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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

How do I know whether I qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan?

Undergraduate and graduate students who have been awarded loans through their college's financial aid office can borrow from the Federal Family Education Loan Program. To be considered for any need-based and some non-need based types of financial aid you MUST complete and submit the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The financial aid office will receive your FASFA results and determine your eligibility for both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, as well as other types of financial aid. Your school will then notify you of the types of aid you are eligible to receive.

What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

Subsidized and unsubsidized refers to the way that your interest is assessed on your Stafford Loan. Subsidized Stafford Loan -the federal government will pay your interest while you are in school (enrolled at least half-time), during your six-month grace period, and during authorized periods of deferment. Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - you are responsible for the accrued interest during in-school and grace periods. You have the option to pay the unsubsidized interest or defer these interest payments until repayment. If you defer the interest it will be capitalized or added to the principal amount of your loan.

What is the maximum amount I can borrow per academic year?

Dependent Undergraduate Student Independent / Graduate Student Graduate / Professional Student
1st Year $2625 $6625 - No more than $2625 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $18,500 - No more than $8500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
2nd Year $3500 $7500 - No more than $3500 of this may be in subsidized loans
3rd, 4th & 5th Years (each) $5500 $10,500 - No more than $5500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

What is the maximum amount I can borrow for my entire undergraduate and graduate degree(s)?

Dependent Undergraduate Student Independent Undergraduate Student Graduate / Professional Student
Maximum Total debt from Stafford Loans $23,000 46,000- No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized. $138,500*- No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

*Includes outstanding Stafford Loans from undergraduate study.

What is the interest rate?

See Interest Rates .

How long after my loan application is approved will I receive my loan disbursement?

Your school will determine the dates that your loan can be disbursed to you. The federal government sets specific rules that your school must follow in determining your loan disbursement schedule. The loan approval notice you receive from College Access Network will provide an estimated disbursement schedule as well as your approved loan amount, interest rate, loan guarantee and origination fees, and loan maturity date. Before your school can actually disburse your loan funds to you, they must verify your loan eligibility.

I have been denied a loan due to my previous loan(s) showing in delinquent status. What can I do?

The Default Aversion Department at College Access Network can assist you in resolving your delinquent status. Please call Default Aversion at (303) 305-3555, 1-800-777-5626, or [email protected] . Once your delinquency has been resolved your denied loan will be reconsidered.

If I plan to attend another school what should I do?

You should notify your school of your intent to withdraw. They will calculate your eligibility for a tuition refund and cancel any loan funds for which you are no longer eligible. You must also contact the "new" school to reapply for financial aid.

What should I do if I decide to quit school?

You should notify your school of your decision to withdraw. Upon notification, your school will calculate your eligibility for a tuition refund. Your school will also cancel any loan funds for which you are no longer eligible due to your withdrawal.

What do I need to do with the yellow card that I received from College Access Network ?

College Access Network sends out yellow postcards to remind borrowers of their repayment obligation based on enrollment information provided by your current school, college, or university. The card gives you a contact number in the event that questions arise. If you are currently enrolled or will be returning to school within the next 6 months, your school will update your new enrollment status and you may disregard this card. If you are out of school and will not be returning for a period longer than 6 months, please use the contact numbers provided on the postcard.

I just graduated. When do my monthly loan payments start and how much will they be?

The holder of your loan will mail you a repayment schedule, (which may be in the form of a billing statement or coupon book), approximately 30 days before the end of your 6 month grace period. This repayment schedule will indicate the amount of your monthly payments and due dates. There are several repayment options available to help you manage your student loan and avoid default. You should contact the holder of your loan for more specific information about your repayment options.

What is a deferment, and how do I apply for one?

A deferment is a period during repayment in which the borrower, upon meeting certain conditions, is not required to make payments of loan principal. To apply, you must complete a deferment request form. If you have questions about your eligibility for a deferment, please call College Access Network Repayment Services Hotline at (303) 305-3355 or 1-800-777-5626.

What is a forbearance?

A forbearance is a period during which the borrower is permitted to temporarily cease making monthly payments, or reduce the amount of the payments. The borrower is liable for the interest that accrues on the loan during the forbearance period. Some forbearances are entitlements for eligible borrowers; others are granted at the discretion of the lender.

I have come to the end of my forbearance or deferment period and am still having difficulty making my monthly payments. What can I do?

You can reapply for another forbearance or deferment. However, you are responsible for making your scheduled monthly payments until the new forbearance/deferment is approved. There are always options available to help you avoid default. You may also want to discuss the income-sensitive repayment plan or consolidation. Keep in close contact with your lender/servicer regarding your repayment situation.

What happens if I default?

The consequences of defaulting on your student loan can be very serious. Please refer to Default Solutions for additional information.

What is a Federal PLUS loan?

The Federal PLUS Loan is part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). It is designed to allow parents of undergraduate dependent students to borrow for their children's education. Income and assets are not a factor. However, eligibility for the PLUS Loan is based on the parent's credit history.

What is the interest rate for a Federal PLUS loan?

See Interest Rates .

Can a parent switch a PLUS loan into the student's name?

No. The parent is the legal party responsible for the PLUS loan debt. You may make the payments on the PLUS loan on behalf of your parent, but the legal responsibility for the loan repayment will remain with your parent.

When do monthly payments begin on my PLUS Loan?

Monthly repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the PLUS loan for an academic year. There is no grace period for a PLUS loan.

How much will my payments be?

The lender of your loan will arrange a repayment schedule for you. The schedule will provide for a minimum of $600 to be paid annually, with a maximum repayment period of 10 years.

Can a PLUS loan be deferred?

Yes. Parent borrowers have the same deferment provisions available, as do student borrowers of Stafford Loans. Contact your lender for details.

What is student loan consolidation?

The student loan consolidation program allows you to combine all or some of your student loans into one loan with one monthly payment.

Are there advantages to consolidating my loans?

You will have one monthly payment instead of several. If you are married and both you and your spouse have student loans, the loans that qualify can be consolidated and, as a couple, you will have only one monthly payment. Depending on your student loan indebtedness, you could have up to 30 years to repay your consolidated loan. You will also have the choice of level, graduated or income sensitive repayment plans.

What are the disadvantages of consolidating my loan?

If you extend the repayment period, you will pay more interest on the new loan.

What about the interest rate?

The interest rate on consolidation loans is the weighted average of the loans being consolidated rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of 1% or 8.25%, whichever is less.

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