What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your Direct Loan Bill
Direct loans are student loans offered by the United States government. Students apply for direct loans when applying to college. Direct loans are used to pay for college expenses, including incidental expenses like supplies and off-campus housing. Student loans are deferred as long as they are a student in college. After college, there is a brief deferment period before Direct Loan payments start.
How to Pay the Bill
Students have between 10 and 25 years to repay Direct loans. Repayment options include phone payments, mail payments and online payments.
Pay online: You can pay your Direct Loan online at https://www.myedaccount.com/accounts/login.aspx. Students and / or parents must enroll for online account access before making payments online. Online account access may require a PIN.
Pay automatically: Payments placed on automatic debit may be eligible for reduced interest rate. The current deduction is 0.25%. All payments are deducted on the due date from the payment method entered when you sign up for auto pay.
Pay by mail: All Direct loan payments should be mailed to the address printed on the front of the billing statement.
Pay by phone: Call 1-800-848-0979 for more information on student loans and to make phone payments on your Direct loan.
Questions About Your Billing Statement or Account?
Penaly fees such as late payment fees and interest charges are added to your Direct loan billing statement or account if you do make payments as designed in your contract. In the event you do not fully understand those charges, you should visit the Direct Loan FAQs. You also have the ability to speak to a customer servie representative at 1-800-848-0979.
How Penalty Fees Work
Interest rates for Direct loans vary based on current interest rates. In some cases, interest rates on student loans may be fixed for the duration of the loan unless the loan is refinanced or consolidated. Late fees are added to your loan balance if you do not make Direct loan payments on-time. Penalties may also include court costs and collection fees if your loan goes into default status.
I Can’t Make a Payment
Direct loan offers various options for students and parents who can’t make a Direct loan payment.
- Forbearance: Temporarily stop making payments on your loan or make reduced payments during temporary financial hardship.
- Deferment: Temporarily stop making payments on your loan.
- Income sensitive repayment: Payments are reduced or eliminated based on income, total loan debt and current family size.
- Loan cancellation: In certain cases, all or a portion of a Direct loan may be cancelled. Some cases include bankruptcy, disability, public service or death.
Will They Work With Me to Pay My Bill?
The Direct loan servicing center works with students and parents every day who have financial trouble repaying student loans. It is important to call the servicing center at 1-800-848-0979 to discuss options for reducing loan payments to eliminating payments. Even if you are extremely past due, a forbearance or deferment will bring the account current and eliminate payments. After consolidating loans, the repayment period is reset so Direct loans can be postponed for years, but interest does accumulate.