(Consumer Information Disclosure)
Student loans are educational funds that must be repaid with interest. Illinois Eastern Community Colleges provide quality education at an affordable cost, and we want to keep your student loan debt to a minimum. We strongly encourage you to borrow only what is absolutely needed to further your education. The student loan choices that you make today could impact you for the rest of your life.
Since IECC does not automatically award loan funds, you must first decide what you need to borrow to help pay for college. This amount depends on your year in school and your dependency status.
- Review the federal annual and aggregate limits here.
- Use this calculator to determine the total amount you are able to borrow and the salary you will need in order to make the payment for your student loans.
For detailed information on the types of federal loans available at IECC, please click here.
Once you have received a Direct Loan, you will be contacted by your loan servicer. The Department of Education uses several loan servicers to manage the loans they make to students. The servicer assigned to your loan will supply regular updates on your loan status throughout your education.
Following graduation or an enrollment status of less-than-half time, loan servicers will provide you with a repayment schedule that states when the first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. The schedule and payments are based on the loan repayment plan you selected or the servicer assigned. You may change their repayment plan at any time by contacting your loan servicer who will be able to answer questions and assist with any changes.
If you have have any questions regarding the amount you have borrowed, who your loan servicer is, or questions about your financial aid history, start here. You simply log in with the FSA ID information you created to complete your FAFSA.
Student Borrower Responsibilities
- Repay the loans requested and approved with interest.
- Maintain at least half-time enrollment (6 or more credit hours).
- Complete online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (Steps 4 and 5) at studentaid.gov.
- Complete online Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement prior to loan disbursements each award year. (beginning April 2020)
- Maintain a Satisfactory Academic Progress standing.
- Complete online Loan Exit Counseling prior to entering repayment.
LOAN COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS
Entrance Loan Counseling
First time Direct Loan student borrowers must participate in an entrance loan counseling session before funds are disbursed. A session only takes about 30 minutes and provides basic information about the following:
- What a Direct Loan is and how the process works
- Managing education expenses
- Other financial resources to consider to help pay for education
- Borrower rights and responsibilities
Exit Loan Counseling
Exit counseling is required by law for students who have received a loan under the Direct Loan Program and must be completed upon graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment status. A session only takes about 30 minutes and provides important information regarding repayment of federal student loan(s). The borrower will learn:
- How to understand and repay the loan(s)
- How to avoid default
- How to make finances a priority
Students can complete the entrance and exit counseling at https://studentloans.gov.
LOAN REPAYMENT PLANS
The following is a brief summary of available repayment plans for the Stafford and PLUS (parent) Loans. Additional information is available at the Federal Student Aid website.
This is the most common plan and all borrowers are eligible for it. Monthly payments are a fixed amount ($50 minimum) and must be paid in full within 10 years. To get an estimate of monthly payments, click here to enter a loan amount, interest rate (be sure to override the amount that's automatically populated and enter the applicable interest rate), and fees. This calculator is for reference only - the loan servicer can provide the most accurate data for a borrower's specific loan(s).
All borrowers are eligible for this plan. Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years, and are for an amount that will ensure the loan is paid off within 10 years.
To qualify for this plan, the borrower must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loan debt. Payments may be fixed or graduated, and will ensure the loan is paid off within 25 years.
Income Based Repayment (IBR)
To qualify for this plan, the borrower must have high debt relative to income (which includes a spouse's income and debt if married and filing jointly). Monthly payments will be either 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income (dependent upon timing of when the first loan was received), but never more than what would have been paid under the Standard Repayment Plan. Payments are recalculated each year and are based on updated income and family size. Any outstanding balance on a loan will be forgiven if it hasn't been repaid in full after 20 or 25 years (dependent upon timing of when the first loan was received).
Income Sensitive Repayment
This plan is an option for Stafford Loans. Monthly payments are based on annual income and must be paid in full within 15 years. The formula for determining the monthly payment can vary between servicers.
LOAN DEFERMENT AND FORBEARANCE
Under certain circumstances, a borrower may receive a deferment or forbearance that allows for temporarily stopping federal student loan payments or temporarily reducing the amount. Stopping or reducing payments may help to avoid defaulting on a loan. It is the borrower's responsibility to contact their loan servicer to request a deferment or forbearance (unless deferment is due to his/her being enrolled at least half-time in an approved college--this is an automatic deferment). Borrowers should be sure to keep making their scheduled payments until they've been advised that the deferment or forbearance has been granted. For more information on deferment and forbearance, including the difference between the two and eligibility for each, click here.
It's important that borrowers contact their loan servicers if they are experiencing difficulty making payments. In addition to deferment or forbearance, it's possible a different repayment plan would be beneficial. The Financial Aid Office at the college will also assist with any questions or concerns regarding loan repayment.