Rights & Responsibilities

For many students, borrowing a student loan is their first experience in lending. It is important to understand that when you take out student loans for school, you are signing a contract that you agree to repay the loans. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legally binding document.

Before you agree to take out student loans, you should understand your rights and responsibility as a student loan borrower.

Borrower Rights

Federal student loan borrowers have a number of options to successfully manage student loan debt. These options include: the right to temporarily stop payments with a deferment or forbearance, the right to reduced payments by switching repayment plans, depending on your financial circumstances and other conditions, and the right to loan cancellation, discharge or forgiveness in certain situations.

Borrower Responsibilities

As a federal student loan borrower, you are responsible for the repayment of your loan. You remain responsible for repaying your loan regardless of whether you graduate from college or feel dissatisfied with the education you received.

You are responsible for knowing when your loan repayment begins, and your required payments. It is important to prepare for repayment as you get ready to graduate or withdraw from school.

You are responsible for notifying your loan servicer of any change to your address. If you move, and do not receive your student loan bills, you are still responsible for making your required payments.

You are also responsible for notifying your loan servicer and school if your name or contact information changes, if you transfer or withdraw from school, after a change in employment, or any change that could impact your loan.

You are responsible for notifying your school’s financial aid office if you stop attending your classes, withdraw, or do not re-enroll as planned.  You are also responsible for notifying your financial aid office if your expected graduation date changes.

Recent News

More than 90% of student debt today is in the form of federal loans. If you graduated from college recently and have a federal loan, you may have the option to temporarily postpone your payments, extend them, or lower them. The challenge is figuring out which of the eight major federal repayment plans is best for your situation.
The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 likely won’t affect most student loan borrowers—not this year, at least.
Some of you may be familiar with the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan, which caps payments at 10% of a borrower’s monthly income and forgives any remaining balance on your student loans after 20 years of qualifying repayment. But this plan is only for recent borrowers. REPAYE solves this problem. Like the name implies, REPAYE has some similarities to PAYE. First and foremost, REPAYE, like PAYE, sets payments at no more than 10% of income. However, REPAYE—unlike PAYE— is available to Direct Loan borrowers regardless of when they took out their loans.
Federal lawmakers are looking to repeal a provision in the recently passed U.S. budget that allows the government to robocall and text cellphones to collect debts, including student loans.
Student loans are coming due for borrowers who graduated or left school in May. But choosing the best repayment plan while avoiding misinformation and student loan scams isn't always easy.
As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to helping students and borrowers, the Department of Education is announcing the publication of two regulatory packages that will protect students in the rapidly-expanding college debit and prepaid card marketplace and add a new income-based repayment plan so more borrowers can limit the amount of their payments to 10 percent of their income.
Repayment on the most common student loans (federal Stafford loans) starts six months after the borrower graduates. So, if like most new college grads, you donned a cap and gown in May of this year, it’s about time to pay up. Paying off student loan debt can be intimidating, but there are many things you can do to reduce the stress of the situation.
The changes, which will be implemented over the course of 2016, will significantly affect the process of filing for federal financial aid and, for some families, the amount of aid they'll receive. For families of current and prospective college students, here are the changes to be aware of – and how to manage them.
In a report that came out this September, the CFPB examined student loan servicing practices and came up with a set of guidelines for how to fix problems in this business. The CFPB and Department of Education have also issued “joint principles” on how to clean up loan servicing, although they fall short of being stringent regulations or actual laws. In the interim, here is what you need to know when dealing with your own student loan servicer.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps determine a student’s eligibility for aid by asking for information on the income and assets of the student and his or her parents for the previous year. Since the FAFSA can be completed as early as January 1, and because many schools want the form filed early in the year, families commonly fill out the form with estimates of their previous year’s income and then adjust the figures later after completing their tax returns. This has sometimes created problems that affected students’ financial aid packages. To simplify and streamline the process, the Obama administration recently changed the application guidelines in a way that will affect college planning for most families.