It's important to understand your rights and responsibilities when accepting financial aid. In addition to those items listed below it is important to know that only courses which count for your degree will be paid with financial aid funds.
- Repayment of all student loans, even if no notice is received or the student stops attending
- If you apply for a deferment or forbearance, you must continue to make payments until you are notified that the request has been granted.
- Notify the loan servicer when you graduate, withdraw from school, or drop below half-time status; change your name, address, or Social Security number; or transfer to another school.
- Receive entrance counseling before you're given your first loan disbursement
- Receive exit counseling before you leave school
When you sign a promissory note, you're agreeing to repay the loan even if you don't complete your education or you can't get a job after you complete the program. If you default on your loan, the lender may take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of your default. This affects your credit rating for a long time. For example, you may find it very difficult to borrow money from a bank to buy a car or a house.
In addition, if you default, the U.S. Department of Education might ask the Internal Revenue Service to withhold your U.S. individual income tax refund and apply it to the amount you owe or the agency holding your loan may ask your employer to deduct payments from your paycheck. Also, you are liable for expenses incurred in collecting the loan. If you decide to return to school, you're not entitled to receive any more federal student aid. Legal action might also be taken against you.
You have the right to a grace period before you begin repayment. This period begins when you leave school or drop below half-time status.
Before you leave school, you will be provided with the following information:
- the amount of your total debt, your interest rate, and the total interest on your loan
- if applicable, the name of the lender or agency holding your loans, where to send your payments, and where to write or call with questions
- an explanation of fees such as late charges and collection or litigation costs if you're delinquent or in default
- an explanation of available refinancing or consolidation options
- a statement that you can repay your loan at any time without penalty
Other information you may be given includes:
- anticipated monthly payments and when they are due
- repayment options
- notification that you must provide your expected permanent address, the name and address of your expected employer, and any corrections to your school's records
- Complete Exit Counseling