Managing Your Loans
Online Access to Your Direct Loans
If you would like to access your Direct Loan information, view your loan balance, change your address with the Department of Education, or download deferment, forbearance, and electronic debit forms, log on using your Social Security Number and your federal PIN. You can also view your payment history, change your payment due date and select a new repayment plan on this site. Borrower Services can also be contacted via telephone at 1-800-848-0979.
When to consolidate is an important question. For borrowers who have not yet used their grace periods (6 months after graduation) and have never entered into repayment, the time to apply for consolidation will be toward the end of the 6 month grace period. Federal consolidation Loans do not have a grace period so taking advantage of this is in the best interest of most students. However, this may vary if a borrower has been in repayment previously.
If you have a Perkins loan, please be sure to read the available information on cancellation/forgiveness options below prior to consolidation. To find information on your University of Idaho Perkins loan you can contact the UI Student Accounts Office at 208-885-5571 (if you have a Perkins from another institution, you will need to contact that school)
If you previously received a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford loan or Graduate PLUS loan and are no longer enrolled at least half time, have withdrawn or graduated from the University of Idaho, then you are required to complete Exit Counseling. Using your federal PIN number, go to this website and click on the "Exit Counseling" box to begin the process.
Plan to attend a Loan Repayment Workshop that Student Financial Aid Services offers near the end of each semester to learn about different repayment plans, consolidation and deferment and forbearance options.
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a six-month period, called a grace period, before you must begin repayment of your Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loans.
Parents who have borrowed Parent PLUS loans have the option to defer payments on their PLUS loan as long as their student remains enrolled in at least half-time credits.
The Direct Loan Program offers five repayment plans. You can select the one that is right for your financial circumstances and switch repayment plans at any time without penalty. Here is a list of the repayment options that are available for you to choose from:
- Standard: Requires fixed monthly payments ($50 min.) for up to 10 years, although the repayment term can be from 10-30 years for Direct Consolidation Loans depending on your total educational debt.
- Graduated: Allows for graduated (payments start low and gradually increases) payments for a maximum of 10 years, although the terms can be from 10-30 years depending on your educational loan debt.
- Extended: Allows fixed or graduated payments with a maximum repayment term of 25 years for borrowers with more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loan debt.
- Income Contingent: Bases monthly payments on your yearly income, family size, and loan amount. As income increases or falls annually so do your payments. After 25 years any remaining balance on the loan will be forgiven, but you may be required to pay taxes on the amount forgiven.
- Income Based: Similar to the Contingent plan but has more public service stipulations as well as minimum annual income limits.
For more information on any of these repayment plans, please visit the repayment page on the Student Aid on the Web website.
Cancellation/Forgiveness Options for Loans
In certain circumstances, your loans can be discharged or canceled. Click on the links below for more information on the different cancellation options.
- Perkins Loans Discharge/Cancellation – Learn about the opportunities to defer or have this loan cancelled.
- Perkins Cancellation for Teachers – Learn about opportunities for teachers to have this loan cancelled.
- Stafford Loans – Information for discharge and cancellation opportunities for Stafford loans can be found here.
- Information on the new Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program/Income Based Repayment Plan can be found here. For a summary of who may qualify for Public Service Forgiveness please download this .pdf file.
Income Based Repayment (IBR) is a new program to make your federal student loan payments more manageable. If you are a teacher or work in government or at a non-profit organization, you may qualify for the Public Service forgiveness component that allows that after 10 years of payments (while under qualified employment and income requirements) the remainder of your loan would be forgiven.
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the US Department of Education’s central database for student aid. Use this website to find out information (Loan History) on the Federal student loans borrowed while an undergraduate or graduate. Loans included will be Direct Loans, Federal Family Educational Loans, and Perkins loans. Private loans will not be included.
The Federal Personal Identification Number website. Use this if you need to register for a PIN or if you need to retrieve a forgotten number.
This is the US Department of Education’s Federal Aid website. It contains extensive information about Grace Periods, Deferment, Forbearance, Consolidation, Cancellation, and defaulted loan guidance.