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August 19, 2011
3 Things You Might Not Know About Your Student Loans
As a student loan borrower, you know that you are required to repay the money you borrowed. However, you have certain rights and responsibilities that you may not be aware of, too. Here are 3 things every borrower should know about their student loans:
1. Your Payments Are Due Even if You Never Got a Bill
If you do not receive a bill or repayment notice, you’re still expected to make your monthly payments. There are serious consequences for paying late or missing a payment. That’s why, it’s critical that you know who to pay, how much you owe each month, and how to make payments—even if you don’t receive formal notice from your loan holder.
It’s up to you to ensure that your lender or servicer has the information they need to contact you. You’re required to give your loan holders the following information:
- Your current address—and your new address every time you move.
- Your current telephone number or email address—and your new ones every time they change.
- Your full name—and your new name if you get married or change it for any reason.
- Your employer and their address and telephone number—provide this information whenever you change jobs or your employer’s address or telephone number changes.
- Any other change that could affect your loan repayment—like becoming unemployed or disabled.
If you are currently in school, you also need to inform your lender or servicer if you ever:
- Withdraw from school or begin attending less than half-time.
- Transfer from one school to another.
If you aren’t sure who holds your federal loans, check the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®)—the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for federal student aid records. It provides details about your federal student loans, including your servicer and current loan holder.
Private student loan data is not available on NSLDS, but you can get a free annual credit report to confirm your private loan information.
2. You May Be Able to Reduce Your Monthly Payments
If you have federal student loans, you may be able to choose from any of 6 different repayment schedules. Selecting the right repayment schedule for you can notably impact your ability repay your loans on time, because each option can change how much you owe each month and the total you will pay over the life of your loan.
If you are in the military, you may be eligible for even more repayment benefits.
You may have other options if you are struggling to make any payment at all. Paying your loans is always the best option, but under some circumstances you can qualify to postpone payment or even have your loans forgiven or discharged.
3. You Have a Student Loan Expert on Your Side
Student loans can be confusing, especially when you first start making payments. At American Student Assistance® (ASA), we specialize in helping borrowers make informed decisions to manage their education debt—in short, we’re here to help you.
Please contact us if you have questions about your loans at any point during your financial aid process. Our counselors are here to provide information and assist you with any student loan issues you may have.
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