VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook
Eligibility for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is calculated after eligibility for other aid is subtracted from the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA). A credit check is not required for approval of William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The total maximum aggregate principal debt a medical student can have from all William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans is set annually and can be obtained through the Office of Financial Aid. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Award of this loan is not need-based. This federal educational loan is administered by the United States Department of Education through the Direct Lending Program. The interest rate is fixed annually and will not change throughout the life of the loan. Interest starts to accrue on the date of disbursement and continues to accrue even while a student is enrolled in school and during other periods of deferment or forbearance. Eligibility for the federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is calculated after eligibility for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is subtracted from the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA). The maximum annual federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan amount available to medical students is equal to the COA minus all other aid. A credit check by the Department of Education is required for approval. Loan Consolidation A borrower with multiple federal loans or multiple loan services for federal loans may want to consider the option of loan consolidation to help in managing their finances. Loan consolidation combines all the federal loans into one loan and stretches the repayment period out to 30 years; therefore, loan consolidation should be avoided if possible. This process can reduce monthly loan payments; however, extending the term of a loan increases the total interest you accrue and the total amount that you are required to repay. Additionally, federal loans that are already at fixed interest rates may not be good candidates for consolidation because the consolidation interest rate calculation will round the rate up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent, resulting in more interest charges over the life of the loan. Loan Deferment Borrowers who qualify may defer (postpone) principal payments on their federal loans. Private loans are eligible for deferments only according to the terms of their promissory notes and do not follow the same rules as federal loans. The following are some of the deferment options available for federal loans: • In-School - Borrower attends school at an eligible institution at least half-time. • Unemployment - Borrower is seeking employment but has not been able to secure full-time employment. • Rehabilitation Training - Borrower participates in a full-time rehabilitation training program. • Graduate Fellowship - Borrower is studying full-time in an eligible graduate fellowship program. • Economic Hardship - Borrower is experiencing an unusual economic hardship. Loan Forbearance Temporary, unexpected hardships that do not qualify for a deferment may be approved by a lender for forbearance. This is at the discretion of the lender and is usually for a temporary situation. Forbearances may be available on all loans, both federal and private. Principal payments are postponed or reduced, but interest continues to accrue. Interest may be paid during forbearance or it can be capitalized at the end of the forbearance period. Loan Forgiveness Programs and Service Contracts Loan Forgiveness Programs and Service Contracts are offered by various state agencies, organizations, hospitals, and others. There is no national listing available; however, students are encouraged to research the possibilities.
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