Student Loan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I manage student loan debt?
Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money from the federal government that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. You cannot have these loans canceled because you did not like the education you received, didn’t get a job in your field of study or because you’re having financial difficulty. Loans are legal obligations that you have to repay.
Exit Counseling Requirement
A Direct Loan student borrower who is graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment is required to complete Exit Counseling.
- Visit StudentAid.gov and log in using your FSA ID
- Click on Complete Loan Counseling and then select Exit Counseling
- When selecting a school to notify, you will choose Midwest Technical Institute in Springfield, IL (this is the main campus for MTI/DTC)
- Complete the online Exit Counseling session all the way up until you see a confirmation page (please allow 20-30 minutes to complete)
- Keep this confirmation page for your records
- The Financial Aid office at your MTI campus will be automatically notified you have met this requirement
Student Loan Repayment Options
- Graduated Repayment Plan: Your monthly payments will be lower when you begin repayment and will increase, usually every two years. You will repay your loan in full within 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount of your Direct Loans. At a minimum, your payments must cover the interest that accumulates on your loan between payments.
- Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR): Under IBR, the required monthly payment is capped at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size. You are eligible for IBR if the monthly repayment amount under IBR will be less than the monthly amount calculated under a 10-year standard repayment plan. If you repay under the IBR plan for 25 years and meet other requirements, you may have any remaining balance of your loan(s) cancelled. Additionally, if you work in public service and have reduced loan payments through IBR, the remaining balance after 10-years in a public service job could be cancelled. You may contact your loan holder or loan servicer, or visit StudentAid.gov for more detailed information about the Income-Based Repayment Plan.
- Pay-As-You-Earn Repayment Plan: Your monthly payment amount will be based on your income and family size and adjusted each year based on changes to your annual income and family size. Payments are usually lower than on other repayment plans. Payments are never more than the standard 10-year repayment plan and made over a period of 20 years.
Options to Postpone Your Payments
A student loan deferment or forbearance allows you to temporarily postpone your monthly payments under certain circumstances, such as:
- Enrollment in school
- Economic or temporary financial hardship
- Military deployment
- Natural disaster
Deferment: a postponement of payment on a loan, during which interest does not accrue if the loan is subsidized. You may qualify for a deferment while you are:
Enrolled at least half time in an eligible post secondary school or studying full time in a graduate fellowship program or an approved disability rehabilitation program.
Unemployed or meet our rules for economic hardship (limited to 3 years).
You may also be eligible for a deferment based on qualifying active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard.
Forbearance: allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments. Some common reasons for getting forbearance are illness, financial hardship or serving in a medical or dental internship or residency.
Keep in mind:
- A deferment or forbearance is only a temporary suspension of your monthly payments.
- In most cases, the interest on your student loans continues to accrue during this time.
Need help now? MTI provides Student Loan Resources
Midwest Technical Institute has a Loan Management Department. These staff members are Loan Default Specialists who will work with you to determine if you may be eligible for deferment or forbearance on student loans.
There is no charge to you for this service, so please contact them if you are having trouble making your payments. There are options and help is always available.
Loan Management Department
Direct Line: (217) 527-8318
Fax: (217) 527-8378