Repay Loans to U.S. Department of Education
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have six or nine months before you begin repayment. You will receive information about repayment and will be notified by your loan provider of the date loan repayment begins.
If you default on your student loan, the maturity date of each promissory note is accelerated making payment in full immediately due, and you are no longer eligible for any type of deferment or forbearance. Continued failure to repay a loan in default may lead to several negative consequences for you over the long-term including but not limited to garnishment of your wages, offset of your federal and/or state income tax refunds and any other payments, as authorized by law, and losing your eligibility for other federal loans such as FHA or VA.
However, there are now more ways than ever before to repay your defaulted student loan and certain programs can even remove your loan from its defaulted status. Determining which repayment option that is right for you depends on what your objective is.
"I want to pay my defaulted student loan in monthly payments that are affordable to me."
- All guaranty agencies and the U.S. Department of Education (Department) will accept regular monthly payments that are both reasonable to the agency and affordable to you. You should call us at 1-800-621-3115 and one of our customer service representatives will assist you with determining a repayment amount that is right for you.
"I want to reestablish my eligibility for additional federal student aid and go back to school."
- Please see Going Back to School for more information on this topic.
"I'm applying for a HUD (FHA) or VA loan and I don't qualify because of my defaulted student loan."
- Your options for reinstating your eligibility to receive a HUD (FHA) or VA loan are: repay or satisfy the loan in full; consolidate your loan through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program); or rehabilitate your loan through our loan rehabilitation program. Since defaulted student loans have no statute of limitations for enforceability, you would remain ineligible to receive a HUD or VA loan until you complete one of the options mentioned above.
"My credit record is tarnished because of my defaulted student loan. Is there anything that I can do to improve my credit record?"
Failure to repay your defaulted student loan can be damaging to your credit record. In fact, consumer reporting agencies may continue to report an account for 7 years from the opening date. However, there are several things that you can do to at least partially, and in some cases, fully restore your credit record. Your options for bettering your credit report include: repay or satisfy the loan in full; consolidate your loan through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program; or rehabilitate your loan through our loan rehabilitation program.
If you want the negative credit report made by the Department removed, you must successfully complete our loan rehabilitation program.
"Can I pay my defaulted student loan held by the Department by credit card?"
Yes. We will accept American Express, Discover, Master Card, and Visa. You can make a payment now by credit or debit card or you can call us at 1-800-621-3115.
"What address do I send my payments to?"
If you have a defaulted student loan held by the U.S. Department of Education, you can mail a check or money order to the address below. If you are at all unsure about the status of your loan, or who currently holds your loan, please call us first at 1-800-621-3115 before sending in payment. You may also use Loan Locator to help you find out what lenders currently hold your loan(s).
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
NATIONAL PAYMENT CENTER
PO BOX 105028
ATLANTA GA 30348-5028
(Please be sure to include your account number on any payment instrument that you send us).