5 million people helped and counting  >  Call 1-888-888-CARE or Get Started Now
Article library
"We were in debt for over ten years and were relieved to be able to make monthly payments to CareOne to begin to get our lives back."Deborah J., Conley, GACareOne Customer

Guide to Getting Information on Student Loans

According to a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the amount of student loan debt in America has surpassed both auto and credit card debt, making student loan debt the largest form of consumer debt outside of mortgages. As student loan debt has grown, so has the delinquency rate. If you are one of the many Americans struggling to pay off your student loans, you should educate yourself about repayment options available for both federal and private student loans. To help you get started, here are some tips for getting information about your loans, and what options may be available to you.

What options are available and how you pursue them will depend on whether your loans were obtained through the government, or through a private lender. Let’s look at federal loans first.

If you have a Federal Loan(s):

  1. Gather information about your loan either online or by phone:
  2. Research Your Options - You may be able to temporarily postpone your monthly loan payments through a forbearance or deferment under certain circumstances such as economic or temporary hardship, school enrollment, or military deployment. Federal loans have many modified repayment programs available. Ask your federal student loan servicer(s) to discuss various options including:

    Income Based Repayment Plans: are designed to set payments based on income, family size and in some cases, loan amount.

    Extended Term Payment Plans: if you have more than $30,000 in outstanding federal loans, this plan allows you to extend the repayment term up to 25 years.

    Direct Consolidation Loan: allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal student loans into one loan. The result is an extended repayment term and single monthly payment instead of multiple payments.

  3. If your federal student loans are in default, you may have the option to rehabilitate or consolidate your loans. To rehabilitate your federal loan, you must establish a payment agreement with the responsible collection agency. Typically, after nine consecutive payments your loan is back in good standing. You can also apply for a consolidation of your defaulted student loans.
     
  4. When contacting your federal lender make sure you are thorough in investigating your options and inform them if any of these situations apply:
  • If there is more than one child in the family – family size can help acquire benefits.
  •  If active duty military, inform your lender immediately. There are repayment programs designed specifically for military service members.
  • If making payments are difficult – hardship programs may be available.
  • If your hardship is temporary – ask if there are any “interest only” programs available that could lower your payment until your situation improves.

If you have Private Loan(s):

  1. For private loans, you should contact your lender to obtain balance, interest rates, and loan status. If you have not previously used your lender website, create an online account or call your lender directly to investigate repayment options.
     
  2. You may be able to temporarily postpone your monthly payments through forbearance, deferment, or hardship under certain circumstances.
     
  3. When contacting your private lender about your private loan repayment, you may want to inquire about modified repayment options such as:

    Graduated Repayment- your lender may allow lower payments for a limited amount of time that increase typically after 1-2 years.

    Interest Only Payments- some private lenders allow you to pay only the interest on your loan for a limited amount of time. This option may extend the time you repay your private loan.

     
  4. If your private student loans are in default, you may have the option to rehabilitate or consolidate them.  Some financial institutions now offer private loan consolidation. A partial list may be found at www.finaid.org.
     
  5. Your lender may allow you to rehabilitate a defaulted private loan. A temporary payment agreement may be available to get your loan back in good standing.

Continue to manage your loans

As your situation changes so may the options that are available to you. Therefore, it is a good idea to periodically check with your lenders as to whether there are any new programs available of which you may be able to take advantage.

If you liked this you may also like:

  • Debt Consolidation FAQ

    Do you have questions about how debt consolidation or debt management plans work? Check CareOne's debt consolidation FAQ page for answers!

  • Planning for Retirement on a Fixed Income

    Are you going to be able to live comfortably on a fixed income? Check out these tips before you start planning for retirement on a fixed income.

  • 36 Tips to Lower Your Grocery Bill

    Your grocery bill is a variable expense that can be reduced if you take the time to do so. Refer to how to lower your grocery bill with 36 tips so you’re not emptying your wallet every week.

  • What to do when Facing Bankruptcy

    Are you on the verge of filing for bankruptcy and unsure of what the next step is? CareOne is here to help if you’re wondering what to do when facing bankruptcy.

  • 13 Ways to Spend Less on Health and Beauty Aids

    Don’t overspend on your health and beauty aid expenses. Read CareOne’s 13 tips to spend less on everything from shampoo to over-the-counter medicine.

Begin our online process to see your personalized savings.

Start Now

Back Print

Quizzes and Polls

What's your debt IQ? Take one of our quizzes and find out how much you know about financial fitness.

Take the Quiz Now!

Stay On Track

Subscribe to our newsletter, packed with great articles, tips, and advice to help you make the most of your money.

Subscribe Now!

Crunch the Numbers

Our calculators can help you figure out your budget, credit card payments, mortgage, and more!

Learn More
 
Debt Help - CareOne Debt Relief Services
Offering CareOne Debt Relief Services: