If you don’t make a payment on time or if you miss making a payment, your loan is delinquent and late fees may be assessed. Even if you are delinquent on your loan, you may still be able to avoid default, so it’s important that you contact your loan servicer immediately.
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Payback Time for Student Loan Scams: Marketplace.org report on loan payback scams (July 14, 2014)
Illinois Attorney General sues student loan debt settlement firms: Chicago Tribune (July 14, 2014)
Companies that offer help with student loans are often predatory, officials say: The New York Times (July 13, 2014)
Repay Your Loans
Avoid Loan Default
What is default?
To default means you failed to make payments on your student loan as scheduled according to the terms of your promissory note, the binding legal document you signed at the time you took out your loan.
Avoiding Default from Federal Student Aid (studentaid.ed.gov) provides the information you need to understand and prevent loan default, including what to do if you can't make your your payment.
Understanding your loan agreement, staying on top of your loan information, and making sure to contact your loan servicer if you are having trouble making payments can help you avoid default.
Learn About Options to Postpone Loan Repayment
Deferment and Forbearance from Federal Student Aid (studentaid.ed.gov) provides the information you need to understand the options you have when you are having trouble paying your loans.
It is important to take action before you are charged late fees. If you have trouble making your education loan payments, immediately contact the organization that services your loan. You might qualify for a deferment, forbearance, or be able to change your repayment plan. For Federal Perkins Loans, contact your loan servicer or the school that made you the loan. For Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans, contact your loan servicer. If you do not know who your servicer is, you can look it up in the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System, NSLDS.
Note to PLUS Loan borrowers: Generally, the eligibility requirements and procedures for requesting a deferment or forbearance for Stafford Loan borrowers also apply to you. However, since all PLUS Loans are unsubsidized, you'll be charged interest during periods of deferment or forbearance. If you don't pay the interest as it accrues, it will be capitalized (added to the principal balance of the loan), thereby increasing the amount you'll have to repay.
Military Service related options for Limited Interest Rates, No Accrual of Interest, and Deferment of Student Loans from Federal Student Aid (studentaid.ed.gov)
Military deferment forms: