Student Loan Information

Financial concerns are a major player in the volunteer decision-making process. Can I afford it? What about my student loans? Full time volunteers may be eligible to postpone payment of student loans through what is known as either deferment or forbearance.

Start here: Getting a grip on your student loans

In this webinar session we aim to shed light on strategies such as loan forbearance, Income-based Repayment programs, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. We focus on what you need to do before, during, and after your service experience, making this session relevant to incoming, current, and former volunteers. Student Loan expert Heather Jarvis joins us for this webinar session.

What's the difference?

Federal Student Aid defines deferment as “a temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations such as reenrollment in school, unemployment, or economic hardship.” The emphasis here is on specific situations, and deferments may have different requirements than
forbearances. Usually deferments require meeting certain eligibility criteria and submitting supporting documentation such as W-2s, registration with an employment agency, etc.

Federal Student Aid defines forbearance as “a temporary postponement or reduction of payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty.” Forbearance is generally used when borrowers experience temporary financial difficulty and postponement
allows them time to catch up to their payment schedule, or when they have exhausted their deferment options.Forbearance may reduce payments,extend the billing period, or postpone
them for a short-term period altogether.

So, now what?

If you are interested in temporarily postponing payment of your loans while in service, the first step  is to call their loan holder(s) or servicing agency to check your loan status, inform them of your intention to volunteer, and review your options for deferment or forbearance. Volunteers with federal and state-backed loans have various options for deferment and forbearance. Unfortunately, for volunteers with private loans the options are limited to what their private lenders may offer.

Here are a few things volunteers should consider:

  1. What kind of loan do I have? Is it subsidized or unsubsidized?
  2. When did I acquire my loans? Am I an “old borrower?”
  3. Am I eligible for AmeriCorps and also participating in an AmeriCorps program?
  4. Which is better for me, given my situation and the kinds of loans I have, deferment or forbearance? And what type of deferment or forbearance would be best?

For more information:

• Funding Education Beyond High School - http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/ english/index.jsp">http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/
attachments/site resources/FundingEduBeyondHighSchool_0708.pdf
• Federal Student Aid - http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/ english/index.jsp">http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/
english/index.jsp