A deferment is a period during which borrowers are entitled to postpone repayment of the principal balance of their loans.
Residents in the AEGD program are not eligible to receive financial aid. Dental residents may be entitled to in-school deferments on existing student loans. If you are entitled to receive one, you should be proactive in ensuring that you receive your deferment.
Criteria for Deferment
Lenders must grant an in-school deferment based on enrollment and in-school status of a borrower as certified by an institution of higher education or an affiliated hospital. It is anticipated that lenders will be able to determine the borrower's eligibility for the deferment based on:
- A newly completed loan application that documents the borrower's eligibility for the deferment
- The student status information received by the lender that indicates the borrower is enrolled at least half-time.
Again, dental residents must double-check to see if this has occurred. If the lender defers the loan based on a loan application or enrollment status information, the lender must notify the borrower that the deferment was granted and give the borrower the option of continuing to repay the loan.
Loan consolidation can simplify repayment and may lower your monthly payment. You can combine your student loans even if you borrowed from more than one lender, have more than one type of loan or have different interest rates or repayment plans on the loans.
Qualifications for Consolidation
You must be in your grace period, deferment or in repayment to consolidate your loans. The following loans may be consolidated:
- Federal or Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized or unsubsidized)
- Perkins Loans
- Federal Plus Loans
- Federal SLS Loans (formerly ALAS Loans)
- Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL)
- National Direct Student Loan (NDSL)
- Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
- Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL)
- Nursing Student Loan (NSL)
You can choose which loans to consolidate. Under certain circumstances, consolidation loans can be consolidated with other student loans. Check with the Direct Loan Program for details about loan consolidation.
The fixed interest rate is based on the weighted average interest rate of all the loans your consolidate, rounded up to the next highest 1/8%, with a maximum rate of 8.25%. Your student loan interest may be tax deductible if you meet certain conditions. Contact your tax advisor or the IRS for details.
You have a choice of a standard, graduated, income-sensitive or extended repayment plan, and you may change the repayment plan once a year. Depending on the total amount of your student loans, the repayment will take 10 to 30 years.
Applying for Consolidation
Contact the Direct Loan Program to apply for loan consolidation. If you are in repayment, the program can temporarily suspend your loan payments while your consolidation is being processed.