PHEAA Urges Recent Graduates to Consider Repayment Options

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For spring graduates, six-month grace period ending soon

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PHEAA's customer service staff is prepared to discuss repayment options directly with borrowers to determine the best course of action.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is recommending that college students who graduated in the spring should plan now for beginning repayment of their student loan debt. Students who graduated in May and have student loans will find their six-month grace period ending in November. Graduates typically take advantage of the six-month grace period to find employment and get their finances in order before beginning their loan repayment.

"Graduates should be aware there are several repayment options for graduates to choose from to match their individual needs," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "By establishing a responsible repayment plan now, borrowers are making a smart financial decision and taking the first steps to establishing a healthy credit rating."

Student loan repayment plans offer various benefits such as Graduated Repayment with payments that are initially lower but increase later in the repayment schedule or the recently enacted Income Based Repayment plan with monthly payments based on loan debt, income and number of people in a household. Borrowers who may be having difficulty securing employment also have deferment and forbearance options available to them which provide for postponement of payments under specific circumstances.

The secure borrower portal found on aesSuccess.org provides additional information on available repayment plans, allows customers to submit secure online payments, and offers an Eligibility Quiz to help borrowers learn which deferment or forbearance options may best suit their current circumstances and provides the option of downloading the appropriate form.

"The best option for struggling graduates is to contact their loan servicer as soon as possible to review and choose the plan that is most manageable for them," said Senator Sean Logan, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. "PHEAA's customer service staff is prepared to discuss repayment options directly with borrowers to determine the best course of action."

Borrowers are encouraged to take advantage of free, online resources like YouCanDealWithIt.com, which offers college graduates and soon-to-be graduates helpful information on financial planning and budgeting, managing student loan debt, and establishing good credit habits.

PHEAA offers additional tips to graduates during their repayment period:

  •     Avoid credit card debt and their high interest rates.
  •     Set a reasonable budget and stick to it.
  •     Make payments on time.
  •     Enroll in an automatic debit program. Most Pennsylvania borrowers can save an additional .25% interest rate when their loan payment is automatically debited from a savings or checking account.
  •     Make payments online; borrowers are encouraged to manage their student loan on the secure borrower portal found on aesSuccess.org.

For more information regarding repayment options and helpful tips, please visit http://www.aesSuccess.org.

About PHEAA
Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has evolved into one of the nation's leading nonprofit student aid organizations. Today, PHEAA is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing systems and outreach programs. As a nonprofit organization belonging to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PHEAA devotes its energy, resources and imagination to developing innovative ways to ease the financial burden of higher education for Pennsylvania's students, families, schools and taxpayers.

CONTACT:
Keith New
717-720-2509

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