Loan Consolidation, Repayment, and Forgiveness Programs
We know that paying for your legal education can be expensive. This page is designed to help alleviate some of those concerns, and to answer questions about how your loan debt can be manageable when you enter repayment. During your last semester, the Financial Aid Office will offer multiple presentations regarding the options available to you. We are also available to meet with students individually to answer questions, discuss any unique situations, or concerns a student may have.
Federal Loan Consolidation
The Federal Loan Consolidation Program was designed to simplify loan repayment for borrowers by combining several types of federal educational loans into a single new loan. The new consolidated loan will have a new fixed interest rate, which is the weighted average of all of the loans you are consolidating. You may choose to consolidate all or some of your federal loans. Qualifying Federal educational loans may include Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford or Direct Student Loans, Grad PLUS, and Perkins loans. If you are considering consolidating your federal student loans, please visit the Department of Education’s web site prior to consolidating to be sure loan consolidation is the right decision for you. Students may also speak with a member of the Financial Aid staff at VLS. Details on loan consolidation can be found at www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.
Federal Loan Repayment Plans
Borrowers are automatically placed in the Standard Repayment plan. Evaluating your options for the best repayment plan should be done during your grace period. The Department of Education has seven repayment plans to choose from. The VLS Financial Aid staff is available to guide students through the various repayment plans.
Borrowers may elect to change their repayment plan as needed during the course of repayment. Borrowers should always consult with their loan servicers to determine when and how to change a repayment plan.
The Department of Education web site: www.studentloans.gov has information on all of the repayment plans and comparison calculators.
The Pay As You Earn repayment plan, the most recent repayment plan approved by Congress—as of December 21, 2012—helps to keep monthly payments affordable, and usually results in the lowest monthly payment. Borrowers should work with their loan servicer to determine eligibility for this plan.
The Income-Based Repayment plan will also be utilized by many VLS alumni. This plan is similar to the Pay As You Earn plan, in which the monthly payment is determined by the annual income and family size. Both plans have other additional qualifying criteria, and borrowers should work with their loan servicer to determine which repayment plan would be most suitable.
|Cornerstone Education Loan Services||1-800-663-1662|
|Direct Loan Servicing Center||1-800-848-0979|
|FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)||1-800-699-2908|
|Granite State Management and Resources||1-888-556-0022|
|Great Lakes Educational Loan Services||1-800-236-4300|
For other types of federal student loans, contact these offices for repayment information.
- Federal Perkins Loans: Contact the school where you received your Federal Perkins Loan for details about repaying your loan. Your school may be the servicer for your loan.
- Privately owned FFEL Program loans: Contact your lender for details about repayment options and tools for your FFEL Program loans that are not owned by the U.S. Department of Education.
Federal Loan Forgiveness Plan
In 2007 Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) as a way to encourage individuals to enter and work in full time public service professions. To qualify for loan forgiveness, borrowers must make 120 monthly payments in one of the qualifying repayment plans. After having made the qualifying payments, a borrower's remaining loan balance will be forgiven. Only loans made under the Federal Direct Student Loan Program are eligible for PSLF. However, if you have a Perkins loan or a loan(s) made under the Federal Family Educational Loan Program, you may wish to look at consolidating all of your Federal student loans.
Examples of public service jobs are public interest law, including prosecution for public defense or legal advocacy in low-income communities at a nonprofit organization. Also, qualifying employment includes any non-profit organization that that qualifies for 501(c) (3) status by the Internal Revenue Code and is exempt from taxation. For more information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, visit www.studeentaid.ed.gov/publicservice
Heather Jarvis, Student Loan Expert
Heather Jarvis, a student loan expert, a graduate from Duke University of Law, and a frequent presenter at VLS, has a wealth of information on her website to assist borrowers in understanding their options and managing their student loans. In addition to all of the above links, please visit Heather's site and the others listed below for a comprehensive and detailed look at the student loan industry.