The Department of Education and Federal Student Aid (FSA) have released information regarding the temporary waiver of interest accrual and the temporary suspension of payments. However, FSA has stated that Federal Perkins Loans held by institutions are not eligible for these benefits at this time. Please see the following link regarding COVID-19 and view “Borrower Questions”: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
If you need assistance, please review our forms page online on www.unisainc.com. Select “BORROWER SERVICES”, then “Borrower Forms”. Please review each form to determine which one would be best for your situation.
Information for Health Professions Student Loan and Nurse Faculty Loan Program Grantees about Loans during Coronavirus Emergency (https://bhw.hrsa.gov/loans-scholarships/coronavirus) In light of the COVID-19 national emergency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is waiving interest and extending the opportunity for administrative forbearance on health professions student loan and Nurse Faculty Loan programs through September 30, 2020. These policies apply to borrowers to the following programs:
Contact your Loan Servicer
The first step to resolving a dispute is to contact your school or Loan Service Representative and explain your dispute. Generally, issues can be worked out immediately and no further action is needed. It is important that you clearly identify your dispute and have all supporting documentation available so that your Loan Service Representative can assist you.
If you have made a diligent effort with your Loan Service Representative to resolve your dispute, but cannot resolve the problem, you may file for assistance from the Department of Education's Ombudsman's office.
Contact The Office of the Ombudsman
The Office of the Ombudsman was established to mediate between borrowers and loan holders.
The Ombudsman will collect information about your dispute, and ask you to provide documentation. You will be asked to complete a dispute form which clearly states your problem.
After receipt of your completed dispute form and all supporting documentation, the Ombudsman will review the facts by looking at loan regulations, your documentation, your loan servicers documentation, your loan history and any other information necessary to obtain a full understanding of the dispute.
The Ombudsman will contact you and your loan holder, acting as a liason to work out a resolution.
To start a dispute claim with the Office of Ombudsman, you may access their site at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare/contact-ombudsman.
Under the new tax laws, interest paid on student loans is deductible and there is no longer a limitation on the number of years that the deduction can be taken.. Student loan interest paid is treated as an adjustment to gross income and is not part of the itemization schedule.
If your student loan was taken out solely to pay for qualified educational expenses you may be eligible to reduce your taxable income by up to $2500.00. The amount of interest that you may deduct is dependent on your income level. A worksheet to determine your deductable amount can be found in your 1040 instructions
Addtional information on student loan interest deductions can be found in the IRS Publication 970 "Tax Benefits for Education". This publication can be accessed at: https://www.irs.gov/.
Cancellation benefits allow you to cancel a portion of your principal balance for each complete year of service in an eligible shortage area. These areas include teaching, nursing, medical technology, law enforcement, social services, Peace Corp and the military. Partial cancellation of your loan is made for each complete year of employment for up to 100% of your loan for most cancellation types.
The cancellation process works in conjunction with the deferment process. Your employer certifies on a deferment form that you are expected to work for an eligible employer in an eligible capacity for the upcoming year. Your loan is placed into a deferment while you complete the year of employment service. During the deferment period no interest accrues and no payments are required. At the end of the year, your employer certifies that you did complete the year of service on a cancellation form and a partial cancellation is processed on your loan based upon how many years of cancellation service you have performed.
Cancellation Eligibility Criteria
Teaching in Elementary or Secondary Schools servicing Low-Income Students (5 years of service for 100% cancellation)
A deferment is a period of time in which you are not required to make loan payments and interest does not accrue. To qualify for a deferment you must meet certain requirements. At the end of the deferment period you may be eligible for a post-deferment grace period of six consecutive months. For a complete description of the deferments that are available for your loan, you should refer to your original promissory note.
Deferment Eligibility Criteria
Student Deferment - Must be enrolled at least halftime at an eligible post-secondary school.
Delinquency on your loan occurs if you do not make a payment on time or make application for a deferment on time. All delinquency is reported to the credit bureau and therefore, it is wise to contact your school or Servicer if a scheduled payment cannot be made. There are many options available to avoid delinquency such as deferments, forbearance or low-income extensions.
Forbearance A forbearance is a temporary reduction in your monthly payments based upon your financial situation. You may receive up to 36 months of forbearance over the life of your loan. A forbearance is negotiated between you and your school or Loan Servicer based upon your unique situation. To apply for a forbearance, you must contact your service representative.
A 1098E statement is an informational form that is sent to you by your lending school to assist you in completing the Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet found in your 1040 Federal Tax Form.
Student Loan Interest paid during the tax years is filed as an adjustment to your gross income which affects your adjusted gross income.
You must complete the Federal Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet to determine how much of the interest you paid will be deductable.
Institutions are only required to provide a 1098E Student Loan Interest Statement to borrowers who paid $600.00 or more in student loan interest during a tax year. However, when figuring out your deduction, you may include any interst paid in your worksheet regardless of whether you received a 1098E statement or not.
You may at any time during the tax filing period request a 1098E Student Loan Interest Statement for your records.
A consolidation loan is a new loan that pays off your current federal education loan balances. With a consolidation loan you will only have one lender and one monthly payment. Married couples are allowed to consolidate their federal loans together into one new consolidation loan. To be eligible for a consolidation loan you must have at least 1 outstanding Federal Family Educational or Federal Direct Student Loan.
A forbearance is a temporary period of time in which no payments or reduced payments are required because of a financial situation. There are basically three types of arrangements that can be made under the forbearance provision. During a forbearance, interest continues to accrue. You may only receive up to 36 months of forbearance over the life of your loan.
Reduced Payment Forbearance A reduced payment forbearance is negotiated for a temporary monthly payment, that is generally greater than the monthly accuring interest, but less than the regular payment amount.
Interest Only Forbearance An interest only forbearance is negotiated for a temporary monthly payment of interest only.
No Payment Forbearance A no payment forbearance is negotiated for a temporary period in which no payments are required. Interest continues to accrue and become due at the end of the forbearance period. This type of a forbearance results in a balloon type payment of the interest that accrued during the forbearance period plus a regular payment.
A loan is considered in default if you do not resolve delinquency, and that delinquency persists for at least 90 days. Your school or Loan Servicer may exercise their right to accelerate your loan balance. Your school or Loan Servicer will give you notice of their intent to accelerate your loan balance. When a loan is accelerated, the entire unpaid principal balance plus interest and fees become immediately due and payable. All provisions for deferments and cancellation are lost. At this point your school or Loan Servicer may;
All overpayments of due amounts will post directly to remaining principal balance and the loan will continue to bill on schedule. If you would like an overpayment to be considered a prepayment of a future billing period (we allow you to prepay up to one period—month, quarter, etc.) then you will need to call, email, or mail that information to us at the time of payment remittance.