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Frequently Asked Questions

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Online Payments
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How do I make a payment online?

You can make online payments through your myVSAC account. It’s safe and secure!

  1. Login to your myVSAC account.
  2. Click on the Loan Info/Make a Payment link.
  3. Follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the loans you want to pay. If you only have Loans In Repayment you will select that tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  4. Click the “make a payment” button in the applicable tab.
  5. Click continue to LoanPay.
  6. Enter the amount you want to pay and the payment method and click “continue.”

If you aren’t using a saved payment profile you will need to provide your banking information in the next screen. Please review your entry, as an incorrect routing or account number could result in cancelled payments. Once complete, click “continue.”

Review the information for accuracy and then click “Confirm” to submit your payment.

How do I set up recurring online payments?
  1. Login to your myVSAC account.
  2. Click on the Loan Info/Make a Payment link and follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the loans you want to pay. If you only have Loans in Repayment you will select this tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  3. Click the “make a payment” button in the applicable tab.
  4. Click continue to LoanPay.
  5. Once in LoanPAY™, select “Scheduled Payments", then select “Schedule New Payment Series" to set up a recurring debit.
  6. Provide your banking information. Please review your entry, as an incorrect routing or account number could result in cancelled payments.
  7. Choose the date of the debits. This will not change your regularly scheduled due date with VSAC. Payments take up to two business days to be applied to your VSAC loan.
  8. Select the payment amount and duration of the recurring debit payment series by selecting a number of payments, a date for payments to end, or the option to pay until further notice.
  9. You can review the status of debits you have scheduled by selecting “Currently Scheduled" under the option “Scheduled Payments".
How do I edit or cancel my recurring online payments?

IMPORTANT: Anytime your payments change, it is your responsibility to adjust your recurring payment schedule accordingly.

  1. Login to your myVSAC account.
  2. Click on the Loan Info/Make a Payment link.
  3. Follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the type of loans you have. If you only have Loans In Repayment you will select that tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  4. Click the “make a payment” button in the applicable tab.
  5. Click continue to LoanPay.

Cancel an individual payment in a scheduled series: Select “Scheduled Payments" then select the "X" under the word “Actions" for the payment you wish to cancel. Payments may be cancelled up to 4:30pm ET on the scheduled payment date.

Cancel all payments in a schedule: Select “Scheduled Payments", “Currently Scheduled" and then select "Cancel" on the upper right of the series schedule.

Change the payment amount or date for the entire schedule: Cancel all payments in the schedule (see above) and create a new schedule with the new amount.

Change the bank account information for the entire schedule:

  • If you used a saved profile, you can update the “payment profile" used for the schedule.
  • If you did not use a saved profile, delete the schedule and re-create with the new bank account information.

Change the payment amount, date, or bank account for an individual payment in a schedule: Cancel the individual payment (see above) and make a one-time payment with the different amount, method/account, or date.

How can I make payments on loans that I cosigned?
  1. Login to your myVSAC account (or register if you haven’t set up an account yet).
  2. Once logged in to a linked account, click on the “Loan Info/Make a Payment” link.
  3. If you are a cosigner on multiple accounts, or if you also have loans in your own name, you need to select the account you wish to view or make payments on via the drop down box on the left side of your screen.
  4. Follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the loans you want to pay. If you only have Loans In Repayment you will select that tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  5. Click the "make a payment" button in the applicable tab.
  6. Click continue to LoanPay.
  7. Enter the amount you want to pay and the payment method and click "continue." If you aren't using a saved payment profile you will need to provide your banking information in the next screen. Please review your entry - an incorrect routing or account number could result in cancelled payments. Once complete, click "continue."
  8. Review the information for accuracy and then click "Confirm" to submit your payment.
What is an Authorized Payer?

An authorized payer is someone you add to the online payment system (LoanPAY™) to allow them access to make online payments on your account.

If you have a cosigner who wants to make payments, see the previous question which explains how cosigners can make payments for the loans they cosigned.

How do I set up an Authorized Payer?
  1. Login to your myVSAC account.
  2. Click on the Loan Info/Make a Payment link and follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the type of loans you have. If you only have Loans in Repayment you will select this tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  3. Click the “make a payment” button in the applicable tab.
  4. Click continue to LoanPay.
  5. Once in LoanPAY™, select "Authorize Payers."
  6. On the Authorized Payers screen, click the “Add New" button.
  7. Follow instructions on the Add Authorized Payer screen. Note that the login name and password you create must be at least 6 characters using only letters and numbers.
  8. Your authorized payer will be sent an email instructing him/her to contact you to obtain the password you’ve assigned.
How do I change a password for my Authorized Payer?
  1. Login to your myVSAC account.
  2. Click on the Loan Info/Make a Payment link and follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the type of loans you have. If you only have Loans in Repayment you will select this tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  3. Click the “make a payment” button in the applicable tab.
  4. Click continue to LoanPay.
  5. Once in LoanPAY™, select "Authorize Payers."
  6. Click on the “Edit" icon for the authorized payer whose password you need to update.
  7. Click on the “Reset Password" button.
  8. Your authorized payer will be sent a temporary password via email to enable them to login and to change their password.
The LoanPAY™ transaction history shows I made a payment on Tuesday, but in myVSAC it shows as Wednesday. Why are the dates different?

Your transaction history in LoanPAY™ accurately reflects the day you initiated your payment online. Your myVSAC account will reflect the effective date of the payment which is the date when the funds are debited from your bank account. This is the next business day if you made the payment before 6pm ET Monday-Friday, or the second business day for payments made Monday-Friday after 6 pm, or on a weekend.

I have set up a payment schedule and was recently approved for a deferment. Will my scheduled payments be cancelled or do I need to do this?

Any time your payments change you must adjust your recurring payment schedule accordingly.

Can I use my debit card to make online payments?

No. You will need to enter the bank routing and bank account number associated with a checking or savings account. You can then save this bank account information to complete future payment transactions quickly.

Why can't I see the full bank account number I entered?

Only the last four digits are viewable as a safety measure, similar to why password fields fill in with asterisks.

When will my online payment post to my account?

Payments initiated before 6 pm ET Monday-Friday will be effective on your VSAC account the next business day. Payments initiated after 6 pm ET Monday-Friday or on a weekend will be effective the second business day.

For example, if you make a payment before 6pm on Friday, it will appear on your myVSAC account after 4pm on Monday; if the payment is made after 6pm on Friday, or over the weekend, you will see it on myVSAC after 4pm on Tuesday.

You may view your transaction history in the LoanPAY™ system to confirm that your payment was initiated.

Where should I mail my payments?

VSAC
PO Box 7501
Bennington, VT 05201-7501

If your VSAC loan is in default, please send your payments to:

VSAC
PO Box 2000
Winooski VT 05404

How are payments applied?

Each payment is prorated (or distributed) based on the amount due for each loan group. Your payment is first applied to pay any interest that has accumulated since your last payment*.  Once the interest is satisfied, the rest is used to pay down your principal. If your payment is late, the funds will be applied to the most past due loan group(s) first.  

To estimate how much loan interest has accumulated since your last payment, use this calculation:

(Interest Rate x Current Principal Balance/365.25)  X  (# of days since last payment)

Note: *Loans in a collection status are subject to a fee. When a payment is applied to a collection account, fees are paid first, then interest and then principal. If you want a collection payment applied to just one specific loan in collections, please contact the collections department after processing your payment.

Learn more about how student loan interest works >

I currently have payments debited through Elect Pay. If I switch to scheduled (recurring) payments through LoanPay, will I continue to receive the interest rate reduction?

You can schedule recurring payments through LoanPAY™ in addition to your Elect Pay debits. If you wish to cancel your Elect Pay automatic debits, you must contact us to make this request. Once Elect Pay is cancelled, you will no longer receive the 0.25% interest rate reduction and will not have the ability to re-enroll in this program in the future.

If I pay more than the amount due, how is my payment applied?

If you send more than the amount due each month, the extra funds are first applied to any outstanding interest and the remaining amount goes directly toward paying down your principal.

And, each time you satisfy a monthly payment amount, we will automatically advance your next payment due one month. If you don’t want your due date to advance you can include a note with your payment or you can contact us. However, you can still send a payment every month; even if your due date advances and you receive a billing statement that shows $0.00 due. Continuing to pay, even when you aren’t due, will save you money in the long run!

Can I make payments with a credit or debit card?

No, we cannot accept credit card payments. You will need to enter the bank routing and bank account number associated with a checking or savings account. You can then save this bank account information to complete future payment transactions quickly.

How do I have extra applied to a specific group?

If you are sending your payment via mail you can include a note with your payment as to how you would like the extra applied.

If you made your payment online or by phone, you can call or email us to specify:

  • The approximate date you made/will make the payment,
  • the total payment amount, and
  • the specific amount you would like us to apply to each of your loan(s) or loan group(s).

Please be aware you will need to follow one of these processes each time you make an extra payment.  If you will consistently be making extra payments, please contact us by phone to discuss how you would like your payments applied.

How can I make payments on loans that I cosigned?
  1. Login to your myVSAC account (or register if you haven’t set up an account yet).
  2. Once logged in to a linked account, click on the “Loan Info/Make a Payment” link.
  3. If you are a cosigner on multiple accounts, or if you also have loans in your own name, you need to select the account you wish to view or make payments on via the drop down box on the left side of your screen.
  4. Follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the loans you want to pay. If you only have Loans In Repayment you will select that tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  5. Click the "make a payment" button in the applicable tab.
  6. Click continue to LoanPay.
  7. Enter the amount you want to pay and the payment method and click "continue." If you aren't using a saved payment profile you will need to provide your banking information in the next screen. Please review your entry - an incorrect routing or account number could result in cancelled payments. Once complete, click "continue."
  8. Review the information for accuracy and then click "Confirm" to submit your payment.
Can I request prinicpal only payments?

No – interest must be satisfied first before payments can go towards principal. You can pay less interest over time, by:

  • Making payments, even when you aren’t due
  • Paying more than your regular monthly payment
  • Sending extra payments when you can
My bill says I'm past due, but I made a payment recently. Do I have a late fee?

VSAC does not currently charge late fees.

I just made a payment, but my account is still showing as past due- why?

If you sent the payment via mail, please allow time for us to receive and process your payment.

If you made the payment online it can take up to two business days to post to your account.

What should I do if I'm having trouble making my monthly payments?

Federal loans have a variety of options available – you may be eligible for repayment options that could lower your monthly loan payment or you could qualify for a deferment or forbearance.

We are here to help! Call us at 800-798-8722 to discuss your situation and what options may be available to you!

If your loans are in a default status, please contact the Collections Department at 800-954-2440.

Learn more about Student Loan Repayment Options >

Learn more about Loan Deferment & Forbearance >

What is a deferment?

A deferment is a postponement of payment that is available when you meet specific criteria – there are several different types of deferment. Deferment criteria are based on federal regulations.

Loans in a default status are not eligible for this option. 

Learn more about Loan Deferment >

What is a forbearance?

Forbearance is a short-term, temporary suspension of your payments. Forbearance is intended to help you if you're having temporary financial difficulty and do not qualify for a deferment.

Loans in a default status are not eligible for this option. 

Learn more about Loan Forbearance >

Which is the better choice — a deferment or a forbearance?

It depends on your individual situation. Typically a deferment is the better choice if you have subsidized loans because the federal government will pay the interest that accumulates during the deferment period. With a forbearance there is no interest subsidy.  

Another major difference between a deferment and a forbearance is that a deferment is automatically granted (if you qualify), whereas a forbearance is granted at the servicer’s discretion.

Learn more about Loan Deferment & Forbearance >

Do I have to continue making loan payments while I'm in the process of applying for a deferment?

Yes, unless you have applied for and been granted a forbearance to cover the payments that will come due while you are in the process of applying. Continuing to make payments will help protect your credit. We will notify you, in writing, when your request has been approved.

What if my loan(s) is in deferment and my situation changes?

Call us at 800-798-8722 so we can make sure you are in the best option based on your new circumstances!

How do I renew a deferment or forbearance?

To determine if you are eligible to renew your deferment or forbearance, call us at 800-798-8722.

What happens to the interest on my loan(s) during a deferment or forbearance?

During a deferment, if your loan(s) is subsidized, the federal government will pay the interest that accumulates during the deferment period. If your loan(s) is unsubsidized, you are responsible for the interest that accumulates during the deferment period.

During a forbearance, you are responsible for the interest that accumulates on both your subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Any interest that is unpaid at the end of the deferment or forbearance period will be added to your principal balance – this increases your principal balance and you’ll pay more interest in the long run. As a result, your regular monthly payment may need to increase after your deferment or forbearance ends so the loan can be paid off in the term you have remaining. You can prevent, or minimize, this by making payments toward the accumulating interest during the deferment or forbearance period.

Is my credit rating affected while my loan(s) is in a deferment or forbearance?

We report your loans to the national credit bureaus every month regardless of the status of your loan(s). Keep in mind that a loan that is past due is reported as past due regardless of a pending deferment or forbearance – so you should continue to make payments on your loan(s) until we notify you that your request has been approved.

Even if your deferment or forbearance is approved, it won’t remove any past due payments reported to the credit bureaus while we were waiting to receive and process your application.

Learn more about how credit reporting works >

I'm already past due on my loan(s). Can I still apply for a deferment or forbearance? What should I do?

Yes, you can still apply for a deferment or forbearance unless you are in default.

If your loans are in a default status, please contact the Collections Department at 800-954-2440.

Learn more about Loan Deferment & Forbearance >

What is default?

Default typically occurs when you consistently fail to make your payments for a specified period of time during the repayment period. But we may also declare your loan(s) to be in default if you fail to meet other terms of your promissory note or other written agreement(s) with us.

If you default on your VSAC loan(s), it’s transferred to VSAC’s Claims & Collections Department for collection. VSAC can:

  • add a fee of up to 24 percent to your loan balance
  • order your employer to send part of your paycheck to VSAC
  • order your federal and state tax refunds, and other payments made to you by the federal government, sent to VSAC
  • assign your loan to the federal government for litigation against you
  • report your default to national credit bureaus
How will I know if my deferment or forbearance application is approved?

We will send you confirmation, in writing, once your application has been received and approved. It can take up to 5 to 7 business days for us to process once we receive your application.

I just graduated and I’m now due for my monthly loan payment- don’t I get a 6 month grace period?

Stafford loans have a one-time 6 month grace period. If you return to school at least half-time after using the full grace period you will be placed in a school deferment so you aren’t required to make payments while you are enrolled. However, once you drop below half-time you will become due for your regular monthly payments.

If you can’t make payments, contact us to discuss your options! You can reach us at 800-798-8722.

Is there anything I can do to reduce the interest rate?

Interest rates for federal student loans are determined by federal law. While there isn’t a way to change your contractual interest rate, you can pay less interest by making extra payments and/or sending payments even when payments aren’t due.

Am I eligible for loan forgiveness?

Loan forgiveness is reserved for very specific situations – a few examples include working full-time in a qualifying public service job or teachers working full-time in a low-income community.

You can learn more by visiting our Loan Consolidation & Forgiveness page.

What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness? How do I apply?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a program that forgives any remaining balance on Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments in a qualifying repayment plan while employed full-time for a qualifying employer.

If your federal loans are part of the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program (which is what they are if they are with VSAC) you must consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Keep in mind only payments made on the new consolidation will count towards forgiveness – the payments made prior to consolidating into a Direct Consolidation Loan will not count.

You can learn more about Public Service Loan Forgiveness at studentaid.ed.gov.

How do I consolidate?

Federal loan consolidation is done directly through the Department of Education.

To learn more about eligibility, benefits, drawbacks, and how to apply visit our Loan Consolidation & Forgiveness page.

I was reported to the credit bureaus as past due – can the late reporting be removed now that the account is current?

Unfortunately late reportings that were reported accurately cannot be removed. However, if you keep your account current, we will be able to report you as current moving forward.

How do I fill out the Income Driven Repayment plan application?

You can find information on how to apply on our Income-Based Repayment page. We are also happy to walk you through the application – just call us at 800-798-8722 to reach a counselor!  

I can’t download an application. What should I do?

You'll need Adobe Reader to download and view applications. Visit www.adobe.com to download the free Adobe Reader software.

Do you accept electronic signatures on your applications?

We require a handwritten signature, which can include a digitally drawn signature, for all repayment option applications.

What should I do if I'm having trouble making my monthly payments?

If you are experiencing temporary financial difficulty you may be eligible – depending on your situation – for a forbearance to temporarily reduce or suspend your monthly payments.

We encourage you to rule out all other options before considering a suspension or reduction of your payments because these options cost you more in the long run. Is your cosigner able to make payments? Is there anyone else who can help you temporarily?

Please call us at 800-798-8722 to discuss your situation.

If your loans are in a default status, please contact the Collections Department at 800-954-2440.

What is a forbearance?

Forbearance is a limited short-term reduction or suspension of your payments granted at our discretion. Forbearance is intended to help you if you're having temporary financial difficulty.

What happens to the interest on my loan(s) during a forbearance?

Interest will continue to accumulate while you are in a forbearance.  Any interest that is unpaid at the end of the forbearance period will be added to your principal balance – this increases your principal balance and you’ll pay more interest in the long run. As a result, your regular monthly payment may need to increase after your forbearance ends so the loan can be paid off in the term you have remaining. You can prevent, or minimize, this by making payments toward the accumulating interest during the forbearance period.

Is my credit rating affected while my loan(s) is in a forbearance?

We report your loans to the national credit bureaus every month regardless of the status of your loan(s). Keep in mind that a loan that is past due is reported as past due regardless of a pending forbearance – so you should continue to make payments on your loan(s) until we notify you that your request has been approved.

Even if your forbearance is approved, it won’t remove any past due payments reported to the credit bureaus while we were waiting to receive and process your application.

Learn more about how credit reporting works >

I just graduated and I’m now due for my monthly loan payment- don’t I get a 6 month grace period?

The Vermont Advantage Student loan does not have a grace period – if you chose the Interest Only or Deferred option, full monthly payments of principal and interest are due within 45 days if you are no longer continuously enrolled at least half-time.

Please call us at 800-798-8722 to discuss your situation if you are unable to make payments.

I have a cosigner on my loan – is there any way they can be removed?

You may be able to have your cosigner released if you meet our credit criteria after 48 months of active repayment.

Is there anything I can do to reduce the interest rate?

Your interest rate is set at the time you apply for your loan. After your interest rate is set, we cannot alter your loan terms.

Why should I try to avoid using forbearance?

During a forbearance interest continues to accumulate – even if you aren’t required to make payments – and at the end of the forbearance, this interest will be added to your loan’s principal balance, increasing the total cost of your loan. So you end up paying more money and taking longer to pay back your loan. Also, your monthly payment may need to increase at the end of a forbearance because of the higher principal balance resulting from the added interest – if it was challenging to make your regular monthly loan payment before a forbearance, it may be even more difficult after a forbearance.

Make sure you’ve ruled out all other options before considering a forbearance because this option will cost you more in the long run. Is your cosigner able to make payments? Is there anyone else who can help you temporarily?

Forbearance can be helpful if you are facing a temporary hardship and just need a month or two to work on improving your financial situation so you can resume your full monthly payment.

How do I apply for the Vermont Advantage Student or Parent Loan?

It’s safe and easy to apply online! Check out our Vermont Advantage Student Loans or Vermont Advantage Parent Loans pages for more information.

How long does the online application take? When should I apply?

It takes just a few minutes to complete the application! However, there are several additional steps in the process. You should allow at least 2 weeks from when a completed application is submitted to when the funds are ready to be sent to the school.

You may login to your application periodically to check the status and complete any necessary steps.

What information will I need to complete my online application for the Vermont Advantage Student Loan or Parent Loan?

Great question! It’s good to be prepared before you start the application. You can find a complete list of what you’ll need in the How to Apply tab on the Vermont Advantage Student Loans or Vermont Advantage Parent Loans pages.

What is the purpose of a reference?

A reference is someone you have known for at least 3 years who you will always be in contact with. If you move and forget to notify VSAC of your new contact information, we will contact your reference to see if they are able to provide us with your new information.

What is the “loan period”?

The loan period is the enrollment term for which the loan is being borrowed. A typical, full year, loan period is August through May.

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid, as determined by your school’s financial aid office.

You don’t have to borrow the full amount that you are eligible for – we recommend that you borrow only what you need! Remember – all loans will need to be repaid, with interest.

Why can’t I electronically sign the Vermont Advantage Loan Credit Agreement?

The online application authenticates a person’s identity by asking questions, from their credit history, that only they should know how to answer.   If you don’t have a credit history, there won’t be questions to validate your identity.  You will need to print the application and provide VSAC with your “wet” signed application.  We are unable to accept a photo copy, fax, or email copy.

Can the loan be used for living expenses?

The loan can be used to cover the cost of education minus any other financial aid. Please contact your school’s financial aid office to confirm what is included in your total cost.

How do I know when my loan is approved?

Once the loan is approved, VSAC will provide the borrower with a Final Disclosure. This disclosure provides an estimated repayment schedule and loan terms as well as details about the borrower’s “Right to Cancel.”

Will the loan money be sent to me?

No – all loan disbursements are sent directly to the school.

When will the school receive the money?

It varies from school to school. The Right to Cancel period begins when the loan is approved – during this time you have the option to cancel or reduce the loan amount. VSAC must wait for this period of time to end before sending money to the school. After the Right to Cancel period ends, the funds are sent to the school on the dates requested by the school.

When are my payments due?

It depends on the repayment plan that you selected on your loan application. The plan you selected determines when payments are due and the fixed interest rate of your loan.

Is there a penalty for making payments early?

No – in fact, we encourage you to make payments, even when you aren’t due as you will save yourself money in the long run!

Can I change my repayment plan later?

No – once you submit your application you cannot change the repayment plan. However, you can choose to cancel your existing application and start over.

Can I increase the loan amount of the application I already submitted?

No – once your loan application is started the requested amount cannot be increased. If you need additional money you’ll need to start a new application.

Do I add to my existing Advantage loan each school year?

No – a new loan is required each academic year.

Can I still apply if I don’t have a cosigner?

All Vermont Advantage Student Loans require a cosigner who meets VSAC’s credit criteria. 

VSAC is dedicated to offering a low cost loan option.  Requiring a cosigner on the Vermont Advantage Student Loan allows us to offer low fixed interest rates.

If you don’t have a cosigner and still need a loan, ask your school’s financial aid office if they can recommend a lender who doesn’t require one.  Loans without a cosigner requirement tend to have higher interest rates. 

What is my responsibility as a cosigner?

If you are a cosigner you are equally liable for the loan and expected to make payments, including any late or collection fees, if the student borrower is unable to pay on the Vermont Advantage Student loan. The cosigner is also required to sign all paperwork along with the student borrower.

As a cosigner, you will also receive billing statements and the loan(s) you cosigned will appear on your credit report.

What if my cosigner is denied?

If your cosigner is denied, you will need to start a new loan application with a different cosigner.

Can the cosigner be removed?

Yes – cosigner release may be available, upon request, to student borrowers who meet VSAC’s credit criteria after 48 months of active repayment.

Can the Vermont Advantage Parent Loan be transferred to the student?

No – it stays in the parent borrower’s name.

Can the loan be used for a different school if I transfer part way through the year?

No – a new loan is required for each school that you attend.

Can I borrow federal education loans through VSAC?

No – all federal education loans are processed through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Please contact your school's financial aid office to determine your next steps to obtain a new federal education loan.

What number do I call if I need more help with my new loan?

You can reach a VSAC loan counselor Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 800-226-1029.

What grants can I apply for online?

You can apply online through your myVSAC account for the Vermont Incentive Grants and Vermont Non-Degree Grant.

Do I need an account number to apply for a Vermont Grant?

No, you do not need an account number to apply for a Vermont Grant.   Create a (or log in to your) myVSAC account.  Once logged in, look for either ‘Work with Grants’ or ‘Submit an Application’ on the left side of the page and follow the instructions.  If you’ve forgotten your user name or password, do not create a new myVSAC user name.  Instead, click on ‘Forgot User Name’ or ‘Forgot Password’.

I'm a Vermont resident. Am I eligible for a Vermont grant if I go to a school outside Vermont?

Yes. Vermont grants are "portable," meaning they can be used at any approved school within or outside Vermont.

I’m thinking of transferring to another school, do I need to reapply for financial aid?

Contact the college you will be transferring to for information on what financial aid forms they require from you.  Also notify VSAC’s Grant and Scholarship programs of your new school. 

Do I need to apply for financial aid every year?

Students must apply for financial aid every year they're in school, whether they transfer or not.

Are grant decisions based solely on income?

No. VSAC looks at a number of factors when determining grant eligibility, including: income, assets, family size, number of family members in college, the age of the older parent, the cost of the school the student is attending, and several other factors. Grades do not enter into grant decisions.

How do I check the status of my Vermont Grant?

Log in to your myVSAC account and click on ‘Work with Grants’ on the left side of the page.  You’ll be brought to your To-Do List which will advise you of any information needed for your grant.  To check your eligibility or disbursement status, click on ‘View Awards’.

Can I email you my tax return and W-2s?

Email is not a secure form of communication so we don’t recommend you email us your tax return.  You may upload your tax return and W-2s to us through myVSAC by clicking on the Tax Return or W-2 link on your Grant To-Do List.

I submitted my Federal Income Tax Return but you are asking for my W-2s, what are W-2s?

Your W-2s are the wage statements sent to you by your employer to complete your Federal Income Tax return.  They are used to verify the wage amounts reported on your tax return.

I submitted the required information yesterday, when will my account be updated?

Once you submit required documents, it can take up to 3 business days for your account to reflect the documents as received.  Your application will then be reviewed for eligibility 7-10 business days after the documents are entered onto your account.

How do I add a course to my Non-Degree grant application?

Please call or email us to request a form to add a course to your Non-Degree grant application.

My class is already over, is it too late to apply for a Non-Degree grant?

It is not too late, as long as funding is available.  You may apply for a Non-Degree grant for a course that has already completed, as long as the course began within the academic year for which funding is still available.

When will my grant be disbursed to my school?

Your grant will be disbursed to your school once your school verifies your enrollment for the term or your class.  Your school will verify your enrollment online through their myVSAC account once the term or your class begins.

What scholarships does VSAC have available?

VSAC administers over 160 scholarships for Vermonters. Learn more about VSAC-Assisted Scholarships >

What scholarships can I apply for online?

With VSAC’s online Unified Scholarship Application, you can complete one electronic form for all VSAC-assisted scholarships. The application, as well as additional documents that may be required for the scholarships you are applying to, can be filed online after January 1. 

Learn more about VSAC-Assisted Scholarships >

If I receive a scholarship, will it affect the amount of financial aid I receive from my college?

Scholarships are usually looked at in one of three ways:

  1. To fill "unmet need," meaning to fill the difference between the cost of the college and the financial aid you’ve been offered.
  2. To reduce the amount of loan(s) you need to borrow.
  3. To reduce your college's grant assistance to you.

Call your school's financial aid office for specific information on how your school treats scholarships.

How do I apply for VSAC-assisted scholarships?

Log into your myVSAC account.  Then click on ‘Apply for Scholarships’ on the right side of the page.  Then click on the ‘Unified Scholarship Application (USA)’ link under ‘Submit Scholarship Application’ on the right and follow the directions.

How do I upload required documents?

Log into your myVSAC account.  Then click on ‘Apply for Scholarships’ on the right side of the page.  Click on the ‘Submit Required Documents’ link under ‘Upload Scholarship Documents’ on the right and follow the directions.

I plan to go to school part-time. Can I get financial aid?

Almost all aid programs are available to students who attend school at least half-time. Some institutions give preference to full-time students. VSAC administers a Part-Time Grant Program for degree-students taking fewer than 12 credits of course work per semester.

Learn more about applying for financial aid >

I am not living with my parents, and receive no support from them. Can I file as a self-supporting student?

If you are under 24 years of age, you must file as a dependent student unless you meet certain criteria. You can learn more about dependency status at studentaid.ed.gov

If you do not meet the criteria to be considered independent for the purposes of financial aid, contact your school and VSAC directly to discuss your situation.

Do I need to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes – students must apply for financial aid every year they’re in school.

Who decides how much money I’ll get?

Your school’s financial aid office will determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive based on the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You can learn more about how aid is calculated at studentaid.ed.gov.

What is the EFC?

EFC (or Expected Family Contribution) is the dollar amount a student (or student’s family) can reasonably be expected to contribute toward college costs. Your EFC is decided based on the information you enter on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – a form that all students need to complete to be eligible for federal and other financial aid.

Learn more about creating a financial plan >

I have to borrow money to pay my college bills. Can I save any money by shopping around for loans? Are all loans the same?

All education loans are not the same. There are two types of education loans; federal and private. Congress sets the standard interest rates and fees for federal education loans. Private loans are offered by private lenders, including banks, credit unions, or organizations such as VSAC. Individual lenders determine the interest rates and fees for their private education loans.

Learn more about education loan options >

I have defaulted on a student loan. Am I eligible for additional financial aid so that I may return to school?

You may regain eligibility for additional financial aid (including grants and loans) if you arrange a payment schedule with the holder of your defaulted loan and if you make the payments on time.

If your defaulted loans are with us, we have 3 specialized programs for defaulted borrowers, one of which you may qualify for. Please contact our Collections department for more information.

Why did my payments increase?

Frequency of payments and/or the frequency of repayment options could impact your monthly payment amount.

If you are in a graduated repayment plan, your payments will increase every 24 months until the loan is paid in full. Please refer to the disclosure statement that was sent to you when you first entered the plan for details, including payment amounts and the corresponding date of the increase.

If you have a variable interest rate, payments may also need to increase if your variable interest rate increases.

VSAC reviews and adjusts our customers’ monthly loan payments to be sure their loans will pay off in the remaining term.

Could my payments increase in the future?

Yes, they could increase. VSAC will periodically review your monthly loan payments and adjust them as needed to make sure your loan(s) will pay off in the remaining term.

Is this a penalty?

No. Payment increases are a result of determining the payment amount that will pay your loan(s) off in full within the remaining term of your loan(s).

Is there a way to lower my monthly loan payment?

There are various repayment options that may assist you if you need to reduce your monthly loan payment. Learn more about Student Loan Repayment Options >

Can I get a fixed interest rate?

If your federal education loans have a variable interest rate, you can get a fixed interest rate by combining 1 or more of your education loans into a Loan Consolidation with the Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program. Learn more about loan consolidation and forgiveness >

I'm in a reduced payment plan. When will I be billed for my new payment amount?

If you’re currently approved to temporarily make reduced payments, your new payment amount will be billed after your reduced payment plan ends.

I'm in a deferment. When will I be billed for my new payment amount?

If your loan(s) is in an approved deferment, your new payment amount will be billed after your deferment ends. Learn more about deferment and forbearance >

I'm in forbearance. When will I be billed for my new payment amount?

If your loan(s) is in an approved forbearance, your new payment amount will be billed after your forbearance ends. Learn more about deferment and forbearance >

I'm in a graduated repayment plan. Will I receive more information about my repayment schedule?

When you initially enter the graduated repayment plan you will be sent a disclosure statement that outlines your payment schedule, including payment amounts and the corresponding date of the increase. Your billing statements will also reflect the payment amount you are due for. Please pay careful attention to your monthly statements.

If your payments need to be adjusted due to use of repayment options or frequency of payments, you will receive an updated disclosure statement that will reflect the new payment amounts and corresponding dates.

I currently have payments autodebited through the online LoanPay system. Will my payments automatically adjust to the new amount?

No. You will need to delete your existing payment series and create a new one with the new payment amount.

Follow these steps to make the changes:

  1. Login to your myVSAC account.
  2. Click the Loan Info/Make a Payment link  
  3. Follow the instructions in the Summary tab to select the loans you want to pay. If you only have Loans in Repayment you will select this tab, if you have defaulted loans you will need to select the tab specific to the defaulted loans (Defaulted Private Loans and/or Defaulted Federal Loans).
  4. Click the “make a payment” button in the applicable tab.
  5. Click continue to LoanPay.
How do I set up paperless billing and email notifications?

It's quick and easy to go paperless! Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign into myVSAC
  2. Click: 'Loan Information/Make a Payment'
  3. Click the link: 'Choose Paperless Statements and Go Green!"
  4. From your myVSAC profile, click 'Make Payment' to enter LoanPayTM.
  5. Once in LoanPayTM, click 'User Preferences' in the navigation column on the left.
I requested to go paperless, why am I getting statements?

If your account is past due VSAC resumes sending paper statements. Once your account is current we will stop sending paper statements.

Will I get a monthly statement?

Yes, monthly statements are generated approximately 23 days before your due date. If you have a cosigner, your cosigner will also receive a monthly statement.

You will not receive a monthly statement if your payments have been suspended due to deferment, forbearance, or enrollment.

How can I view information concerning my student loan accounts?

Click “myVSAC" in the top right corner of our website. From here, registered users can log in to myVSAC and new users can create a myVSAC profile and link it to their VSAC loan account. Refer to recent loan documents or bill statements for the account number you will need to link your account to your myVSAC profile. Once you are logged in to your linked account, click “View Loan Info/Make a Payment" for information about your education loan accounts.

I have a question about my student loans and would like to speak with a counselor. How do I do that?

Please visit our VSAC Contact Information page for all of our contact information. The phone number you call will vary depending on if you have loans in repayment, defaulted loans in Collections, or you want to speak with us regarding a new student loan.

Can I register online for a financial aid night?

Please visit our calendar of events to view the registration details for your school’s financial aid night.

Where can I find a financial calculator on your Web site?

Check out the Online Tools on our Resources page – there are several calculators to choose from!

Can I use Web chat to communicate with VSAC?

While this is a feature that VSAC hopes to provide in the future, at this time our Web site is not equipped with Web chat.

I’m a cosigner, am I responsible for the loan I cosigned?

Yes. As the cosigner you are equally responsible for the loan you cosigned.

What is your fax number?

Our fax number is (802)654-3765. We encourage you to call us to verify that we received your fax, however, please allow for at least 1 business day before calling to allow us to route your fax to the appropriate area.

How can I update my address online?

Please log in or register for myVSAC to provide updated contact information.

For Loans: Once logged in to myVSAC, click on “Loan Info/Make a payment” and then click on the "myContactInfo" tab. Click the button that says “Update my Contact Info” and follow the instructions to submit your new contact information.

For Grants: Once logged in to myVSAC, click on “Work with Grants” and then click on “Demographic Information” under the Main Menu of the Vermont Grant System.

What is Outreach?

VSAC Outreach provides career and postsecondary information and counseling services to Vermonters who are planning for their future.

Why offer Outreach services?

VSAC’s mission is to make sure Vermonters not only have the financial aid they need to pursue education or training beyond high school, but also that they get the information and advice needed to make education or career plans.

When was the Outreach program established?

Outreach was created in 1969 to help disadvantaged young people pursue education or training beyond high school. Funded by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as part of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty," Talent Search (as it is known nationally) was part of a trio of programs that included Upward Bound and Student Support Services. Both the Outreach Program and the federal TRIO programs have expanded over the years to offer a range of services to students of all ages.

Who receives Outreach services?

Outreach serves any Vermonter who would like information about career planning, education and training beyond high school, and the financial aid process, including early college planning. In addition, with the support of federal grants, Outreach offers intensive assistance to middle school students, high school students, and adults who meet income and other criteria. Eligible students are served through Talent Search and GEAR UP(grades 6 through 12); adults are served through a TRIO program called the Educational Opportunity Center Program. Outreach provides services to schools interesting in developing or enhancing a comprehensive career development system for their students.

What services are provided?

General Population: Workshops presented for middle school students help them think about the future, enhance their awareness of careers and postsecondary education, and provide information about high school course selection, postsecondary options, and financial aid. Presentations for high school students cover career decision-making, college awareness, and the financial aid process. High school students can also attend VSAC-sponsored college and career fairs and get help with financial aid forms. Adults receive assistance, individually or in groups, with career decision-making, education planning, college selection, and financial aid. Schools receive intensive consultation on the development of career systems that are embedded into the existing curriculum.

Talent Search and GEAR UP: Ongoing individual and group counseling sessions build students’ self-awareness and help them improve decision-making and academic skills, select courses, explore career and college options, and learn about the financial aid process. Participants also visit college campuses, receive academic help and referrals to special programs, and get assistance with college and financial aid applications. Parent involvement is a critical component of the program.

Educational Opportunity Center Program: As is the case with the general adult population, clients eligible for this program receive assistance with career decision-making, education planning, college selection, and financial aid. Help is provided on an individual basis or through workshops. Appointments may be arranged through VSAC’s toll-free number.

Where are services provided?

Direct service to participants is provided by more than 50 counselors who live in the communities they serve. Services are offered to every public middle school and high school. Adult participants are seen at regional offices of the state Department of Labor (DOL), many of the state’s vocational-technical centers, all sites of the Community College of Vermont (CCV), Department of Social Welfare offices, Vocational-Rehabilitation offices, parent-child centers, and correctional facilities. Outreach maintains an administrative office at the VSAC office in Winooski.

How are services funded?

Services are funded through a combination of federal and private money. Federal grants for the TRIO and GEAR UP programs, funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, expire every five to six years and are renewed following a competitive process.

Is Outreach involved in other collaborations?

Yes. Outreach works closely with DOL and CCV to serve adults seeking higher education or training. In Rutland, Outreach has established an Educational Information Center in the DOL Career Resource Center. The GEAR UP School Improvement Alliance consists of multiple state partners who serve in an advisory role, including UVM, VSC, Vermont Principals Association and the VT Department of Education. Outreach has an active partnership with the Department of Children and Families in order to identify and serve more students in foster care.

How does the deduction work?

You may be able to claim a student loan interest deduction if you meet income and other eligibility guidelines. This deduction is an adjustment to income, so, if you qualify, you can claim it even if you do not itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).

Learn more about how student loan interest deduction works >

Where can I get more information about student loan interest deductions?

You can start by reading the information we’ve put together for you on this website. Learn more about how student loan interest deduction works>

Which VSAC loan types are qualified student loans for purposes of the Taxpayer Relief Act?

Refer to the How Student Loan Interest Deduction Works page for a list of VSAC student loans that qualify for a tax deduction.

When will I receive my 1098-E interest paid amount?

If you have qualified VSAC student loans, your 1098-E interest paid figure will be mailed to you by February 1st. You can also view this figure by logging in to your myVSAC account and selecting “Loan Info/Make a Payment.” Form 1098-E reports the amount of interest paid during 2016 for all qualified loans you have with VSAC. If your education loan is not a qualified loan type, you will not receive Form 1098-E.

Does the amount of interest reported in Box 1 include all possible amounts that may be deducted for loans made on or after September 1, 2004?

The amount of interest reported in Box 1 of Form 1098-E for calendar year 2016 includes payments attributable to loan origination fees and/or capitalized interest received on qualified education loans made on or after September 1, 2004. If your loan was made before September 1, 2004 you may be able to deduct additional loan origination fees and capitalized interest not otherwise included or reported in Box 1. For further information, see IRS Publication 970.

Do I need to file Form 1098-E with my federal tax return?

No. VSAC also reports the interest amount to the IRS.

I am also repaying other (non-VSAC) student loans. Will that interest be reported to me?

You should receive Form 1098-E for qualified student loans from each of your other lenders. For the Federal Perkins Loan, you should receive one from either your school or the Perkins Loan servicer. If you paid less than $600 in interest in 2016 on a qualifying loan, the lender is not required to send you Form 1098-E; however, you may still be able to deduct this interest. If you have any questions about non-VSAC student loans, please contact the organizations that service those loans.

Where can I find information on the Hope and Lifetime Learning credits?

Visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center for information on tax benefits for education.

Where can I get information about the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan?

Please visit the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan(VHEIP) site for more information about Vermont's 529 college savings plan.

How do I view and edit my browser settings?

Internet Explorer

Select menu bar "Tools" then "Internet Options".

Enable JavaScript
  1. Within the Internet Options controller select the "Security" tab
  2. Select the globe icon for the Web content zone titled "Internet"
  3. Set the "Security Level" to the default setting of "Medium"
Enable Cookies
  1. Within the Internet Options controller select the "Privacy" tab
  2. Set the "Privacy Setting" to no higher than "Medium High"
Enable SSL
(Secure Socket Layer)
  1. Within the Internet Options select the "Advanced" tab then scroll down to the "Security" section
  2. Make certain the check boxes for the following options are checked:
    • Use SSL 2.0
    • Use SSL 3.0
    • Use TLS 1.0 (optional)
Enable HTTP 1.1
  1. Within the Internet Options controller select the "Advanced" tab then scroll down to the "HTTP 1.1 settings" section
  2. Make certain the check boxes for the following options are checked:
    • Use HTTP 1.1
    • Use HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections (optional)

 

Mozilla Firefox

Select menu bar "Tools" then "Options".

Enable JavaScript
  1. Within the Options controller select the "Content" button
  2. Make certain the check boxes for the following features are checked:
    • Enable JavaScript
    • Enable Java
Enable Cookies

Cookies are enabled by default in Firefox.
Mozilla support resource: Enable and disable cookies in Firefox

Enable SSL
(Secure Socket Layer)
  1. Within the Options controller select the "Advanced" button
  2. Select the tab labeled "Encryption"
  3. Make certain the check boxes for the following features are checked:
    • Use SSL 3.0
    • Use TLS 1.0

 

Google Chrome

Select "Customize and control Google Chrome" button (button in upper right with 3 horizontal bars) then "Settings" and "Show advanced settings" at the bottom of the page.

Enable JavaScript
  1. In the "Privacy" section, select the "Content settings..." button.
  2. In the JavaScript section, select "Allow all sites to run JavaScript (recommended)".
Enable Cookies
  1. In the "Privacy" section, select the "Content settings..." button.
  2. In the "Cookies" section, select "Allow local data to be set (recommended)".
Enable SSL
(Secure Socket Layer)
  1. In the "Network" section, select the "Change proxy settings..." button.
  2. In the "Internet Properties" window, select the "Advanced" tab, scroll down to "Security".
  3. Make certian the following features are checked:
    • Use SSL 3.0
    • Use TLS 1.0

 

Apple Safari

Select "Safari settings" button (gear shape in upper right) then Preferences.

Enable JavaScript
  1. Select the "Security" button.
  2. In the "Web Content" section, make certain the check boxes for the following features are checked:
    • Enable Java
    • Enable JavaScript
Enable Cookies
  1. Select the "Privacy" button.
  2. In the "Block cookies" section, select the radio button for either of the following features:
    • Never
Enable SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

Safari uses SSL encryption by default and there is no setting to enable.

 

 

Document reader software information

Some larger documents (such as our brochures, reports and publications) posted on our Web site are stored as "PDF" (portable document files). Links to these documents are noted with (PDF).

To access and view these documents you'll need a recent version of Adobe Reader. This program is available as a free download from Adobe Systems Inc. at www.adobe.com. Links to download Adobe Reader are also provided on most of our Web pages that include links to PDF documents. If you already have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, simply select the link to the document, and the publication will begin downloading.

How do I determine my browser name and version (example: Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.)
  1. Open your Web browser.
  2. From the browser’s menu bar for IE, FireFox, and Safari , select "Help". For Chrome select the "Customize and control Google Chrome" button (button in upper right with 3 horizontal bars).
  3. Then select "About..." to display a screen which shows your browser name and the current version.
How do I clear my browser cache and temporary internet files?

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Select Tools (gear shaped icon in upper right corner), click Safety and then Delete Browsing History.
  3. Select the check box next to each category of information you want to delete.
  4. Select the Preserve Favorites website data check box if you do not want to delete the cookies and files associated with websites in your Favorites list.
  5. Click Delete. (This could take awhile if you have a lot of files and history.)

Additional Microsoft Help

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Select Menu (three horizontal lines in upper right corner), choose Options.
  3. Click the Advanced then Network tab.
  4. In the Cached Web Content section, click the Clear Now button.

Additional Mozilla Help

Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Select the Chrome menu (three horizontal lines in upper right corner).
  3. Select Tools then Clear browsing data.
  4. In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
  5. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
  6. Click Clear browsing data.

Additional Chrome Help

Apple Safari

  1. Open Safari
  2. Choose Edit from the top navigation bar.
  3. Select Empty Cache, then Empty.

Additional Safari Help

What browsers are supported?

If you have a question about compatibility for your specific computer, please check the original documentation for your computer or check with the manufacturer.

If you aren't currently using one of these browsers, you can download one by selecting on the appropriate icon below.

Internet Explorer.JPG        Firefox Image.JPG     Chrome Image.JPG     Safari Image.JPG