Am I Eligible For Federal Student Aid
Eligibility requirements for federal student aid include:
Being a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
Remaining in good standing on any federal student loans you have
Being in or accepted for an eligible degree or certificate program
Maintaining adequate academic progress
How do I apply for Federal Student Aid?
Create an FSA ID account if youre going to submit your FAFSA online or track its status online. If youre going to submit a paper FAFSA by mail and wont be tracking its status, you wont need an FSA ID.
Know what happens after you submit the FAFSA. This includes:
Learning how to correct or update information on it.
Finding out how and when youll get your aid.
Know the Deadlines for Submitting the FAFSA
The federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 2021-22 school year is June 30, 2022.
The federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 202021 school year is June 30, 2021.
Many states and colleges use the FAFSA for their financial aid programs. Those deadlines vary.
How Much Funding Can I Get
The amount you can receive in grants and loans is calculated when you apply with your province or territory.
Assessments are done for each student independently.
The amount you can receive depends on several factors, including:
- your province or territory of residence
- your family income
- your tuition fees and living expenses
- if you have a disability
Federal Student Loan Interest Rates
Interest rates vary by type of federal loan. The following table shows applicable interest rates for each type of federal loan:
Lowest Interest Rates
Direct Subsidized Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Fixed at 5.28%
Fixed at 6.28%
Some federal student loans also have origination fees, which are paid proportionately from each loan disbursement.
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Federal Family Education Loan Program
The federal government no longer makes loans under the FFEL program. However, if you have outstanding FFEL loans, they remain in repayment. It is important that you know the many repayment plan options that are available to you and what to do if you are having trouble making your scheduled payments.
Biden Has Focused On Preexisting Forgiveness Programs
The Biden administration’s approach to student loan relief began with improving, extending or expanding a handful of programs that were already on the books.
“We’re working really hard to get students the relief that they’re entitled to” through these preexisting programs, Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal told NPR on Friday.
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These Programs Can Help You Wipe Out Student Debt
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How can people get rid of their student loan debtand, specifically, when is loan forgiveness an option? We don’t need another statistic to tell us how deep in student loan debt U.S. college graduates are. Total debt and average debt figures don’t mean much, except to say that if the sums you owe keep you up at night, you’re in good company. What really matters is finding a solution.
How Repayment Assistance Works
If youre eligible, your monthly payments will be reduced to something more affordable based on your family size and income. In some cases, you will not have to make any monthly payments.
There are two stages to the Repayment Assistance Plan:
RAP Stage 1
- Lasts for up to 60 months within the first 10 years after you leave school
- Intended to help with temporary repayment difficulties
- Monthly payments reduced
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Beware Of Student Loan Debt Relief Companies
Student loan debt relief companies charge fees for helping federal student loan borrowers enroll in income-driven repayment plans, consolidate loans, or get out of default. There is nothing these companies can do for you that you cant do on your own for free. You can review this U.S. Department of Education advisory on how to spot a student loan “debt relief” scam. If youve been deceived by a student loan “debt relief” company, please file a Student Loan Help Request.
Consider Student Loan Refinancing
Refinancing gives you the chance to adjust your monthly payments and choose new repayment terms, often between five and 20 years.
You could qualify for a lower interest rate than you have now, thereby saving money on your loans. And if you refinance multiple loans, you can combine them into one single loan to simplify repayment.
Before you shop for student loan refinancing options, note that refinancing federal loans turns them private. As a result, youll lose access to federal forgiveness programs and repayment plans, which proved especially helpful while the coronavirus pandemic squeezed the economy in 2020 and 2021. If youre comfortable with this sacrifice, however, consider refinancing as a way to restructure your debt and potentially save money on interest.
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How The Module Works
The interactive module contains short, self-study sections with information you must read before you start your OSAP or OSAP for Micro-credentials application. At the end of each section, you will be asked to answer a question about what youve just read.
Correct answers let you move to the next section of the module. When youve finished the information module, your OSAP or OSAP for Micro-credentials application will open.
You can log in and out of the module at any time, and your progress will be saved.
If you choose to complete the module in one sitting, it will take you approximately 15 minutes.
Only full-time students making their first OSAP application for the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school year need to complete this module. If you choose to reapply to OSAP for the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school year, you will not need to complete this module again.
How Can You Become Eligible
To make sure youre eligible for PSLF, submit the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form. The program requires this form for every year of service, so submitting it on an annual basis will help ensure youre on track for PSLF.
Another important step is switching to an income-driven repayment plan. Youll lower your monthly payments while extending your term to 20 or 25 years. If you stay on the standard plan, you wont have any balance left to forgive after 10 years of payments.
Finally, consider consolidating your student loans into a direct consolidation loan. This step is helpful if you have Perkins or FFEL loans. Plus, it simplifies your monthly payments, so youll only have one loan to pay each month. You can estimate your possible forgiveness through our PSLF calculator.
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Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs For Teachers
The Teacher Forgiveness Program isnt your only option for student loan help. Many states also offer loan repayment assistance for teachers. Most of these programs require state licensure, as well as a commitment to working for two years in a qualifying area.
The Teach for Texas Program, for example, gives yearly assistance to teachers in designated shortage areas.
To find programs in your state, check out the full list of loan repayment assistance programs and filter the results by occupation.
Help With Lower Payments
Borrowers who’ve been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may want to enroll in one of the government’s income-driven repayment plans when bills resume.
Under these plans, a person’s payment is capped at a portion of their income and some monthly obligations wind up being as little as $0.
Usually, borrowers have to provide documentation to prove their household earnings and size however, the Education Department is considering allowing them to temporarily self-certify this information.
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Types Of Student Loans
Student loans are from the federal government or from private sources, such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or school. Learn the differences between federal and private loans before considering a loan.
Federal Student Loans
If you need to borrow money to pay for college or career school, start with federal student loans. Theyre more affordable than private loans.
Types of Federal Student Loan Programs – The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program offers four types of Direct Loans:
- Direct Subsidized Loans are made to eligible undergraduate students based on financial need.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and are not based on financial need.
- Direct PLUS Loans are made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students.
- Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.
Eligibility – You must be enrolled at a school that participates in the school loan program, and meet the general eligibility requirements.
Private Student Loans
Military Student Loan Forgiveness And Assistance
Not only does the military offer loan forgiveness for Army and Navy doctors, but it also helps armed forces members and veterans. The Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard all offer loan repayment assistance programs.
- The Armys College Loan Repayment Program pays one-third of your loans every year for three years. In total, you could get up to $65,000 in aid.
- The Navy program also awards up to $65,000.
- The National Guard LRAP contributes up to $50,000.
There are plenty of other programs for military student loan forgiveness, so make sure you know what you qualify for.
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Loan Repayment Issues Federal Student Loans
If you are having trouble repaying your federal student loans, you can try to avoid default by taking a permitted break from payments or attempting to work out an affordable repayment plan with your loan servicer.
Your options might include changing your repayment plan or obtaining a deferment or forbearance.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
Student loan forgiveness for teachers is neither generous nor easy to qualify for. Teachers can have up to $17,500 of their federal direct and Stafford student loans forgiven by teaching for five complete and consecutive academic years at a qualifying low-income school or educational service agency. Loans that were issued before October 1, 1998, are not eligible.
You must be classified as a highly qualified teacher, which means having at least a bachelor’s degree and having full state certification. Only science and math teachers at the secondary level, and special education teachers at the elementary or secondary level, are eligible for $17,500 in forgiveness. Forgiveness is capped at $5,000 for other teachers.
You can qualify for both teacher and public service loan forgiveness , but you can’t use the same years of service to be eligible for both programs. So you’d need 15 years of teaching service to qualify for both programs, along with meeting all the specific requirements to earn each type of forgiveness.
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Do You Have To Repay Grants
Grants dont function the same as student loans, and you typically dont have to repay them.
There may be some grant programs, however, that have stipulations for keeping the award. If you dont meet all of the requirements, you could lose the full grant amount or even have to pay back some of the grant money youve already received.
Loan Forgiveness For Doctors
The healthcare professions, especially physicians, dentists, pharmacists and mental healthcare workers, have several options, both national and local, to receive loan forgiveness.
The requirements and the amount forgiven vary dramatically, depending upon which program you enter. Check out the links to see the amount of loan forgiveness available and requirements for Army doctors Indian Health Services, National Institute of Health, as well as state-by-state programs.
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Select A Repayment Plan For Your Federal Student Loans
Within the grace period you may receive information about repayment from your lender. Youll have a choice of several repayment plans. Find the right one for you.
Most federal student loans are eligible for at least one income-driven or income-based repayment plan . These repayment plans are based on a percentage of your discretionary income. Theyre designed to make your student loan debt more manageable by reducing your monthly payment amount.
White House Drops Free Community College From Its Spending Bill
“Why should taxpayers 70% of whom didn’t go to college pay back loans for people who have an obligation they haven’t fulfilled?” Foxx asks.
Foxx thinks this popularity question is a big reason behind Biden’s hesitancy to act.
“I do think the president maybe understands that broad loan forgiveness is not popular in this country, which is why, I think, he has not gone the route of doing what some in his party want to do.”
But polling suggests broad loan forgiveness would be popular, if done with some nuance. For example, a Grinnell College poll conducted in March found that 27% of respondents supported forgiving all student debt and an additional 39% supported forgiveness “for those in need.” In other polling from Vox/Data for Progress and the Harris Poll a majority of respondents supported broad, if limited, forgiveness.
Instead of acting unilaterally, though, this year Biden asked the Education and Justice departments to explore his legal options. The results are still TBD, more than six months later.
Since then, the White House has gone largely quiet on loan cancellation. Some advocates and many Democrats worry that, for whatever reason, the administration is intentionally dragging its feet. Not so, said Kvaal, the education undersecretary, in his interview with NPR.
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What Has Been Done So Far Directly For Borrowers
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act temporarily suspends monthly payments on all loans held by the Department of Education, from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2020. The suspension will be automatic borrowers do not have to apply for relief, although individuals can still choose to make monthly payments. For borrowers in default, the bill stops the involuntary collection of payments through wage garnishment and seizure of tax refunds until the end of September. The law also sets the interest rate at zero percent during this time period.
Federal Loan Payment Plans
You have the following general options once you default on your federal student loans:
- PAY IN FULL: If you can afford to repay your defaulted loan in full, you have the option of doing so. The loan debt will be fully wiped out, but your credit report will still reflect that you paid off a defaulted loan. Paying the loan in full will also restore your eligibility for federal aid.
- REHABILITATE: You can rehabilitate your loan by making a series of timely payments that you can afford. By doing so, your loan will be returned to its pre-default status. Loans rehabilitated after August 14, 2008 can be rehabilitated only once – if you default on a loan that you have already rehabilitated, you cannot rehabilitate that loan again. Some considerations when looking at rehabilitation are:
- Affordable Payments: There is no minimum payment required for rehabilitation. Payments are affordable and based on your total financial circumstances.
- Restored Loan Benefits: If you rehabilitate your loan, you can again become eligible for loan benefits that you had prior to default, including deferment, forbearance, loan forgiveness, and federal aid eligibility.
- Increased Cost: After you rehabilitate your loan, collection costs may be added to your loan and your monthly payment may increase.
- If you rehabilitate your loan, the default will be removed from your credit report, but late payments reported prior to your default might remain on your credit report.
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Dont Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness Alternatives For Conquering Your Debt
Not everyone qualifies for student loan forgiveness. If youre ineligible and struggling to pay your loans, consider other strategies for managing your debt.
One approach is accessing the income-driven repayment programs mentioned above, since you can reduce your monthly payments significantly. But if you dont have qualifying federal loans, or if you need a complete pause from making payments, consider putting your loans in deferment or forbearance.
You could qualify if you return to school, encounter financial hardship or have another eligible reason. Some private lenders will also put your loans into forbearance temporarily, so speak with your lender about your options.
You’ve Got Options If You Were Denied Pslf
If your application for Public Service Loan Forgiveness was denied, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness opportunity.
As part of this opportunity, the Department of Education reconsiders your eligibility using an expanded list of qualifying repayment plans.
This TEPSLF opportunity is temporary, has limited funding, and will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Once all of the funds are used, the TEPSLF opportunity will end.
Visit StudentAid.gov for detailed information on how to be reconsidered for loan forgiveness.
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Where Can You Find More Grants To Pay Off Student Loans
There are many different sources of grants to pay off student loans. The federal government offers several grant options through various departments, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
You can also find student loan repayment grants offered by your state. Independent of federal programs, states offer grants and incentives to encourage graduates to live and work in fields with staffing shortages, such as in engineering or health care.
Some nonprofits offer grants to workers in particular fields too. Depending on your career choice, you might find a wide range of options to manage your debt.
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