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Managing Your Student Loans

For formerly enrolled students

The single most common mistake that causes students to default on their student loans is not informing their student loan servicer and school when they change their address and phone number!  The consequences of defaulted student loans are serious, and can affect you for years. Don’t let this happen to you! It only takes a moment to go online or pick up the phone and update your information. Read the FAQs to get more information about how to handle your student loans, so they don’t mishandle you!

Commonly Asked Questions About Your Student Loans

Your loans enter repayment six months after the last date you attended school at least half-time. Full-time students at ITI must have at least 12 credit hours (3 courses) and half-time students must have at least 8 credit hours (2 courses). If you had only one course in your last term, you were less than half-time, and your six month grace period actually began at the end of the previous term.

Log onto the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The website is www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need your FAFSA pin to log on. If you don’t remember your pin, you can request a duplicate pin at www.pin.ed.gov.

The standard payment plan is designed to get your loans paid back in a maximum of 10 years, with a minimum payment of $50 per loan. At $50 per month, some of your loans may actually be paid in full earlier than 10 years, but all of your loans will be paid in full by the end of 10 years. The interest rate for your loans depends on what kind of loans you have, and when they were first disbursed. The interest rate for each of your loans can be found either on the NSLDS website, or on your student loan servicer’s website (see link section). You may be eligible for a reduced payment plan, depending on your income, family size and type of loan. The Exit Counseling PowerPoint presentation included on this page will give you more information about the other types of payment plans, and the links section has a link to a payment calculator, which will show you both the estimated amount of your payments on each plan, and the total amount of interest you would pay on each payment plan. Remember, anything you do which increases the amount of time it takes to pay your loans back, also increases the amount of interest you pay.

Below is the Department of Education’s webpage giving information about the Direct Loan consolidation process.

Department of Education

You can temporarily postpone your payments by getting a deferment or forbearance. A deferment is typically for someone who either has returned to school at least half-time, is unemployed (or working less than 30 hours per week), is on active military duty, or qualifies for an economic hardship deferment by having an income at or below poverty level for your family size and state, or are receiving some kind of public assistance. If you don’t qualify for a deferment, you can request a forbearance from your student loan servicer. A forbearance is when you are willing, but unable to make payments, and your student loan servicer postpones your payments for a short time to help you get your finances in order. While you are in deferment, the government will pay the interest on your Subsidized Stafford loans, but will not pay the interest for your Unsubsidized Stafford loans. The government does not pay any interest on either loan type during forbearance.

Kathy Gayda, in the Financial Aid Office at ITI, can help you manage your student loans. You can email her at kgayda@iticollege.edu, or call her at (225)752-4233. The toll-free number is (800)467-4484. If Kathy is unavailable, then ask to speak to one of the other financial aid advisors.

Remember, the consequences of default are serious and long-lasting. Let us help you help yourself by contacting us whenever you have questions or problems with your student loans. KEEP YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION UP-TO-DATE! After all, Career Services may be trying to let you know where to go apply for your dream job, and you’ll be out of luck if they can’t get in touch with you.