LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PAYOFF
We understand that college is a large investment. We want to give you the terms, advice, and tools to help you successfully pay off student debt.
Some Terms to Know
It’s essential to understand some terms so that you can understand the process. Educating yourself on these topics allows you to be a smarter student and an informed decision-maker. Being an informed decision-maker means you can be a financially responsible decision-maker, likely cutting down the cost of your college career.
Free money that doesn’t require repayment given by the school or other entity.
Free money that doesn’t require repayment given by the government or other entity.
Money borrowed that requires repayment with the addition of interest over time.
The total amount you borrowed.
The extra amount you pay for the convenience of borrowing money from someone else.
The percentage you are charged for borrowing money.
6 month period after you stop being a student when you do not need to pay loans and you will not incur interest. (Only for certain types of loans.)
A monthly payment plan for 10 years. This is the most common method to pay back all your student loans plus interest.
The amount you must pay each month in order to not default on your loan.
When you fail to make the minimum payment. This has dire consequences, impacting your credit score greatly.
You can make additional payments that reduce your capital amount and therefore reduce your overall amount of interest paid.
The institution that provides your loan and who you must repay.
These loans are tied with the government which means that they usually have better interest rates and are cheaper over the total life of the loan. However, this also means that there are more stipulations on which loans you can use and what they can be used for.
- Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
- Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
- The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan:
- while you’re in school at least half-time
- for the first six months after you leave school
- during a period of deferment
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
- Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
- You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
- If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school, or during grace periods, time of deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will grow and your interest will be added to the beginning amount of your loan.
You can also borrow from a private lender. However, be aware that private loans can be more expensive, especially in the long run. It’s usually best for you to consider Federal Student Loans first.
There are some circumstances when the government will forgive your loans. By committing to a certain number of years in public service, for instance, the government can cancel your remaining debt.
There are government loan forgiveness, cancellation, and discharges that you may qualify for. For a full list, visit studentaid.gov.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
The Alliance wants to help students going into vocational ministry with their Crown loan repayments. The Loan Repayment Program is a loan-matching program available to students who have graduated from an Alliance college, university, or seminary, have incurred tuition debt, and plan to serve in vocational ministry with The Alliance. Loan repayments made through the program are not scholarships and therefore are considered taxable compensation.
Loan repayment amounts are sent directly to the participant’s loan agency and will match an amount equal to what the student has paid toward his/her loans in that year. The amount The Alliance contributes in one year will not count toward the amount matched the following year. Questions regarding this program may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to be considered for this program:
- Applicants must apply within five years of graduation.
- Applicants must have incurred their educational debt in a program of study leading to a degree from an Alliance college, university, or seminary.
- Applicants must currently be serving in a local Alliance church ministry or overseas as licensed Alliance workers and have successfully completed the accreditation process for ministry.
- Applicants currently involved in Alliance church ministry must provide a letter of recommendation from their district superintendent. Those currently serving in the overseas Missionary Apprentice Program should contact the director for candidate development to request a recommendation letter.
- Applicants must be regular contributors to the Great Commission Fund.
Contact your loan servicer if you think you may qualify. If you have a Perkins Loan, you should contact the school that made the loan or the loan servicer the school has designated.
Trouble making payments?
If you have trouble meeting the minimum payments on your loans, you need to contact your loan service provider immediately. They may have some helpful options for repaying that are income-driven instead of loan-based.
- Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)