List of loan servicers
The following are loan servicers for federally held loans made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.
|FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)||1-800-699-2908|
|Granite State – GSMR||1-888-556-0022|
|Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.||1-800-236-4300|
|VSAC Federal Loans||1-888-932-5626|
Whether you’re a student or parent, years away from college or just about to start, the following checklists will help you get ready.
- Elementary School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that start the student on the road to enjoying learning and point the parent to resources for college savings accounts.
- Middle School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that get the student thinking about high school and possible careers and encourage the parent to keep an eye on the student’s progress.
- High School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that help the student focus on succeeding academically and learning about financial aid and provide the parent with tips for supporting the student and participating in the financial aid application process.
- Adult Student Checklist: Checklist for adults applying to college, including those who left high school before graduating, graduated high school, completed some college courses, or may be in the workforce.
- Getting a Late Start?—Last-minute Checklist: Checklist for anyone who has been accepted at a college and is starting classes soon but hasn’t applied for financial aid yet.
Annual notification from your school
College students, watch for your school’s letter to you explaining your specific individual cost for college.
2015 Wisconsin Act 284, enacted March 28, 2016, requires Wisconsin institutions of higher education to annually provide a letter to all students to inform them of the cost of their education. The letter is required to include specific information about each loan held by a student, including total amount of debt accrued under the loan, the interest rate, standard repayment terms, the estimated monthly payment due under the loan when the repayment period commences, and the amount of interest to be paid over the term of the loan. This information can be a valuable resource to help students plan their financial futures upon graduation. Here are two examples of the letters:
Know your Loan
You can’t manage your student loan debt unless you understand what you owe and how to pay. Make sure you know the balance on each of your loans, when payments are due, and where to send them. (If your lender offers an electronic payment option, sign up for it if you can. Your payments will never be late, and you may also qualify for a reduced interest rate.)
If you don’t know the basic terms of your student loans, contact your loan servicer. And if you’re not sure who that is — some borrowers have multiple loan servicers — see National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
Loan Repayment Calculators
Don't Miss Your First Payment
Most student loans come with a grace period — that is, a period of time after you leave school when you aren’t required to make payments. Grace periods are usually six or nine months, but they vary depending on the type of loan. A surprising number of student loan borrowers default on their loans because they don’t know when their grace periods end. Mark payment due dates on your calendar — and know that you are required to make on-time payments even if you never receive a bill or notice from your lender.
Pick the Best Repayment Plan
When it’s time to start paying back your student loans, you’ll probably face a variety of repayment options, from a standard ten-year plan to extended plans that base your payments on how much you earn. Learn about the plans available for each of your loans and choose the options that allow you to get out of debt as fast as possible. Many experts say that your student loan payments shouldn’t exceed 8% to 10% of your gross monthly income. You may want to use that as a rough guide, keeping in mind that if you extend the life of your loans, you’ll significantly increase the amount you pay in the long run.
To compare repayment plans, you can use the Repay Student Debt calculator offered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Whether you have federal student loans, private loans, or both, this calculator is a great place to start evaluating your repayment options.
The direct loan program offers five different repayment plans:
- Standard Repayment – The borrower will pay a fix amount each month for the life of the loan. The payment would be determined by your borrowed amount, interest rate, and term of the loan.
- Graduated Repayment – The borrower would make payments lower than the standard repayment plan, but would gradually increase every two years.
- Income Contingent(ICR) – In this plan, the borrower would make payments based on their income, family size, loan balance, and interest rate. Borrowers in the ICR can have a payment as low as $0.00/mo.
- Income Based(IBR) – This plan bases the borrowers payment strictly on their income and family size. The balance of the loan and interest rate are not used in calculating the monthly payment. The borrower would be responsible to pay 15% of their discretionary income to their federal student loans. Borrowers in the IBR can have a payment as low as $0.00/mo.
- Pay As You Earn(PAYE) – This plan usually has the lowest monthly payment, and is also based on your income but uses 10% of your discretionary income as a payment instead of the 15% used in IBR. Qualifying for the PAYE repayment plan is more difficult than the others. Borrowers in the PAYE can have a payment as low as $0.00/mo.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
- Income-Based Repayment Plans: After 20-25 years of qualifying payments in one of the U.S. Department of Education’s income-based repayment plans, your loan balance is forgiven.
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Offers up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness for teachers who teach full time for five years in certain low-income schools and meet other program qualifications.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Forgives the balance on your Direct Loans after you make 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
- Perkins Loan Forgiveness: Provides up-front loan forgiveness for certain types of public service or for full-time work in certain occupations.
- Volunteer Work: AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and Peace Corps service qualify for several types of student loan forgiveness.
- Health Professions: Several federal agencies provide student loan forgiveness programs for health professionals who work in specific locations or specialize in certain fields.
- Law School Loan Repayment: Several programs provide forgiveness for law school graduates who practice public interest law, such as public defenders.
- Government Employees: Many agencies provide up to $60,000 ($10,000 per calendar year) in student loan repayment assistance in exchange for a minimum commitment of 3 years of service.
- Military Service: Different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces offer a number of different forgiveness and student loan repayment programs.
- Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center: https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): https://fafsa.ed.gov/
- GradReady: https://State-of-Wisconsin.gradready.com
- DPI/Career cruising: http://dpi.wi.gov/acp/wicareercruising
- Inspire Wisconsin:
- Map of Wisconsin Inspire Network
Inspire Southeast Wisconsin: www.inspiresoutheastwisconsin.com
Inspire Madison Region: www.inspiremadisonregion.org
- Pioneer deployments:
Inspire DoorCounty: www.inspiredoorcounty.com
Inspire Sheboygan County: www.inspiresheboygancounty.org
Inspire RockCounty: www.inspirerockcounty.org
- Coming soon:
Inspire Connections: www.inspireconnections.com Coming October2017
Inspire Northward: Under Construction Coming Spring 2018
Inspire Northeast Wisconsin: www.inspirenortheastwisconsin.org Coming Fall 2017
Inspire Central Wisconsin: www.inspirecentralwi.com Coming October2017
Inspire 7 Rivers: www.7riversalliance.org/inspire-7rivers Starting Jackson County Fall 2017
- WisConnect – Your Source for Wisconsin Internships: https://internshipwisconsin.com/
- Edvest: https://www.edvest.com/
- Junior Achievement (JA) – Build Your Future: https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-usa/apps
- CFPB ‘Payback Playbook’: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201604_cfpb_student-loan-playbooks-website.pdf
- Finding and Applying for Scholarships: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/finding-scholarships
- College Scholarships (MoneysavingPro): https://www.moneysavingpro.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-college-scholarships/
- SallieMae Scholarship Search
- MyMazuma: http://mymazuma.com/
- The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS): http://ibrinfo.org/
- Technical Colleges of Wisconsin
- Private Colleges in Wisconsin
- University of Wisconsin System
- University of Wisconsin-Extension – Small Savings Build Big Dreams
- U.S. Department of Education – College Scorecard
- The Simple Dollar: Student Loan Consolidation Guide, Guide to Securing Your College Student’s Credit Future, Guide to Securing Your Child’s Credit Future
- Fiscal Tiger: College Finance Glossary (Terms commonly used by student loan providers and financial aid advisors)
- Money Management Lessons and Resources for Kids: Grades K-12
- Managing Your Financial Life After College Graduation
- Teaching Teens About Money
Federal Loan Resources
- National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS): https://www.nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_FAP/default.jsp
- StudentLoans.gov: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
- Federal Student Aid (FSA): https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/
- FSA Cohort Default Rate Guide: http://ifap.ed.gov/DefaultManagement/CDRGuideMaster.html
- Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP): http://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/
Consumer Credit Counselors
The following National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) Agencies have physical locations, and operate in or around your local area or provide services in Wisconsin. However, if you select an agency not in your state of residence be sure to check if the agency can still provide assistance to you.
The following NFCC Member Agencies have physical locations, and/or provide services in several states.
|Guidewell Financial Solutions|
|Baltimore, MD 21228|
|Credit Counseling of Arkansas, Inc.|
|Fayetteville, AR 72703|
|LSS Financial Counseling|
|Duluth, MN 55802|
|American Financial Solutions|
|Seattle, WA 98121|
The following NFCC Member Agencies have physical locations, and/or provide services in all 50 states.
|Advantage Credit Counseling Service, Inc.|
|Pittsburgh, PA 15203|
|Navicore Solutions, a Garden State Consumer Credit Counseling|
|Manalapan, NJ 07726|
|Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions|
|Atlanta, GA 30303|
|Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc.|
|Riverside, CA 92501|
|InCharge Debt Solutions|
|Orlando, FL 32819|
|Take Charge America|
|Phoenix, AZ 85027|
|American Consumer Credit Counseling|
|Auburndale, MA 02466|
|Columbus, OH 43213|