Student Loan Department Letter
If your primary borrower starts missing payments or payment due dates however the lender will contact you. Normally by the time the lender is contacting you the loan youve co-signed is already past due and your credit rating may have already taken a hit. Keep in mind too that any legal remedies a lender has at its disposal for pursuing a loan debt can also be applied to the co-signer. These legal remedies include assignment of the delinquent loan account to a debt collection service and a possible court action. For delinquent federal education loans the government may seek to garnish your wages or seize any income tax refunds you have coming your way. In addition delinquencies or a default on any loans on which youve co-signed will appear on your own credit report with all the same adverse effects as on the primary borrowers credit report.
With the unemployment rate soaring toward 10 percent and the average starting salary for college graduates down 2.2 percent this year student loan borrowers - whose average debt from student loans tops $22000 - are now having an even tougher time affording their student loan payments. The good news? Starting July 1 2009 graduates with federal college loans may be able to qualify for a new government program that can reduce the monthly payments on their student loans based on their income. Income-Based Repayment for Federal Student Loans The income-based repayment program created by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act will cap a borrowers monthly student loan payments at a percentage of her or his income when the borrowers income is at least 50 percent higher than the current federal poverty line for the borrowers family size.
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Any accrued unpaid interest will be added to the student loan principal and capitalized when the borrower no longer qualifies for income-based repayment. Subsidized Interest and Student Loan Forgiveness For those borrowers who hold subsidized student loans or a federal consolidation loan that included subsidized Stafford loans or Perkins loans the government will cover any unpaid interest on those subsidized loans (or on that portion of a student loan consolidation thats comprised of subsidized loans) for the first three years that a borrower is in income-based repayment. The longest that a borrower can remain on the income-based repayment plan is 25 years. After 25 years of income-based payments the government will forgive any remaining principal and unpaid interest - although borrowers should note that under current tax law this forgiven student loan debt would be taxable.
For borrowers who are on the governments income-based repayment plan any outstanding federal college loans can be discharged prior to full repayment if the borrower has made her or his monthly loan payments for 25 years. Borrowers who go to work for the government or the public sector can have their federal college loans forgiven after 10 years. Federal college loans can also be forgiven in the event the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled. Non-federal private student loans on the other hand arent required to offer any of these payment-deferment or discharge provisions. It is at the lenders discretion whether to offer a struggling borrower deferred or lower monthly loan payments and even whether to discharge the private student loan upon the borrowers death or permanent disability.