Repayment Options for Private Student Loans

Repayment Options for Private Student Loans

When your private loans enter repayment, they will automatically be placed into a Standard Repayment Plan.    

 

This is the fastest way to repay your loans and you’ll pay less over time than other options *.  

 

Check out the information below to learn about some other common repayment options for private student loans.  

 

Earnest services a variety of private student loan programs – with different loan agreements, originated by various lenders. Some repayment programs are described in your loan agreement. Not all options are available to all borrowers.  Loan type, terms and conditions in the loan agreement, lender’s current policy and procedure, and the borrower’s and cosigner’s financial circumstances may all be factors in determining options available.  Additional options may also be available at the lender’s discretion.

Option Description Consequences How to Apply
Standard Repayment Plan

  • This plan has a repayment schedule with fixed Monthly Payment Amounts of principal and interest that will be due for the contractual repayment term.

  • This is the fastest way to repay your loans and you’ll pay less over time than other options*.

  • Not applicable – your loans will automatically be placed into a Standard Repayment Plan.

Interest-Only Repayment Program

  • Reduces the Monthly Payment Amount to as low as the amount of interest that accrues each month.
  • May be combined with the Extended Term Program.
  • Interest-only payments are typically offered in six-month increments.
  • Depending on eligibility, longer term interest-only periods may be available.
  • Program time is limited.
  • Your Monthly Payment Amount increases after the program period ends and the Standard Repayment Plan resumes.
  • Your estimated loan payoff date may be extended by the length of your Interest-Only Repayment program, depending on program eligibility. If your loan payoff date is not extended, you may experience a larger Monthly Payment Amount increase when your loans return to a Standard Repayment Plan.
  • Forbearance may be used in connection with the program to bring delinquent loans current.

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan *.
  • You may be required to demonstrate your intent to repay your loan by making one or more payments prior to approval.
  • Accruing interest during forbearance continues to remain your responsibility on private loans. Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), at the end of the forbearance. Capitalization may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost. See the Forbearance section for more important information.

  • By phone.

Extended Term Program

  • Term extension that may be combined with Standard Repayment, Interest-Only Repayment, or Rate Reduction Programs.
  • Reduces the principal and interest payment by extending the loan repayment terms.
  • Repayment term extended up to 30 years*, depending on outstanding balance.
  • Typically results in lower Monthly Payments made over a longer repayment period.
  • Forbearance may be used in connection with the program to bring delinquent loans current.

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan*.
  • Longer time to pay off loans.
  • You may be required to demonstrate your intent to repay your loan by making one or more payments prior to approval.
  • Accruing interest during forbearance continues to remain your responsibility on private loans. Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), at the end of the forbearance. Capitalization may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost. See the Forbearance section for more important information.

  • By phone.

Rate Reduction Program

  • Program for borrowers experiencing difficulty but who can afford to pay a reduced amount.
  • A reduced interest rate is provided for a six-month period, which also reduces the Monthly Payment Amount.
  • May be combined with the Extended Term Program.
  • Eligibility is dependent on the borrower’s and cosigner’s financial information.
  • Proof of income may be required.
  • Available program time is limited.
  • Your contractual interest rate will eventually resume at the end of the Rate Reduction Program. Monthly Payment Amount increases after the program period ends.
  • Forbearance may be used in connection with the program to bring delinquent loans current.

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan *.
  • Three qualifying payments may be required prior to entering into the program.
  • Accruing interest during forbearance continues to remain your responsibility on private loans. Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), at the end of the forbearance. Capitalization may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost. See the Forbearance section for more important information.
  • Loans may be removed from the program in certain conditions, including entry into a deferment or forbearance status, graduated repayment program, or delinquency.
  • Any Auto Pay interest rate reduction cannot be combined with the Rate Reduction Program.

  • By phone.

Deferment

  • Temporarily reduces or postpones Monthly Payments.
  • Deferment options are limited on private loans and differ from federal loan deferment. Eligibility requirements and deferment length vary by loan program, your loan agreement, type of deferment, and lender discretion. Examples of private loan deferment types include in-school, military service, internship, residency, or fellowship program deferment.
  • You have the option of making a payment at any time during the deferment period. You may also shorten or cancel your deferment and return to making Monthly Payments.

  • You should consider your current and longer-term situation, the likelihood of any changes, and whether a reduced repayment option, if available, is a better choice for you than deferment.
  • Unlike federal loans, all accruing interest during deferment continues to remain your responsibility on private loans. Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), at the end of the deferment. Capitalization may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost.

  • Complete a deferment request form and return it to us.
  • Supporting documentation may be required.

Forbearance

  • Temporarily postpones or reduces Monthly Payments.
  • Forbearance options are limited on private loans and differ from federal loan forbearance.
  • Available forbearance time is also often limited and varies by forbearance type.
  • Eligibility may be dependent upon the borrower’s and cosigner’s financial information.
  • You have the option of making a payment at any time during the forbearance period. You may also shorten or cancel your forbearance and return to making Monthly Payments.

  • You should consider your current and longer-term situation, the likelihood of any changes, and whether a reduced repayment option, if available, is a better choice for you than forbearance.
  • All accruing interest during forbearance continues to remain your responsibility on private loans. Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), at the end of the forbearance. Capitalization may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost.
  • You may be required to demonstrate your intent to repay your loan by making one or more payments prior to approval of a forbearance.

  • By phone, or
  • Complete a forbearance request form and return it to us.

Loan Forgiveness and Discharge

  • We work with borrowers and families in the event of disability, loss of life, and certain other circumstances.
  • You will no longer be required to repay all or part of your outstanding loan balance if you are eligible for forgiveness or discharge.
  • Eligibility requirements and limitations on the amount of the loan balance available to be forgiven vary.
  • Loan forgiveness and discharge options are limited on private loans and differ from federal loans. Please call us to discuss eligibility for forgiveness or discharge options for private loans.
  • If you have a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), you may qualify for a TPD discharge of certain private student loans.
  • Many private student loans can be discharged due to death of the primary borrower.
  • In rare circumstances, a private student loan may be discharged due to a sudden school closure in which a student is entitled to but does not receive a refund of the proceeds of that loan from the school.

  • You should consult your tax advisor concerning the income tax consequences of any loan forgiveness or discharge.

  • Complete a forgiveness or discharge application and return it to us.
  • Supporting documentation is required.

 

* Assumes continuous, on-time payments are made in the amounts and on the dates disclosed in your payment schedule.