Loan Repayment


Federal Student Loan Repayment

Repayment on federal student loans begin six months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program.

There are various repayment options available to students to help make their repayment manageable. It is important to discuss your options and eligibility for all loan repayment options with your loan servicer. You may also let our office know if you need help choosing a repayment plan and we would be happy to assist you.

The U.S. Department of Education has Repayment Estimator available online to help calculate your potential payment under a certain plan.

Loan Repayment Loan Repayment-grid

Loan Servicers

All federal loan borrowers will be assigned a loan servicer. This is a third party lender that the federal government has assigned to collect your loan payments. They are responsible for helping the borrower manage their loan repayment. There are four main federal loan servicers. They are:

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Navient, www.navient.com 1-888-272-5543

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Great Lakes, www.mygreatlakes.org 1-800-236-4300

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Navient, www.nelnet.com 1-888-486-4722

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Fed Loan, www.myfedloan.org 1-800-699-2908

Once you borrow a federal loan, you should determine who your servicer is and create an account with that servicer online or get in contact with the servicer in order to track your loans. You can view who your loan servicer is by logging into your AccessPlus Account, and viewing the ‘Loan Pmt Estimate’ tab under the Financial Aid section. You may also log into www.nslds.ed.gov with your FSA ID and password to view your loan servicer information.

Through the loan servicer, a borrower can:

  • Update personal and contact information
  • View outstanding interest
  • Make payments
  • Arrange payment plans
  • Apply for deferments or forbearance
  • View and print off tax forms (1098-E) for interest deductions

A borrower should notify their lender if:

  • A name, address or phone number changes
  • The borrower graduates, drops below half-time enrollment, returns to school after graduation or transfers to another school
  • The borrower needs help making monthly loan payment(s)
  • The borrower has questions about their loan(s)

We only highlighted the four primary federal loan servicers, but there are many others. The Department of Education offers an up-to-date list of all servicers and contact information.

In the event you think there is a problem with your federal student loan, collect and review all of your loan paperwork to try and identify the problem. Call your loan servicer to discuss the issue. The Student Loan Education Office may be able to assist in determining if there is a problem and can help getting you in contact with your loan servicer if necessary. As a last resort, if you are unable to resolve the issue by working with your loan servicer, you may contact the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman for assistance. The FSA Ombudsman works with federal student loan borrowers to resolve disputes or issues from an impartial, independent viewpoint.

You can reach FSA's Ombudsman at:

US Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
Fax: 606-396-4821
StudentAid.gov/ombudsman

If you would like additional information to guide you through the problem resolution process, please visit the Resolving Disputes section of StudentAid.gov.

Loan Deferment

A deferment is a period in which repayment of federal student loans is temporarily postponed.

During a deferment, the borrower will not be required to make monthly payments. During a period of deferment, the federal government will pay the interest on the borrower’s Subsidized Stafford and Perkins Loans. The interest that accrues on an Unsubsidized Stafford or PLUS Loan during a period of deferment will be the responsibility of the borrower.

Find all the forms you need to file for deferment on the Federal Student Aid website.

The following are situations in which a borrower may qualify for a deferment:

  • Period of at least half-time enrollment in college
  • Period of study in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled
  • Period of unemployment or inability to find full-time employment (only for up to 3 years)
  • Period of economic hardship (including Peace Corp service: only for up to 3 years)
  • Period of service qualifying for Perkins Loan discharge/cancellation (Perkins loans only)
  • Period of active duty military service during war, military operation or national emergency
  • Period of 13 months following the conclusion of qualifying active duty military service, or until you return to enrollment on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earliest if
    • You are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. armed forces and
    • You were called or ordered to active duty military while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time
    • If you are returning to school and will be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program, you may qualify for a loan deferment. The Office of the Registrar can certify your enrollment at Iowa State University. Submit all In School At Least Half-Time Deferment forms to:

      Office of the Registrar
      2433 Union Drive
      214 Enrollment Services Bldg
      Ames, IA 50011
      Phone: (515) 294-1840
      certifications@iastate.edu

Loan Forbearance

A forbearance may be used when you cannot make your schedule monthly payments but you do not qualify for a deferment.

During a forbearance, you may reduce your monthly payment or not make any payments for a period of up to a year at a time not to exceed three years. During a forbearance, all loans would continue to accrue interest that the borrower would be responsible to repay when the forbearance ends.

Find all the forms you need to file for deferment on the Federal Student Aid website.

Discretionary Forbearance

A discretionary forbearance is determined by the loan servicer. A borrower may request a discretionary forbearance for either a financial hardship or illness.

Mandatory Forbearance

A mandatory forbearance would be required by the loan servicer if the borrower met eligibility criteria listed below:

  • The borrower is serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program and meets other specific requirements
  • The total amount owed each month for all student loans is 20% or more of your total monthly gross income (additional conditions may apply)
  • The borrower is serving in a national service position for which you received a national service award
  • The borrower is performing teaching service that would qualify for teacher loan forgiveness
  • The borrower qualifies for partial repayment of student loans under the U.S. Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program
  • The borrower is a member of the National Guard and have been activated by a governor but is not eligible for a military deferment