Student Loan Services
Student Loan Services works with Stafford student loan borrowers who are unable to meet their monthly obligations on these loans.
Contact us by Phone 888.658.7597 -or- Fax 757.213.3570
Overview of SLS
Student Loan Services is a department of the University that works closely with Admissions, Financial Aid and Career Services. Student Loan Advisors are available to provide information about your Stafford student loans and answer your questions about the repayment process. Advisors are trained to act as liaisons between you and your loan servicer(s). You may be contacted if your Stafford student loans become delinquent. Student Loan Advisors are not bill collectors or solicitors rather University representatives available to help you with a repayment plan that works with your unique situation.
Are You Having Difficulty Repaying Student Loans?
Your Stafford student loans have entered repayment and you aren't able to make the monthly payments. Now is the time to take control of the situation. Take a minute and review the two available options which allow you to temporarily suspend your monthly payments. Choosing one of these options during this financially difficult time will ensure your account remains in a current status with no negative credit reporting.
Loan Terminology and Important Information
It is important to understand your monthly payment is comprised of both principal and interest. While your monthly principal payments are postponed, in some cases interest continues to accrue. Making payments of at least the new interest that accrues during periods of forbearance or deferment avoids negative amortization. This can save you money and help you pay off the debt sooner than borrowers who defer payments of principal. The best solution is to make payments of at least the new interest that accrues although interest only payments are not as good as making full payments. Payments that are equal to the new interest that accrues will prevent your loan balance from increasing.
Ask About Deferment if You Can't Make Your Payments
A deferment allows you to temporarily postpone making payments on your loan if you meet certain criteria. During the deferment period, the federal government pays the interest on any subsidized loans you have.
For unsubsidized Stafford loans, the interest that accrues is your responsibility. You can pay the interest during the deferment or allow the interest to accrue. If you don't pay the interest while your loan is deferred, it will be added to your balance following the deferment, leaving you with more to repay.
You may qualify to postpone your student loan payment if you meet the criteria for one of the following deferments:
- Unemployment Deferment (working less than 32 hours per week)
- In-School Deferment (enrolled at least half-time at an accredited institution)
- Economic Hardship Deferment (employed full-time experiencing financial difficulties and/or receiving public assistance)
- Military Deferment
- Graduate Fellowship / Rehabilitation Deferment
- Public Service Deferment
- Parental Leave / Working Mother Deferment
Ask About a Forbearance if You Don't Qualify for a Deferment
Forbearances are not automatically granted and applied to your account. Forbearances are granted at the discretion of the loan servicer. While your loans are in a forbearance, your payments are temporarily lowered or suspended (postponed).
Remember to Take Action
Find out who services your federal student loans at www.nslds.ed.gov.
Login to your loan servicer's website to find out how much you owe, when payments are due and where to mail your payments.
Interest will continue to accrue on loans during the forbearance period even on subsidized Stafford loans. If you choose to not make interest payments during the forbearance, the interest will be added to your total balance due.
To be successful, follow the steps we've laid out and take advantage of all the available repayment plans, tools, and resources. If you have questions, you can rely on your lenders or servicers to help you understand all of your options and choose the right one. Whatever your situation is, you can manage repayment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for my deferment or forbearance to be applied to my loans?
From the time your request is received by your loan servicer the process will take 7-10 business days. If any information is missing, the application will be denied by your loan servicer.
My loans have already defaulted. What do I do now?
Unfortunately, it is too late to receive a deferment or forbearance. It is important that you contact the guarantor of your loan to set up payments. The guarantor information can be obtained by calling Student Loan Services at 1-888-658-7597 or by logging into your account at www.nslds.ed.gov.
Do I have to pay for your assistance?
Absolutely not!! This is a free service offered by your school.
Will a delinquent loan stop me from going back to school?
A defaulted loan will hinder your application for additional federal financial aid. If your loan defaults, you will lose Title IV eligibility until the defaulted loan is resolved.
I don't have access to a printer. How can I get the form?
Easy. Just call Student Loan Services at 1-888-658-7597 and give the Advisor your first and last name. The Advisor will update your mailing address over the phone and promptly mail the appropriate form to you along with a self-addressed stamped return envelope. The form can also be faxed to you.
How do I send the form back to you?
The quickest way to have the deferment or forbearance applied to your account is to fax the form to Student Loan Services at 1-770-985-4915. A cover page is not needed as this fax line is dedicated for Student Loan Services. If you don't have access to a fax machine just go to your campus and ask the receptionist to fax the form to Student Loan Services for you. After the form has been faxed, please call 1-888-658-7597 within 5 minutes to verify the form was received.
Why do I send the form to you and not my loan servicer?
Great question. You can always send the form directly to your loan servicer, then check the status online in 10 business days to verify your account status has been changed to current. By sending the form to Student Loan Services your form is sent directly to the department that processes deferments and forbearances. Also, Student Loan Services follows up with your loan servicer to verify the form was received and applied to your account.
I am not sure if I qualify for a deferment or forbearance. What do I do now?
Don't wait another minute. Call Student Loan Services immediately at 1-888-658-7597 and one of our qualified Advisors can help you determine over the phone which option is best for your situation. You will have to answer a few simple questions . . . Are you working less than 32 hours per week? Are you looking for full time employment? What is your gross (before taxes) monthly income? What is your family size?
Is there an easier way than filling out a form?
Possibly. Call Student Loan Services at 1-888-658-7597 to determine if your loan servicer offers the option to call a toll-free number and request a forbearance by phone. If that is an option, the Advisor will offer to immediately conference call your loan servicer and take care of it with you on the phone on the spot. In addition, during that conference call if it is determined you qualify for a deferment the paperwork will be sent out for you to complete and return.
I just received a forbearance. Why are you trying to get me to submit a deferment request too?
A deferment is the better financial option. The federal government pays the accrued interest during the approved deferment period on subsidized Stafford student loans.
I have more than one loan servicer. Can I consolidate my loans?
Yes, you may be able to combine your existing federal education loans into one new consolidated loan that offers several advantages like a lower monthly payment based on your income. Direct Consolidation Loan Information Center will answer all of your questions by calling 1-800-557-7392.
What happens if I don't pay the monthly payments and just let the loans default?
Bad idea. Very bad idea. A Stafford student loan is guaranteed by the federal government. First, a negative report will be sent to the credit bureaus. Then your loan will likely be turned over to a debt collection agency. This agency is authorized to garnish future wages and seize income tax refunds. Again, this is a very bad idea and shouldn't even be considered an option.