Repayment, Consolidation, Deferment and Forbearance and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

You begin repaying Federal Direct loans six months after graduation, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment.

You must complete federally required Exit Counseling before you graduate from SPC, if you drop below half-time attendance, or withdraw from classes completely. Your academic records will be on hold until this is completed. 

You must repay the full amount of your loan regardless of whether you complete the program or complete within the regular time for completion, are unable to obtain employment upon completion, or are otherwise dissatisfied with or do not receive the educational or other services you purchase from the school.

There is no penalty for prepayment.

Student Loan Servicer 

When your loan is due, your federal loan servicer will mail you a payment schedule with your monthly payment of principal and interest, and the unpaid balance for each month it takes to repay your total debt. Don't wait for a bill! If they do not contact you, you are still responsible for making payments. To find out who your servicer is, login to Federal Student Aid and select the My Loan Servicers section of your dashboard. See the US Department of Education blog post on what happens when your student loan is transferred from one servicer to another.


For assistance with your student loans, contact IonTuitionTM by logging into the IonTuitionTM portal or calling 855-693-4932. SPC partners with IonTuitionTM to assist our student loan borrowers with successful repayment, even if they are already in default. This is a free service to SPC students.

Employer Assistance

Find out from your employer if they offer student loan repayment assistance or reimbursement. More and more companies are offering this as a benefit to attract and retain employees.

Repayment Plan options

See a quick description of all repayment plans. If you do not make a selection, Standard/Level is the default.

Regular repayment plans include:  Standard/Level, Graduated and Extended.

Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans include:  Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Income-Based (IBR), or Income-Contingent (ICR). If you wish to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) in the future, you must choose an IDR plan.

  • NEW!  The SAVE Plan is based on your income and family size. It provides multiple benefits, including the lowest monthly payments of any IDR plan available to nearly all student borrowers.
  • NEW!  The updated IDR application includes an option for ED to access your latest IRS tax return so you do not have to do so manually initially or for annual recertification.

The Department of Education offers information on Student Loan Forgiveness.

What if I can't make my payments?

If you cannot afford to make payments, call your servicer, who can assist you with selecting a repayment plan, including income-driven repayment. Other options include deferment and forbearance.

Watch out for scammers!

The US Department of Education (ED) will never charge a fee for any of these services. ED will contact student loan borrowers by email or text, NOT by phone. Emails will be sent from a address. Texts will only be sent if you sign up. See more information on scams.

Per the Federal Trade Commission, in their article, FTC's Did you hear the SCOTUS decision on student loan debt relief? So did scammers.

  • “Never pay for help with your student loans.
  • Don’t give away your FSA ID login information.
  • Don’t trust anyone who contacts you promising debt relief or loan forgiveness, even if they say they’re affiliated with the Department of Education.”

Submit a complaint or resolve a dispute 

Contact a neutral and confidential resource to submit a complaint or resolve a dispute.

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group
Phone: 877-557-2575
Mail: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid, P.O. Box 1843, Monticello, KY  42633.

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Education Loan Ombudsman
Phone: 844-611-4260
Mail: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Attn: Education Loan Ombudsman, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC  20552

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Complaints
Phone: 855-411-2372 (180+ languages, M-F 8am-8pm ES)
TTY/TDD: 855-729-2372
Fax: 855-237-2392
Mail: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Attn: Complaints, P.O. Box 2900, Clinton, IA  52733

Debt Relief

From, "The Supreme Court issued a decision blocking…[the] one-time student debt relief plan." For more information, go to One-Time Federal Student Loan Debt Relief.

  • Student Loan Repayment

    Student Loan Repayment

    Student loan borrowers - interest started accruing again in September and repayment began in October. Visit for details about your next steps.

Loan Repayment started in October 2023!

Loan repayment has resumed after a three-year pause due to COVID-19.

Select from one of the following for more information:

Tips for repayment

  1. If you're not yet, get ready. Repayment really did start in October.
  2. Review your budget and factor in your monthly loan payment.
  3. Default has serious consequences - wage garnishment, no financial aid, revocation/denial of professional licensure).
  4. Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
  5. If you have questions, use or your servicer's website for research, then their chat function, then Live Chat if it is available. If you still need help, make a phone call. Be prepared for long wait times.
  6. Be patient with servicers and schools - millions of borrowers are starting repayment at the same time.
  7. Keep good records and documentation (including dates) - what research you did, screenshots of your student loan account and chats, who you talked to, etc.
  8. Be diligent and don't give up!

What can I do right now to prepare for repayment?

  1. Log in to using your FSA ID and do the following:
    1. Find your servicer - you may have multiple servicers, your servicer may have changed or your servicer may have changed names.
    2. Review the following – outstanding balance, accrued interest, due date and monthly payment amount. You can manually add other federal loans if any are missing. 
    3. Review or choose your Repayment Plan - use the Loan Simulator Tool to guide you through the options and help you decide which plan best fits your goals, i.e., a lower/lowest payment plan vs. shortest repayment time frame or if any debt will be forgiven.
    4. If you choose an Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan, use this site to submit your request. If requested, enter income and family size.
    5. If your servicer is Nelnet or Great Lakes, you may make a payment on this site.


  1. Create/update your log in for your student loan servicer
    1. Update your demographic and contact information - make sure they can reach you to give you important updates.
    2. Opt in to start or restart auto-debit to maximize your chances of on-time, in-full payments. Update any changed banking information.
    3. Use this log in to select Standard/Level, Graduated or Extended repayment plans.
    4. Make your payment

 3.After following #1 and #2 above, contact IonTuitionTM by logging into the IonTuitionTM portal or calling 855-693-4932. SPC partners with IonTuitionTM to assist our student loan borrowers with successful repayment, even if they are already in default. This is a free service to SPC students.

Federal Direct Consolidation Loans

The Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program allows you to combine one or more certain federal student loans and to make one monthly payment to the federal government. There is no charge for consolidation, and repayment plans are offered. The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan and cannot exceed 8.25 percent.

You can contact a financial aid counselor if you have questions about consolidation.

Pros and cons of loan consolidation


  • Locks in the interest rate
  • Allows the borrower to combine loans from multiple lenders into a single repayment schedule (i.e., one monthly payment)
  • Allows the borrower a longer repayment period, which will reduce the amount of the borrower's monthly payment
  • Allows a borrower to clear an over-award of Stafford loans or clear a defaulted student loan


  • Locks in the interest rate, for older Stafford loans that have a variable interest rate
  • May increase the total cost of the borrower's loan, the longer the repayment, the more interest you will pay
  • Borrower may have to forfeit all or a portion of the grace period
  • Borrower may lose certain borrower benefits related to their current loans
  • Certain deferments may be lost; however, borrowers retain their ability to request most major deferments
  • Borrowers who consolidate Perkins Loans lose the deferment subsidy and cancellation eligibility options related to Perkins loans

Loans that can be consolidated

Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan(s) that are eligible for loan consolidation include:

  • Stafford
  • PLUS
  • SLS
  • Previous Consolidation Loans
  • Perkins Loans
  • Health Professional Student Loans
  • Nursing Student Loans
  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
  • Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL)

*Private loans are not eligible to be included in a Federal Consolidation Loan

What does it mean to consolidate a federal loan?

When should I consolidate my loan?

Loan deferment and forbearance

If you have trouble making your education loan payments, you may qualify for:

  • Deferment is a temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations such as reenrollment in school, unemployment or economic hardship OR
  • Forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty.

These periods do not count toward the length of time you have to repay your loan. You cannot get a deferment or forbearance for a loan that is already in default. You must continue making payments on your student loan until you have been notified that a deferment or forbearance has been granted.

A deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required and interest continues to accrue on the unsubsidized portion. Interest does not accrue on the subsidized portion. PLUS borrowers may defer repayment while the student is enrolled at least half-time. To qualify for a deferment, you must meet at least one of the eligibility requirements listed below, with certain conditions:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time (at least six credit hours) at a postsecondary school
  • Study in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled
  • Be unable to find full-time employment (up to 3 years)
  • Face an economic hardship including Peace Corps Service (up to 3 years)
  • Be on Active Military Duty - If a borrower is called to active duty during a war, other military operation or national emergency and if the borrower was serving on or after Oct. 1, 2007, the borrower qualifies for an additional 180-day period following the demobilization date for the qualifying service.

SPC routinely sends enrollment information to the National Clearinghouse where lenders can access the data. If your enrollment is not being recognized, go to FA Forms, select either year at the bottom of the page, select the Loans accordion and review the Federal Direct Loan In-School Deferment Request bullet. 

If you temporarily cannot meet your repayment schedule, but you are not eligible for a deferment, your lender might grant you forbearance for a limited and specific period of time. Interest continues to accrue and you are responsible to pay it. Generally, your lender can grant forbearance for periods up to 12 months at a time, for a maximum of three years. You will need to provide documentation to the lender to show why you should be granted forbearance. The lender must send you a notice confirming the terms that were agreed to and record them in your file. Receiving a forbearance is not automatic: you must apply for it.

What does deferment mean?

What does forbearance mean?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Visit Public Service Loan Forgiveness for the most up-to-date information.

How does the program work?

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. You must have worked for a qualifying employer during the calendar month you were also in repayment on your loan. 

What loans are eligible to be forgiven with PSLF?

Direct Loans or Direct Consolidation Loans (other federal student loans can be consolidated into a Direct Loan)

Do I have to be enrolled in a specific repayment plan?

You must be enrolled in one of four Income Driven Repayment plans - Income-Contingent (ICR), Income-Based (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE).

Do you have any recommendations regarding repayment?

The best way to ensure that you are making on-time, complete payments is to sign up for automatic debit with your loan servicer.

How do I know if my employer qualifies?

Use the Employer Search Tool to determine if your employer qualifies.

How do I apply?

Use the PSLF Help Tool to start your application. You will need to log in using your FSA ID. Your employer must certify your employment. See How to Submit the PSLF Form for details on acceptable signature formats and where to send completed forms.

How often should I complete the process?

Plan to have your employment certified every year.