Frequently Asked Questions

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Nonfederal Loan Repayment

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

If you're 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? Can anyone else 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's 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're no longer continuously enrolled at least half-time.

Please call us at 800-798-8722 to discuss your situation if you're 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? Can anyone else help you temporarily?

Forbearance can be helpful if you're 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.