STUDENT LOANS. Financial Literacy Forum December 2013

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1 STUDENT LOANS Financial Literacy Forum December 2013

2 WHAT KINDS OF DIRECT LOANS ARE AVAILABLE? Subsidized Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Interest is paid by the federal government while a student is in school at least half-time and during authorized periods of deferment. Unsubsidized Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are not based on financial need and are available to all eligible students. A student is always responsible for paying the interest. If you choose not to pay the interest while in school at least half-time, the interest will accumulate and be added to the principal amount of your loan. PLUS For parents of dependent undergraduate students. Interest is charged during all periods.

3 WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS? Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program Meet general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs Federal Student Aid ( Contact the Financial Aid Office

4 HOW DO I APPLY FOR AID? Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. Accept loans through your Self-Service Banner (SSB) account. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling

5 HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW? The maximum you can borrow each school year depends on your grade level and other factors. Annual Loan Limits - Stafford Loan Dependent Students First-Year Undergraduate (Freshman) Second-Year Undergraduate (Sophomore) Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate (Junior, Senior) Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts) $3,500 $2,000 $5,500 $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan) Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts) First-Year Undergraduate (Freshman) Second-Year Undergraduate (Sophomore) Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate (Junior, Senior) $3,500 $6,000 $9,500 $4,500 $6,000 $10,500 $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

6 HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW? CONT. Aggregate Loan Limits - Stafford Loan Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts) Dependent Undergraduate Students $23,000 $8,000 $31,000 Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan) $23,000 $34,500 $57,500

7 HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW RESPONSIBLY? Use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to track your loan borrowing in deciding whether to borrow additional loans Use the Debt/Salary Wizard at

8 WHAT IS THE INTEREST RATE? Fixed interest rate that differs depending on the loan type and other factors Check with the Financial Aid Office or for current interest rate information. Interest rates for loans first disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 are 3.86% for both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans.

9 IS THERE A LIMIT ON HOW LONG I CAN RECEIVE LOANS? If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. You may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. EXAMPLE: If you are enrolled in a 4 year bachelor s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a 2 year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years).

10 WHAT IS THE BUDGET FOR A FULL ACADEMIC SCHOOL YEAR? Annual Limits, Aggregate Limits and the 150% Subsidized Loan Limit all put a restriction on the amounts and time you have to borrow. You are encouraged to take 15 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters and complete 30 credit hours each year. Loans are typically split between the fall and spring semesters. Consider budgeting some of this loan money for the summer semester and take classes in the summer in order to complete 30 credit hours or more each year. Changes at both the Federal and State levels are occurring; in many cases it takes 120 credit hours to graduate. Budget your loans and other aid to complete 30 credit hours each year and graduate in four years.

11 WHEN DOES REPAYMENT BEGIN? Federal PLUS loans enter repayment once your loan is fully disbursed (paid). There is no grace period but may be eligible for a deferment. Federal Direct Stafford Loan repayment begins when you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment and after your grace period. Complete your loan exit counseling at The grace period is a set period of time before you must begin repayment on your loan. Direct Stafford loans typically have a six-month grace period. Once your grace period is exhausted you will not receive another. Interest will accumulate for most loans during the grace period. Learn more about repayment and the grace period at Understanding Repayment

12 HOW DO I REPAY MY LOAN? After you receive the money from your Direct Loan, your loan servicer will contact you with a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. Contact your loan servicer directly to find out how to make payments. Find your loan servicer at IMPORTANT: Make your full loan payment on time according to your repayment schedule. If you don t you could end up in default, which has serious consequences (see Understanding Default at Student loans are real loans you have to repay the amount you borrowed plus any interest that accumulates.

13 CAN I EVER POSTPONE MAKING LOAN PAYMENTS? Yes, under some conditions with a deferment from your loan servicer: You return to school at least half-time at a school that is eligible to participate in the federal student aid programs. You are studying full-time in an approved graduate fellowship program. You are in an approved full-time disability rehabilitation program. You are unemployed or meet their rules for economic hardship (this deferment is limited to three years). You may also qualify for deferment based on active duty service in the U.S. armed forces or National Guard. Refer to your MPN or contact your loan servicer for more information.

14 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS How much will I need to pay? Your bill will tell you how much to pay. Your payment depends on the type of loan you received, how much you borrowed, your interest rate and your repayment plan. What are the different repayment plans offered? Students typically start with the Standard Repayment Plan which has fixed payments for up to 10 years. Other repayment plans available to Direct Stafford Loan borrowers are: the Graduated Repayment Plan the Extended Repayment Plan the Income-Based Repayment Plan the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan. See Repayment Plans at for additional information.

15 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CONT. How do I make my payments? The U.S. Department of Education uses several loan servicers to handle the billing and other services on loans for the Federal Direct Loan Program. You have a choice of repayment plans. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. You can make payments using electronic debiting or by postal mail. Can I pay more than my required monthly payment? You can make payments before they are due or pay more than the amount due each month. Contact your loan servicer to make sure the extra money is applied to your principal balance. Paying a little extra each month can reduce the interest you pay and reduce your total loan cost over time.

16 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CONT. What should I do if I m having trouble making my loan payment? Contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. You may be able to change your repayment plan to one that will allow you to have a longer repayment period or to one based on your income. Also ask your loan servicer about your options for deferment, forbearance or loan consolidation. What happens if I don t make my student loan payment? If you don t make your student loan payment or make your payment late, your loan may eventually go into default. If you default on your student loan, that status will be reported to credit bureaus, damaging your credit rating. In addition, legal action can be taken to require payment through wage garnishment and withholding of tax refunds. A defaulted student loan also counts against Purdue North Central s cohort default rate and may potentially affect loan borrowing for other students.

17 FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN CONTACT INFORMATION Get more information about the Direct Loan Program and aid application process. Get more information about completing the MPN and PLUS Loan requests. National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) For information about all of your federal student loans and federal grants

18 MANAGING STUDENT LOAN DEBT

19 MANAGING STUDENT LOAN DEBT Consider student loans only after you have researched other sources of gift aid and self-help financial aid Scholarships Information is available at Grants Federal Work-study File your FAFSA by March 10 every year to maximize your eligibility for gift aid Consider all the loan programs available, and compare all your options before making a final decision. Only consider alternative/private loans as a last resort. Direct subsidized & unsubsidized loans Direct PLUS loans Federal Perkins loans Alternative/private loans

20 MANAGING STUDENT LOAN DEBT CONT. Plan an in-school and after-school budget before you take out your first student loan. See sample budget worksheet Determine how much you can afford to borrow and how much you can realistically repay. See calculator at: Estimate your student loan payment so you will know how much you will be expected to repay each month. See calculator at: If you have prior loans, you can check:

21 MANAGING STUDENT LOAN DEBT CONT. Establish a good credit history by repaying your student loan on time. Contact your loan holder about any changes in your status or anything that may affect your ability to pay your loan. These changes may include transferring to another school, changing your name or address, leaving school, or graduating. Consider deferments or forbearance if you need to adjust or suspend your payments temporarily. You also might be eligible to change repayment plans. See Your Federal Student Loans handout

22 MANAGING STUDENT LOAN DEBT CONT. Look into a Direct Consolidation Loan if you want to consolidate several loans or types of loans into one loan. If you have an issue you have been unable to resolve with your school, loan holder, or guarantor, contact your student loan ombudsman. ombudsman.ed.gov (877) FSA Ombudsman United States Department of Education 4th Floor UCP-3/MS First Street NE Washington DC

23 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Financial Aid information at Purdue University North Central Financial tips for students and parents Financial education basics Free tool to understand where your money goes

24 QUESTIONS? Commit, Succeed, Graduate Purdue North Central is dedicated to your success and graduation! We ask students to COMMIT to their educational plan and PNC will empower you to SUCCEED and GRADUATE. 15 credit hours requires a minimum of 45 hours studies per week to SUCCEED.

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