COVID-19: IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE STUDENT LOAN INTEREST FREEZE
The student loan interest freeze implemented by the President of the United States only applies to loans that are directly held by the Department of Education. If you make your loan payments to ECSI, your loan is NOT directly held by the Department of Education. Therefore, an interest freeze and an automatic forbearance will not be applied to your student loan(s). You are required to continue making your student loan payments as scheduled.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for an Economic Hardship Deferment, Unemployment Deferment or Forbearance for your Perkins loan(s) depending on your circumstance. Please contact ECSI for further details at, 1-888-549-3274 or the UW-Platteville Perkins Loan Office firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to take advantage of the loan interest freeze benefit and currently have a Federal Perkins loan serviced by ECSI, UW-Platteville, you may consolidate your Federal Perkins Loan into a Direct Consolidation Loan held by the Department of Education. Please note that you may lose certain loan benefits if you consolidate a Federal Perkins Loan. For more information about Direct Loan Consolidation go to: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation
The Federal Perkins Loan program ended Sept. 30, 2017. The loan has a 5% fixed interest rate and can be repaid in up to 10 years. Interest will not begin accruing and the Perkins Loan does not go into repayment until nine months after graduate or after the student drops below half-time enrollment status.
Information for students who received a Perkins Loan prior to September 2017:
The repayment and forgiveness options available for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are not applicable to Perkins Loans.
For more information about ECSI or to view your account online, please go to the ECSI homepage at https://borrower.ecsi.net/.
To complete your Exit Counseling with ECSI:
- Log onto your ECSI account at https://borrower.ecsi.net/ using the following information.
School Code: WC
Account #: Your nine-digit Social Security number
- Click on "Account Tools/Exit Interview" and complete the exit interview.
- Your hold will be removed the following business day.
Perkins Loans may be consolidated with Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.
- One Monthly Payment: A consolidation loan combines the borrower’s eligible loans into a single loan. To learn how interest rates are calculated on Direct Consolidation Loans, visit Federal Student Aid/consolidation
- More Repayment Options: Students having difficulty keeping up with student loan payments may choose a different repayment plan. By extending the term of the student loan repayment, or selecting an individual payment plan that matches income levels and ability to pay, borrowers who participate in the Consolidation Program sometimes have lower monthly payments on new loans. It should be noted, that extending repayment terms also adds more total interest to the loan.
- Loss of loan cancellation benefits: If you are, or will be, a public-school teacher, or if you tech, math science or special education subjects, you may qualify for Perkins loan cancellation. When Perkins loans are consolidated alongside other outstanding federal loans, the cancellation benefit is eliminated.
Perkins loan Deferments
- During times of deferment, no interest accrues, and no payments are required.
- The borrower’s account must be current before any deferment can be granted.
- It is the borrower’s responsibility to initiate the deferment requests in a timely fashion.
- The deferment request form must be signed and dated by the borrower and certified by the appropriate official before deferment can be granted.
- Defaulted loan accounts are not eligible for deferment unless the only reason for the default was the borrower’s failure to file a deferment request on a timely basis.
Student: Deferment can be granted for one semester at a time while the borrower is enrolled and in attendance as a regular student in at least a half time course of study at an eligible institution.
Rehabilitation training: Deferment can be granted to any borrower that is receiving, or scheduled to receive, services under a program designed to rehabilitate disabled individuals.
- The rehabilitation agency must be licensed, approved, certified, or otherwise recognized as providing rehabilitation training to disabled individuals.
- The program must be structured in a way that requires a substantial time and effort commitment by the borrower which would prevent them from engaging in full-time employment.
Economic hardship: Deferment can be granted one year at a time, for a maximum of three years, during time periods in which the borrower is suffering an economic hardship. In order to qualify for this deferment, the borrower must provide documentation that the borrower falls into one of the following categories:
- Has been granted an economic hardship deferment under either the FDSL or FFEL programs for the same time period.
- Is receiving payment under a federal or state public assistance program, such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Supplemental Security Income, Food Stamps, or state general public assistance.
- Graduate fellowship: Deferment can be granted to any borrower that is enrolled and in attendance as a regular student in a course of study that is part of a graduate fellowship program or is engaged in graduate or post-graduate fellowship-supported study (such as a Fulbright grant) outside the United States.
- Inability to secure full-time employment: Deferment can be granted one year at a time, for a maximum of three years, during time periods in which the borrower is seeking and unable to find full-time employment.
Forbearance: Forbearance means the temporary cessation of payments, allowing an extension of time for making payments, or temporarily accepting smaller payments than previously were scheduled. Forbearance can be granted one year at a time, for a maximum of three years if: 1) the amount of the payments the borrower is obligated to make on title IV loans each month is collectively equal to or greater than 20% of the borrower’s total monthly gross income; 2) the institution determines that the borrower should qualify for the forbearance due to poor health or for other acceptable reasons, or 3) The Secretary of Education authorizes a period of forbearance due to a national military mobilization or other national emergency. Note that interest continues to accrue during periods of forbearance.