Repayment and Consolidation

Repayment of your educational loans is a serious obligation. Your student loans belong to you and you have to pay them back. The information below is designed to help you manage your student loan debt to avoid repayment problems and successfully repay your debt.

International Payment Solution - peerTransfer

Perkins loan and Mount Holyoke College and Global loan borrowers living abroad may use peerTransfer to make loan payments via the student portal log-in at ECSI.

All Graduating Students MUST Complete Exit Counseling

Per federal regulations and College policy, all students who have ever borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan (FDSL), Perkins Loan, Massachusetts No Interest Loan and/or Mount Holyoke College Loan must complete Exit Counseling before leaving the College.

Repaying Your Student Loan Debt

All federal and MHC loans have a grace period before you begin repayment. The grace period begins as soon as a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. There are repayment options available to assist you if you're having trouble making payments. These options include Consolidation, Deferment or Forbearance.

  • FDSL - the grace period is six months.
  • Federal Perkins Loan - the grace period is nine months.
  • Mount Holyoke College Loan and Mount Holyoke Global Loan - the grace period is six months.

Important Contact Information for Loan Management

Your FDSL Account:
Federal Student Loan Servicing
Borrower Services
U.S. Department of Education
800-848-0979

Your Perkins, MHC Loan and MHC Global Loan Account:

ECSI
181 Montour Run Road
Coraopolis, PA  15108
1-888-549-3274

Important Note if you are currently in repayment:
As of April 1st, 2013, Mount Holyoke College has contracted Educational Computer Systems, Incorporated (ECSI) to perform the billing and servicing of all Federal Perkins and Mount Holyoke Institutional, International and Global loans. ACS, Inc. will continue to collect loan payments and provide borrower services through March 31st, 2013. The conversion to ECSI is expected to take about 10 days and ECSI will contact all borrowers with updated account and billing information as soon as the transition is complete. The College is working closely with both ECSI and ACS, Inc. to ensure a smooth transition, and we are confident that this charge will benefit our borrowers. Should you have questions or need additional information please contact MHC Student Financial Services at 413-538-2291 or sfs@mtholyoke.edu

  • Consolidation (Perkins only; MHC and Global Loans cannot be federally consolidated)
  • Deferment and Forbearance
  • In order to qualify for a deferment, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. To apply for a deferment, download and/or print the required form and send it to ECSI (for Perkins Loans) or Student Financial Services at MHC (for MHC and Global Loans). Complete the form in detail and be sure to include any required authorization documentation listed in the eligibility requirements section.
  • Address Changes - must be made directly with each lender. Updates made through the Alumnae or other MHC Offices do not satisfy the borrower's responsibility to update her address.
  • Payments 

Your Federal Loan Details: National Student Loan Database System

Information for International Student Loan Borrowers

ECSI
181 Montour Run Road
Coraopolis, PA
1-888-549-3274

  • Deferment and Forbearance
    In order to qualify for a deferment, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. To apply for a deferment, download and/or print the required form and send it to Student Financial Services at MHC. Complete the form in detail and be sure to include any required authorization documentation listed in the eligibility requirements section.
  • Economic Hardship
  • Address Changes - must be made directly with each lender. Updates made through the Alumnae or other MHC Offices do not satisfy the borrower's responsibility to update her address.

Other Resources to be a Successful Loan Borrower

SALT

  • Free to Mount Holyoke Students
  • Loan Counselors, Job search, Money Management Tools

Federal Student Aid

  • 800-4-FED-AID
  • Free information on preparing for and funding education beyond high school.

Mapping Your Future

  • Calculators
  • Budgets and Money Management
  • Loan Forgiveness Chart

Salary.com

  • Salary wizard
  • Career resources

FinAid.org 

  • Calculators
  • Loan Information

What is Consolidation?

Consolidation allows you to simplify the repayment process by combining several types of federal education loans into one loan, so you make one payment a month. MHC Loans cannot be federally consolidated. A Consolidation Loan replaces and is used to pay off these existing loans. The interest rate is a fixed rate (as of February 1, 1999) and is calculated according to a formula established by law. The rate is the weighted average of the current rates charged on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent. This rate is fixed for the life of the Consolidation Loan.

You should carefully consider whether consolidation is right for you and for which loans. For example, you might lose some discharge (cancellation) or interest deferment benefits if you include a Federal Perkins Loan. Also, you wouldn't want to lose any borrower benefits offered under your existing nonconsolidated loans, such as interest rate discounts or principal rebates, which can significantly reduce the cost of repaying your loans.

You can have a longer period of time to repay your consolidation loan than you do for the individual student loans you're repaying, and thus possibly a lower monthly payment, but this means you'll also pay more interest over time. In fact, consolidation can double the total interest expense.

Once made, consolidation loans cannot be unmade because the loans that were consolidated have been paid off and no longer exist. Take the time to study your consolidation options before you apply.

What is Deferment?

A borrower may be eligible for a student deferment if they are enrolled at least half-time as a regular student at an eligible accredited institution in the United States, or at a comparable institution outside the United States. During a deferment, the borrower does not have to pay either principal or interest on Federal Perkins Loans, subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans. For unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans and FFEL PLUS Loans, you can postpone paying principal, but interest will continue to accrue.

What is Forbearance?

If a borrower is willing but unable to financially make the required payments on a loan, she may request that a forbearance be granted. This allows for a temporary postponement of payments, extension of time allowed for making payments or the acceptance of a lesser payment amount. Interest continues to accrue during any period of forbearance.

In order to obtain a forbearance, the borrower must request it in writing and provide supporting documentation that supports the borrower's claim that she is financially unable to make payments. The following documentation must be supplied to support the request for forbearance:

  • Copies of the most recent monthly pay statement showing gross income and
  • Copies of the most recent monthly statements showing amount owed on her Title IV loans

Forbearance may also be granted for one of the following reasons:

  • Extended illness
  • Department of Education authorized periods due to local/national emergency or national military mobilization
  • Service in Americorps

What is Default

The consequences of default are severe and long lasting. Make sure to contact your lender as soon as you think you might have trouble making payments. Default occurs if you don't make an installment payment when due or don't comply with the promissory note's other terms. Consequences of default include the following:

  • The entire loan balance can be immediately due and payable.
  • You will lose your deferment options.
  • You won't be eligible for additional federal student aid.
  • Your account might be turned over to a collection agency.
  • Your credit rating can be damaged. You might find it difficult to receive credit cards, car loans, mortgages, or rent an apartment. Poor credit could even affect getting a job. Default will remain on your credit report for up to seven years.
  • Your federal tax refunds might be withheld.
  • Your employer, at the request of the loan holder, may withhold part of your wages.
  • You might be unable to obtain a professional license in some states.

Discharge and Cancellation

In some cases, federal student loans can be discharged (canceled) or reduced. A discharge releases the borrower from all obligation to repay the loan due to borrower death or total and permanent disability. Discharge provisions vary depending on whether you have a Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Cancellation (also called Forgiveness) is based on a borrower performing certain types of service (a defaulted loan cannot be canceled based on qualifying service). Additional information and Discharge and Cancellation Summary Chart.

The following conditions have cancellation provisions for Federal Direct Stafford Loans:

  • Borrower's total and permanent disability (greater than three years) or death (note: PLUS Loans are not forgiven for student disability)
  • Full-time teacher for five consecutive years in a designated school serving students from low-income families - up to $5,000 of the aggregate loan amount and up to $17,500 for teachers in certain specialties

The following conditions have cancellation provisions for Federal Perkins Loans

  • Borrower's total and permanent disability (greater than three years) or death
  • Full-time teacher in a designated elementary or secondary school serving students from low-income families
  • Full-time special education teacher
  • Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
  • Full-time teacher of math, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or other fields designated as teacher shortage areas
  • Full-time employee of a public or nonprofit child or family services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
  • Full-time nurse or medical technician
  • Full-time law enforcement or corrections officer
  • Full-time staff member in the education component of a Head Start Program
  • Vista or Peace Corps volunteer
  • Service in the U.S. Armed Forces

If you think you qualify for discharge, you must apply to the holder of your loan. For Perkins Loans, contact ECSI. For Federal Direct Stafford Loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center. FASFA Loan discharge and cancellation forms are also available online.