Most students borrow federal and/or institutional loans during their time at Gonzaga. It is a federal requirement that all students who have borrowed a federal or institutional loan to complete exit counseling before they leave school. Exit counseling is a useful tool that informs students about their repayment and deferment options as well as giving them an idea of the amount of their monthly loan payments after the six and/or nine month grace period has ended.
Due to the busy nature of the graduation season, Gonzaga has opted to have all students complete the federally required exit counseling online. This gives each student the ability to read and complete the required information at his or her own pace and to do so when their schedule allows. Graduating students have been sent emails to their ZagMail account giving instructions on how to complete exit counseling. Students who have borrowed from multiple loan types, such as from the Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program, will have to do separate exit counseling for each loan type. Each exit counseling session takes about 30 minutes. If, after completing the exit counseling, your student has any questions, please have them contact the Financial Aid Office at 509-313-6811. If your student does not know what types of loans they have borrowed, they can view their federal loan history online at www.nslds.ed.gov or by checking their ZagWeb award by aid year summary for the years they were enrolled at Gonzaga for any non-federal loans.
After graduation, loan payments will begin in six months Federal Direct/Stafford Loans and Federal Perkins Loans begin after nine months. If your student is not able to afford to make payments at that time, they should contact their lender(s) or loan servicer(s) immediately to apply for a deferment or forbearance.
The Federal Perkins Loan has one repayment plan, standard repayment, in which a student pays the same amount each month for a period up to 10 years with a minimum payment of $50 per month. The Federal Direct/Stafford Loan program has six repayment plan options for students. A student can change their repayment plan once per year. All students will initially be set up on the Standard Repayment option unless they request otherwise. Descriptions of the loan repayment plans are available at http://www.finaid.org/loans/repayment.phtml. FFEL refers to Federal Stafford loans through Gonzaga prior to May, 2010.
To Consolidate or Not….That is the Question
Students, who have borrowed from the FFEL/Stafford Loan (loans through Gonzaga prior to May, 2010) and the Federal Direct/Stafford Loan program (loans through Gonzaga after May, 2010), may have multiple lenders or loan servicers. If that is the case for your student, you might want them to look into loan consolidation. That is where they can borrow one new federal loan which is used to pay off all of other federal student loans. Consolidation enables students to make one payment to one entity for all of their federal loans and may be a good option for some students. Information and the application are available on line at: http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/.
There are some loan cancellation provisions available for both the Perkins and Direct/Stafford loan programs. Consolidation will not remove the cancellation provisions for the Federal Direct/Stafford loan but it will remove the cancellation provisions for the Federal Perkins Loan. If your student has borrowed a Federal Perkins Loan, they should review all potential cancellation options for the Federal Perkins loan before consolidating. Once a Perkins Loan is consolidated the student would no longer be eligible for any of the cancellation benefits associated with that loan.
- Information about Federal Perkins Loan cancellation is available online at: https://www.mycampusloan.com/static/html/infocenter/cancellation.htm.
- Information about the Federal Direct/Stafford Loan cancellation provisions is available online at: http://www.direct.ed.gov/cancellation.html.
- Additional information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness option is available at www.ibrinfo.org.
If you or your student have any questions about this information or loans that you or your student have been borrowed while attending Gonzaga, please contact us at 509-313-6811.