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  1. Student Loan Deferment Many nurses are struggling to meet all their bills, including student loans. The CARES Act, passed on March 27th, 2020, was the first major stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For federally-held student loans from March 13 through September 30, 2020, in addition to stimulus checks for eligible persons, the bill suspended all: student loan payments interest bill collections Payments can be made during this time (March 13-September 20) but the choice is optional. You can make no payment, or you can choose to make a payment smaller than your original payment without penalty during this time. Eligibility: Federally-held versus federally-guaranteed student loans The keyword is federally-held student loans.This is a confusing term. Federally-held means owned (funded) by the government (US Department of Education). Most borrowers don’t know whether their loans are federally-held or federally-guaranteed. Federally-held means the government owns the loan. Federally-guaranteed means the government guarantees a commercially held loan. An example of a federally-guaranteed loan are some Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Health Education Assisted Loans (HEAL) owned by commercial lenders. There’s a strong chance that you took out a FFEL loan if you took out a loan before 2010. Some Perkins loans are owned by the institution attended. These loans are not eligible for this benefit at this time, but you can contact your servicer to ask about what benefits may be available. How do I know if my loan is federally-held? To find out if your loans are federally-held, visit FederalStudentAid. You can also contact your servicer. Use this link to contact your servicer to determine if your loans are federally-held. How do I find out who my servicer is? The entity to which you make your monthly payment is your servicer. If you do not know who your servicer is or how to contact them, go to FederalStudentAid or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hearing-impaired 1-800-730-8913) for assistance. When talking to your servicer, remember that call centers are impacted and you may talk to a worker who is scrambling to get the most recent information. Be patient and make 2-3 calls to make sure the information you are getting is consistent. Make sure your contact information is up to date in your service profile. Servicers will contact borrowers in August about reinstating payments. To reiterate, these loan relief programs apply only to federally-held federal loans. They do not apply to FFEL-program federal loans and to Perkins federal loans not held by the government, nor do they apply to private student loans. Zero Interest Rate From March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020, the interest rate is set to 0% on the following types of student loans, but only if they are federally-held student loans : Defaulted and non defaulted Direct Loans Defaulted and non defaulted FFEL Program loans Defaulted and non defaulted Federal Perkins Loans Defaulted HEAL loans You will not accrue interest during this 6 month time frame. If you are able, make payments, because the full payment will go to the principal provided the interest accrued prior to March 13th is paid. What can I do if my loan is not federally-held? Consider refinancing and consolidating your student loans now, while interest rates are low Consider asking for an unemployment deferment if you have been cut to 30 hours or less per week and your loan is not defaulted. If you are having difficulty making payments, contact your servicer to make arrangements, such as a payment plan based on your adjusted income. Future Relief There’s speculation and hope that loans will be wholly or partially forgiven, but be on the safe side and assume that you will be responsible for your student debt once the 6 month period passes. There are no guarantees. There are other relief bills being introduced. Student Loan Forgiveness Bill The Student Loan Forgiveness Bill, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on May 5, would establish a program within the Departments of Education and Treasury that would forgive all public and private graduate student loans for health care workers who have made significant contributions to patient care, medical research, and testing during the COVID-19 national emergency. HEROES Act There is another big bill in the works by Nancy Pelosi, called the HEROES Act. It would extend these protections for an additional 12 months to September 2021, and be extended to commercially-held FFEL program federal student loans and Perkins loans, which were excluded from the CARES Act. The passage of this bill is not at all guaranteed, and has even been called “dead in the water” by Republicans. Hope this info helps those with student loans. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  2. JRoss

    How to Afford School

    I very much would like to attend CRNA school. I hate that finances are holding me back! I bought a house last year and my girlfriend is also in graduate school. I am not sure how I will afford to pay my bills (i.e., keep my house, lights/water on, eat food) while going to school. It seems like I can take the maximum student loans, as well as the GRAD PLUS loans. I might also look into additional private loans. I doubt there will be many scholarship opportunities and those I have seen were miniscule. Did anyone else face a similar circumstance while they wen't through school? Are there resources out there that I have overlooked or am unaware of? Share your stories with me. I am definitely open to advice.
  3. StraightOuttaNursingSchool

    Student Loans Approaching

    Hi everyone! I will be graduating in May 2020 with my BSN (4 months and 3 weeks left, but who's counting right?). I am a first generation student and have had to take out student loans to supply my college education. Being a first generation student I do not have anyone that has been through this process before. I do not like debt, so I have stayed on top of my loans from the start. I have made payments on my loans from the start, therefore I owe only the principal and have accrued 0$ in interest. I attended a 4- year private university...I chose this university, because I received many scholarships and also because it was close to home which would save me a lot of money in terms of housing as I commute. Anyway, my total student loans are 30,731$. Is this a normal amount? What is your experience with student loans? I have already contacted my servicer and gotten the information I need, I think that the 10 year standard repayment plan is what I am going to go with. Just extra information to help you form some advice...I already have a job, I've worked at the same hospital for 6 years and they are excited for me to graduate! Therefore, I will have a job within 6 months of graduating. Any advice for a first generation student who is not sure what to expect would be great- thanks!
  4. ravindram

    100k in loans worth it?

    I've seriously been considering going back to school for nursing. I started a while ago but had to stop because of things going on in life at the time. I did finish some classes but don't have any type of degree. I unfortunately DO have about $28k in student loans. I am currently 28 years old and working for about $40k/year and absolutely hate the job. If I go back for nursing, I know i would have to quit as I wouldn't be able to handle nursing school and working full time as well. With this I would have to take out loans for living expenses such as rent a food. I've done the calculations and came to about $100k to acquire a BSN degree (this includes my current loan). I don't have any other debts besides my existing student loans ($28k). Do any of you think this will be worth it, or is $100k in loans too much for a BSN . I know nursing is something that I would love and be able to pour myself into. I am currently living in Minneapolis so the market for nurses is pretty good, at least right now...
  5. jnniemeyer

    Student Loans and Debt

    I am wondering if there are any NPs that can advise me on student debt. I would like to pursue an entry level masters program to become a family nurse practitioner - however all of the options are very expensive and I would have to take out a very significant student loan. I have done a lot of financial planning, and it that seems worse case scenario - I would be paying the loans off on an Income-base repayment plan for 20 years. For those of you with outstanding student debt - how much of an impact does it have on your life? For example - does it affect things like buying a house, starting a family, and other big life decisions..?
  6. jluc13

    Private Student Loan

    Hello, I plan on starting nursing school next year in spring 2020 at West Coast University and wanted to see if there was anyone that went there or is starting next year because I wanted to ask since their school tuition is very expensive, I wanted to know what lender they would recommend. I plan on using my chapter 35 benefits from my GI bill but just wanted to inquire some information.
  7. Gigie2018

    Student Loans

    Hey everyone, I am not not sure if this is the correct page to post this in. I got accepted to an accelerated nursing program, I will be starting this Fall. I wanted to know your personal experiences on taking out loans for nursing school, I already got approved for FAFSA but I still need other loans, but I don’t have a credit history and I cannot find an eligible co-signer. I could’ve found some scholarship, but the program I’m in, doesn’t accept scholarships at all! For my first bachelor's degree, I was eligible for grants from FAFSA. I'm not quite sure where the best place to get loans without a co-signer and credit check. Someone also suggested that I get Federal Loans, but I do not know where to apply for that either. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading all this
  8. shibaowner

    How to Pay for Nursing School

    I've noticed a lot of posts on the topic of paying for nursing school. I've also noticed a lot of responses here telling everyone to go to community college and get an ADN then do an RN bridge program. Well, I disagree and here is why: It is easier to get a job as a BSN RN, especially in highly competitive markets. In addition, it is not necessarily cheaper to go the ADN route and it is not always cheaper to go to a public college. Do not overlook private (nonprofit) schools, as they often have their own scholarships. I am a California resident and was accepted by UCLA and Johns Hopkins. With the scholarships I received, Hopkins was cheaper than UCLA! For my MSN, I won a HRSA scholarship, which paid my full tuition plus $1300 a month living allowance, in return for 2 years of public service. My public service job is also my dream job, so that worked out great. So, down to practical advice You can pay for nursing school through personal savings, family help, scholarships, and work-study. Some students work full time and go to school part time or they go the school part time and work full time. Loans - don't be afraid! There are many loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs for RNs. MAKE SURE TO FILL OUT THE FAFSA! Scholarships Your school may have its own scholarships. However, there are a lot of other scholarships out there and it is up to you to find them and apply for them . It is possible. Christopher Gray won $1.3 million in scholarships and after graduating, he started his own scholarship search company (his Scholly - Scholarship Search Tool and College Scholarship Finder App is not recommended, however). Talk to your financial aid office about scholarships you can apply for Talk to professors about scholarships and grants once you are in school. For example, while at Hopkins, I learned that one professor had $25,000 scholarships available, but financial aid did not know about them. Nurse Corps Scholarships are full ride, with a living allowance, in return for public service. NURSE Corps Scholarship Program | Bureau of Health Workforce Scholarships AmeriCorps and Your Education | Corporation for National and Community Service Returned Volunteer Support More ... Most states have scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for state residents. Just Google "(name of your state)" nursing scholarship Some localities have scholarships. For example, I googled "San Diego nursing scholarship" and got this: Local Scholarships - The San Diego Foundation There are scholarships out there for your gender, ethnicity, etc. African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, Hawaiian, etc. There are scholarships for women, for men entering nursing, for women over 30 changing careers or going to college, etc. There are also a lot of nursing scholarships. There are great websites that let you search by location Johnson & Johnson Nursing 217 College Scholarships for Nursing Majors There are a lot of general scholarship search sites Your parents may make you eligible for a scholarship, so ask them to check with their employer. Some employers have scholarships for the children of employees - this is quite common for larger companies, hospitals, LTCs, schools, colleges, government (federal, state, local) etc. There are also scholarships for military family members - children and spouses. U.S. Department of Education Military Benefits Best sites to search for scholarships | Campus Life News | USA TODAY Scholarship Finder l CareerOneStop Working while in nursing school Get a healthcare job like CNA, various types of techs, medical assistant, etc. This is great prep for nursing school and are good jobs for nursing students. (I recommend CNA training for anyone considering a nursing career - it is a good test to see if you can handle the "blood and guts" part of nursing. Work study programs - most schools have these and these are usually easy jobs that will provide you with a few hundred dollars a month Casual jobs like babysitting, dog sitting, house sitting, personal care, tutoring, teaching ESL, etc. One of my fellow students met her fiance this way! Sometimes people will provide free housing to a nursing student in return for personal care or childcare and light housekeeping. These opportunities are usually posted in a nursing school. Some schools have someone who keeps a central registry of job opportunities for students - find out if your school has this. In addition, some facilities will then pay all or part of your nursing school tuition. See the website below for "Find A Grow Your Own" and "Find A Career Ladder Program" Yes, it is OK to have Student Loans! If your financial aid package consists of loans, living expenses are included. Of course, it's not a large amount, but plenty of students get by. There are many loan repayment programs and loan forgiveness programs for RNs. Talk to your financial aid office about loan forgiveness. Here are some loan repayment programs: Nurse Corps HRSA Some employers will also repay some of your student loans: Johnson & Johnson U.S. military Veterans Administration (VA) Prisons - federal, state, local Use Google! Internet searching is your friend here. Be creative with search terms. Finally, any higher education does require some financial sacrifice. If it were easy to get a college degree, everyone would have one. Economize - figure out a bare bones budget If you are not yet in school, you have a chance to save some money before school. Work overtime or get a second job to save up some money. If you are married, sit down with your spouse to figure out a budget. Your spouse might be willing to step up. My father always had 2 jobs - a full time and a part time job. So did I, when I was younger and had more energy. If you have a stay at home spouse, figure out ways they can make some money, like babysitting, dog sitting, eBay, etc. My mother had only an elementary school education, but she made extra money by buying old stuff at garage sales, fixing the stuff up, and reselling. I make extra money by selling on eBay and Amazon and even by doing tarot card readings. I have friends who teach ESL online. Consider some seasonal jobs that will allow you to save a lot of money. I had a lot of friends in college who worked on the slime line in Alaska. Hard work, but they made a lot of money in a short period. The fishing industry goes to great lengths to recruit people - there is more work than workers. They usually provide housing for workers. Hope this helps! Good luck to all.
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