Student Loan Office
Please contact the Financial Aid office with any questions regarding your Direct Loans.
Federal regulations require that students borrowing from the Federal Perkins Loan Program receive Exit Counseling at the time a student graduates or otherwise leaves the college.
Exit counseling may be completed online at www.heartlandecsi.com or by calling 1-888-549-3274.
You also have the right to have part or all of your loan cancelled for -
- death or total and permanent disability;
- full-time employment in the Head Start Program or full-time staff member in a child care or pre Kindergarten program;
- full-time employment as a teacher in an elementary school serving low-income students;
- full-time teaching as a special education teacher;
- full-time teaching of certain academic subjects in which there are teacher shortages;
- full-time employment as a nurse or medical technician;
- full-time employment in a public or nonprofit child or family service agency;
- full-time service as a qualified professional provider of early intervention services;
- full-time employment as a law enforcement or corrections officer or firefighter;
- military service in a hostile fire/imminent danger area;
- full-time employment as a librarian with a master’s degree or speech language pathologist with a master’s degree;
- full-time employment as a faculty member in a tribal college; or
- full-time employment as a federal public defender or federal community defender.
You may be eligible for FORBEARANCE or DEFERMENT of your Perkins Loan.
If a borrower is willing but financially unable to make the required payments on a Perkins Loan, he or she may request that Rhode Island College grant forbearance. Forbearance is a temporary postponement of payments, an extension of time allowed for making payments, or the acceptance of smaller payments than were previously scheduled. Interest will continue to accrue during any period of forbearance. The borrower must request forbearance in writing, providing documentation that supports the borrower's claim that he or she is financially unable to make payments.
The forbearance is for a period of up to one year at a time. It may be renewed, but the total period of forbearance may not exceed three years. The College is authorized to apply the forbearance retroactively (that is, to begin on an earlier date) if the borrower requests that the school do so and he or she provides adequate documentation to support the request.
Forbearance is granted for the following reasons:
- If the total amount the borrower is obligated to pay monthly on all Student Financial Assistance (SFA) loans is equal to or greater than 20% of the borrower's total monthly gross income. The borrower must provide the following documentation:
- Evidence of the amount of the most recent total monthly gross income the borrower received and
- Evidence of the amount of the monthly payments the borrower owes for the most recent month on his or her SFA loans. Remember that if a payment is due quarterly you must divide the quarterly amount by three to determine the monthly amount due.
- If the borrower is in poor health. The borrower must provide the following documentation:
- Certification by a physician that the borrower is unable to work for a period of time.
- If the borrower is serving in AmeriCorps.
A borrower is entitled to have the repayment of a loan deferred. During deferment, the borrower is not required to pay loan principal and interest does not accrue. After each deferment, the borrower is entitled to a post-deferment grace period of six consecutive months. The promissory note you signed while in school describes many types of deferments, such as an in-school deferment, available under the Perkins Loan program. A borrower must apply for a deferment in writing by using a deferment form.
You may request an unemployment deferment if you are seeking and unable to find full-time employment. The documentation required is either proof that you are receiving unemployment benefits or you are registered with an agency and this agency is working towards finding you full-time employment.
You may request an economic hardship deferment. A borrower is eligible for an economic hardship for the following reasons:
- The borrower has been granted an economic hardship deferment for either a Stafford or PLUS Loan for the same period of time for which the Perkins Loan deferment has been requested.
- The borrower is receiving federal or state general public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- The borrower is working full-time* and is earning a total monthly gross income that does not exceed (1) the monthly earnings of someone earning the minimum wage, or (2) 150% of the poverty line** for the borrower’s family size.***
If you do not qualify for any of these forbearance or deferment programs, we will still work with you to help you catch up on your payments. Please contact the office for details.
The Consequences of Default
- Rhode Island College is required, by Federal Regulation, to report the status of your Perkins Loan to credit bureaus each month. If you become past due, your credit rating will be adversely affected.
- If your loan payment becomes seriously past due, your account will be forwarded to a collection agency for collection. All associated collection costs will be added to your outstanding balance.
- You may not utilize the Cancellation provisions of the Perkins Loan program while in collections or default.
- Your entire balance due may become due immediately.
- You are ineligible for any Federal financial aid while in default.
- Your ability to borrow money (a mortgage loan) for a home may be affected.