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Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S. Department of Education is the entity that manages and issues financial aid to low-income students. This way, they have a positive impact on the development of education for students in the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit studentaid.ed.gov.

 These are some of the programs under Title IV:

  • Pell Grant
  • Student loans
  • Study and Work 
  • Supplementary and Complementary Assistance
  • Others

You may be eligible for a subsidized loan (only available for undergraduates) or a non- subsidized loan. The type of loan will depend on your academic status and your financial needs. Please refer to the Student Loans section.

Your academic status, your financial needs, the assistance offered, among other factors, are used by the financial aid officials to evaluate the maximum amount of loan per semester or per academic year. The amount issued cannot exceed the maximum established by the U.S. Department of Education. Please refer to the Maximum Student Loan section. 

There are several situations that could affect your eligibility. Among them: 

  1. Non-payment of a federal student loan.
  2. A reduction in your academic load to less than part-time.
  3. Academic probation.
  4. Academic suspension.
  5. Others

Yes, you can. Visit the Financial Aid Office in your institution and fill out a student loan cancellation form.

The U.S. Department of Education revises and modifies the interest rate on student loans each year on the 1st of July. The rate will be fixed throughout the life of your loan and will depend on your academic status and the kind of loan. 

They payment or repayment period on your loan(s) will begin six (6) months after the first separation from your educational institution occurs. The U.S. Department of Education considers that a separation from an educational institution occurs when:

  • You completely withdraw.
  • You enroll in less than 6 undergraduate credits, which is the academic load required by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • You enroll in less than 3 professional credits, which is the academic load required by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

Some payment options vary, depending on each servicing agency. You should contact your agency and choose the option that best fits your financial situation. To access available payment plans, click here

In your servicing agency’s webpage, you will find payment options available for your loan. You should choose a payment plan that best fits your financial situation. Once you select an option, your agency will let you know when the payment is due. You can find the addressees of each agency here.

The servicing agency that manages your student loan will send you a billing statement with the due date, the amount to pay, the balance due, your account number, along with other information. The billing statement will be sent to your e-mail address and to the mailbox in your account at your agency.

The U.S. Department of Education has established that student loan interests will accrue once the student separates for the first time from the educational institution and completes the six (6) month grace period, in case of a subsidized loan.

For subsidized student loans processed as of July 1st, 2012 until July 1st, 2014, interests will accrue during the grace period. 

For non-subsidized student loans at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Graduate PLUS or Parents, and the non-subsidized portion of a consolidation loan, interests will accrue from the time they are disbursed until they are paid in full. 
 

 

Your fixed payment amount may increase when variable interest rates are modified by the U.S. Department of Education. This is done to ensure that loans are paid in full during the stipulated period. 

A federal Direct Consolidation Loan will help you bundle several loans from different agencies and different repayment schedules under one sole agency, at a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. It is important to remember that a consolidation loan is a new loan, and therefore does not have the same benefits of prior loans. For more information, click here.

Generally, your loans must be in their grace period, in repayment, or deferral. 

That is correct. If your account is debited automatically, you will continue receiving the 0.25% discount on your interest rate when interest rates change.

Once your repayment period starts and you cannot make payments due to a justified reason, you should contact your servicing agency as soon as possible so they can tell you what kind of forgiveness or deferral you may be eligible for. Remember, the sooner you look for alternatives, the better your chances to avoid long-term adverse consequences on your loans. 

Requesting it as soon as possible will help you prevent long and short-term consequences on your loans. Otherwise, you may face:

  • Your credit being affected for 7 years.
  • Being ineligible for forgiveness or deferrals.
  • Loosing eligibility for Title IV funds (Pell Grants, Student Loans, other federal assistance).
  • Increase in charges for late payments, interests, court costs or recovery costs.

The federal government may retain your tax refund and may place a lien on your salary or any property you may have, among other penalties. 

No, that is not correct.  As a borrower, you are completely responsible for notifying your educational institution, bank, or servicing agency of any changes that may affect the communication process or status of your account.

Yes, it will start running. Remember that the grace period begins on the first separation from your studies, be it when you reduce the required academic load, if you stop studying, or if you graduate. 

That is correct. Remember that you are responsible for repaying the loan, even if you decide to stop studying. Please refer to your payment agreement or the Master Promissory Note that you filled out and signed when you applied for your loan.

No, you will not. You can pay off your loan anytime, without any type of penalty.

Yes, do send it in. Remember that you do not need a repayment booklet to make a payment on your loan(s). If you have any questions regarding your monthly payment, visit your servicing agency by clicking​​​​​ here.

No, you don’t, this is a free benefit. The Ombudsman Group of the Federal Aid for Students of the U.S. Department of Education is there to help resolve controversies related to loans from the Direct Loan Program, the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL), and Perkins loans. The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve controversies related to federal loans for students. 

Mailing Address:
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144      
Washington, DC 20202-5144
Telephone: 1-877-557-2575

If you wish to get more information on the Ombudsman Group, click here

If it’s the first time you applied for a loan as of July 1st, 2013 and afterwards, there is a limit on the maximum amount of time (measured in academic years) during which you can get loans with interest subsidy from the Direct Loan Program.  This time limit does not apply to non-subsidized interest loans from the Direct Loan Program or PLUS loans from the Direct Loan Program. If this limit applies to you, you cannot receive subsidized loans from the Direct Loan Program for more than 150% of the published duration of your program. This limit only applies to undergraduate students. If you need further information, click here

You should finish your study program within the time limits established by the U.S. Department of Education, according to your concentration.

A budget is a process to plan the most effective way to use your financial resources. This is achieved by estimating your monthly expenses and the resources you will have available to cover those expenses. A budget can help you identify what you’re spending your money on and, at the same time, help you control your expenses to keep them within certain parameters. It can also help you calculate the payment amount of your student loan. There are three important steps in creating a budget: 

  • Calculate your income – Take into consideration your net monthly salary, which is what’s left after local and federal deductions are take out. Then add any other source of additional income, for example: family help, Veterans benefits, Social Security, among other sources.
  • Calculate your expenses – You should include all expenses such as: housing, food, car maintenance, health, child care or dependents, student loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other expenses.
  • Determine the difference – If total expenses are greater than total income, you should verify and cut down on unnecessary expenditures so you can have some money left over for emergencies.

A good budget can help you maintain a good credit rating. Credit rating agencies get information from creditors on how individuals pay their debts. Remember, even if your credit was not considered when you applied for your student loan, it will be affected if you do not make the payments as agreed with your loan’s servicing agency.
Also, it is recommended that you review your credit report regularly and report any information that is posted incorrectly. Call or write to the main credit rating agencies to get a copy of your report: 

Experian
PO Box 949
Aller, TX75002
1-888-397-3742 / www.experian.com

Equifax
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
1-800-685-1111 / www.equifax.com

TransUnion
PO Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
1-800-916-8800/ www.transunion.com

You can make payments using Mi UAGM, and you can use it as well to complete your enrollment process. Request transcripts and other services. Follow the steps outlines ​here to access this service.