Student loans will have to be paid back, with interest, even if you do not graduate or find a job. Several opportunities for repayment exist. For example, once you pay off the loan, you can pay the same amount per month, or your payments can be dependent on your income. The repayment options which apply to your loan will be listed in your promissory note. Keep in a folder or box all the documents about your student loan(s), which includes the proof of payments, the promissory note, and any correspondence with the lender or loan servicer (the loan servicer is the entity you make the loan payments on behalf of the lender).
Most importantly, it’s essential to be aware of the duties of a borrower. To brush up your duties as a borrower, read on to find out!
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Rights As A Borrower
You have the right to know about how student loans work. There will be an outline of terms and conditions in your promissory note.
At the time when the loan is made, entrance counselling and disclosure statements will outline:
- The full amount and existing interest rate of the loan
- When repayment begins
- Yearly and total amounts you can borrow
- The maximum duration of repayment and minimum sums of repayment
- A description of default and its consequences
- An overview of the options available for consolidating your loans and a declaration that, without penalty, you can pay your loan at any time you want.
Your exit counselling will be made available to you before entering repayment, and your lender or loan servicer will give you:
- A current overview of your loans, including average monthly payments expected
- The sum (principal and expected interest) of your total debt
- Your present interest rate and your loan’s gross interest charges
- The name of the lender or servicer for the loan
- Where the payments are to be submitted
- A summary of the fees you may be paying during the time of repayment
- A reminder of available loan restructuring options and a reminder that you can prepay your loan at any time without penalty.
- A summary of relevant conditions for deferment, forbearance and cancellation
- Choices for repayment
- A loan repayment plan that lists the number and duration of payments and the value of each payment when your first payment is due.
If your loan is sold and the sale results in payments being made to a new lender or loan servicer, the lender or loan servicer must contact you. This knowledge has to be given by both the old and new lenders.
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It is essential to be mindful of the following obligations as a borrower:
- Signing the promissory note suggests that you intend to pay the loan back. You consent to repay the credit according to the terms of the note when you sign a promissory note. And if you can’t find a job after you graduate or you don’t like the college you paid for, you have to repay your loan.
- Regardless of getting billing notices, make payments. Even if you are not obtaining a bill or repayment notice, you must make payments on your loan. For ease, billing statements (or coupon books) are sent to you. And if you don’t get any notices, you have to make payments.
- Continue to pay while awaiting permission for deferment or forbearance. You must continue to make payments if you apply for a deferment or forbearance until you have information that your request has been accepted. You could end up in default if you don’t.
- In the case of:
- Withdrawal from school
- Dropping below half-time status
- Change in your name, address or Social Security number; or
- Migration to another school
Inform your lender or loan servicer.
Remember to keep the lender or loan service in touch. It’s essential to know your loan service provider over the life of your loan and to reach them if you have any concerns about anything. Don’t get behind on your payments or you could end up with a poor credit record eventually, stopping you from buying a car or a house or having a credit card.
By being cautious and following the steps mentioned above, you will possibly avoid any unforeseen circumstances. If your financial issues are extreme and you can not fix them yourself, then credit counseling should be considered. Through your lending institution or an independent entity, these services are available and you will be able to manage finances as a student effectively.
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