. and a new loan servicer.  Both your former lender and the Dept. of Education would contact you in such an event. You can also check your NSLDS records to determine which of your loans have been sold to the Department of Ed. as well as who the new servicer is.  U.S. Dept. of Education will show up as the G.A. - Guarantee Agency - and the servicer will be provided as a code number:
 
Servicer Code Servicer Name
700577 Dept of Ed / ACS
700578 Dept of Ed / Sallie Mae
700579 Dept of Ed / PHEAA
700580 Dept of Ed / Nelnet
700581 Dept of Ed / Great Lakes
 
It is important to note, if a loan was sold to the Department of Ed., that loan has NOT automatically become a Direct Loan; it is still considered a FFEL loan.  To obtain Direct Loan loan repayment and/or cancellation benefits, you will need to consolidate these loans into the Direct Loan Program.
 
For more information about this program and contact information for customer service:
 
 

Federal Perkins Loans at New England Law

Students who borrowed a Perkins Loan while at New England Law will be receiving correspondence from ACS/Xerox, the servicer for these loans. If you have any questions about your repayment of your Perkins Loans borrowed at New England Law you may contact them at 800-826-4470 or www.acs-education.com or you can contact the Office of Student Accounts at 617-422-7302 or stuacct@nesl.edu. 

 

Interest Rates:

The interest rates your loans are carrying will be based on the type of loan you borrowed and when you borrowed the loan. Your interest rates may change if you are taking advantage of borrower benefits or if you consolidate your loans. Your loan servicer/NSLDS will be the best source of information on what your interest rates are, however, the following is a basic chart for graduate/professional loans borrowed while at New England Law (rates on your undergraduate loans borrowed will vary):
 
Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized) borrowed prior to July 1, 2006
Variable rates (unless you consolidated these loans to a fixed rate)
Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized) borrowed on or after July 1, 2006
Fixed rate: 6.8%
Federal Stafford Loans (unsubsidized) borrowed on or after July 1, 2013 and before June 30, 2014 Fixed rate:  5.41%
Federal Graduate PLUS Loans borrowed prior to July 1, 2010
Fixed rate: 8.5% (FFEL Program)
Federal Graduate PLUS Loans borrowed on or after July 1, 2010 Fixed rate: 7.9% (DL Program)
Federal Graduate PLUS Loans borrowed on or after July 1, 2013 and before June 30, 2014 Fixed rate:  6.41%
Private Alternative Education Loans
Credit-based/varies by lender
Federal Perkins Loans
Fixed rate: 5%
 

 

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Loan Repayment Plans:

There are several types of loan repayment plans available for borrowers. Should you enter repayment and not change your plan, the default plan is Standard Repayment. For loans borrowed under the FFEL Program, you are allowed to switch payment plans once per year. For loans borrowed under the DL Program, you can change plans at any time, as long as the maximum repayment period under your new plan is longer than the time your Direct Loans have already been in repayment.  If you want to change repayment plans, contact your loan holder or loan servicer.  There are no early repayment penalties for federal loans. 

Standard Repayment Plan:

  • 10 year repayment period
  • Fixed monthly payments (minimum $50/month)
  • Will have the highest monthly payment due, but accrues the lowest amount of interest
  • Best if:
    • You have a steady source of income
    • You want to eliminate your debt as soon as possible, while paying the least amount of interest, with the lowest total cost

Graduated Repayment Plan:

  • 10 year repayment period
  • Monthly payments will be lower to start; interest only payments the first 2-3 years
  • Payments will increase after 2-3 years (but no single payment will be more than three times greater than any other payment you've made)
  • Will cost more than a standard plan, due to interest accrual
  • Best if:
    • You want to make lower monthly payments to start
    • You expect your income to increase steadily over time

Extended Repayment Plan:

  • Must have $30,000 of FFELP loan debt (cannot include Federal Direct or Perkins loans, unless you've consolidated these loans into Direct Lending)
  • Up to 25 year repayment period
  • Within this plan, you can choose standard or graduated repayment terms
  • Useful for lowering payments without resorting to a deferment or forbearance
  • High amount of interest will accrue
  • Best if:
    • You have a high amount of debt
    • You need to make lower monthly payments

Income Sensitive Repayment Plan (for FFEL Program loans only):

  • 10 year repayment period
  • Monthly payments are based upon a fixed percentage of your gross monthly income, between 4% and 25%. The percentage is determined by the borrower and the resulting payment must be greater than or equal to the interest that accrues. Some lenders may set a minimum threshold on the percentage of income, based on your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Accrues a larger amount of interest than a standard plan
  • Income information must be reported yearly to remain eligible
  • For DL Program Loans, this plan is called Income Contingent
  • Best if:
    • You need to make lower monthly payments based on your income

Income Based Repayment Plan:

  • Up to 25 year repayment period - any outstanding eligible balance remaining at the end can be forgiven. At time of publication, this outstanding amount will be taxable.
  • You must demonstrate a "partial financial hardship" to be eligible to enroll in this plan
  • Monthly payments are capped at 15% of your monthly discretionary income, where discretionary income is the difference between your prior year's adjusted gross income (AGI, plus your spouse's if you're married and filing taxes jointly) and 150% of the federal poverty line that corresponds to your household size and state in which you reside (subject to change)
  • May not result in the lowest monthly payment possible - other plans may be more beneficial
  • Income information must be reported yearly to remain eligible
  • High amount of interest will accrue
  • Parent PLUS loans cannot be included (nor can a Federal Consolidation Loan that included a Parent PLUS)
  • Best if:
    • You need to make lower monthly payments based on your income
    • You're pursuing a public service career and/or you're making payments for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
    • Your annual AGI is significantly less than your outstanding loan debt

For more information on these various plans: 

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), forgives remaining debt for public servants after 10 years of public service employment. Under the Loan Forgiveness for Public Service, if a borrower makes 120 qualifying loan payments on a Federal Direct Loan (including Federal Direct Consolidation loans) while working full-time for 10 years in public service, the unpaid balance is forgiven by the federal government. (Borrowers may consolidate into Direct Lending in order to qualify for this loan forgiveness program starting July 1, 2008.)

Public service employment is defined as:
- employment in a 501(c)(3) organization
- employment in government (local, state, federal, and tribal; including military and employment in public schools and universities)
- service in a full-time AmeriCorps position
- employment in a "public service organization" (including legal services)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is NOT a payment plan option - it must be bundled with either Standard, Income Contingent, or Income Based Repayment Plans.  Since it is only available for loans in the Direct Loan Program, students at New England Law who have borrowed FFEL Program loans can consolidate the loans they want to be included in Public Service Loan Forgiveness as a Direct Consolidation Loan with the U.S. Government in order to make them qualify.
 
Students who make payments through the IBR plan for Public Service Loan Forgiveness should keep in mind that if they do not complete the required 10 years of public service, you will have accrued a large amount of debt with this plan.  Only students who are serious about completing the full 10 years should consider IBR for their PSLF repayment plan.
 
As of January 31, 2012, the Department of Education released an Employment Certification Package to help borrowers track their progress toward qualifying for PSLF.  The forms are available at Student Aid on the Web.
 
For more information on these programs:

 

Consolidation: 

Loan consolidation can result in lower monthly payments, fixed interest rates, only one payment for your federal loans per month, and new or renewed deferments. While you may pay more in total interest over the life of the loan, your monthly payments may be significantly lower.
 

There are a number of factors to consider before deciding to consolidate. In some cases, you may find that consolidation will be necessary – for example, it is required to consolidate with the Federal Government if you want to enter the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. On the other hand, if you have all of your federal loans at a fixed rate, you may benefit from not consolidating. Private education loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans. The following link provides more information about consolidation and how to determine if it’s the best choice for your repayment: Direct Loan Consolidation.

 

Other Options:  Deferments and Forbearances

Deferments:

A deferment is a period in which repayment of principal and interest is postponed temporarily.  During the deferment of a subsidized Stafford loan, the government pays the interest that accrues.  For unsubsidized loans (Stafford, Grad PLUS), you are responsible for the interest that accrues during the deferment period.  If you have unsubsidized loans, any unpaid interest capitalizes when you enter repayment at the end of the deferment.  If you are not eligible for a deferment you may still be eligible for a forbearance.
 
Common deferments include:
  • In-school at least half time
  • Graduate fellowship program
  • Rehabilitation training program
  • Military service
  • Unemployment
  • Economic hardship

Forbearances:

A forbearance is an arrangement to postpone or reduce your monthly payment amount for a limited and specific period during which you are charged interest.  If you indicate a temporary inability but willingness to pay the loan(s), you may ask for or be offered a forbearance.  For all loans, interest that accrues during a forbearance is the responsibility of the borrower.  When you re-enter repayment at the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid interest capitalizes.  You must apply and qualify for a forbearance and your lender must approve the request in order for a forbearance to be in effect. If you are not eligible for a forbearance you may still be eligible for a deferment.
 
Your lender may grant forbearance if you:
  • are experiencing personal problems (for example, poor health or economic hardship);
  • are affected by circumstances such as a local or national emergency, military mobilization, or natural disaster;
  • have exhausted your eligibility for an internship deferment
  • are serving in a position that may qualify you for loan forgiveness, partial repayment of your loan, or a national service educational award.
Lenders may be required to grant forbearance for the following reasons:
  • You are in a dental or medical internship/residency program.
  • Combined monthly payment on your federal student loans equals or exceeds 20 percent of your gross monthly income
  • You are performing service for which you qualify for the following:
    • A national service educational award from AmeriCorps
    • The Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
    • The Student Loan Repayment Programs administered by the U.S. Department of Defense
    • The federal government authorizes postponement of repayment because you are subject to a military mobilization, affected by a local or national emergency, or live in a federally-designated disaster area.
 

Important Dates:

Upcoming Loan Repayment Sessions (for students graduating May ’14) will be announced Spring 2014 - emails will be sent to your @nesl.edu email account!