Financial Aid

Graduating Students & Residents

Make sure you're prepared for any financial challenges after graduation with this helpful guide.

Information for Graduating Students

Latest News

December 2020: Student Loan Debt Relief Measures Extended 1 Month Through January

By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) on Friday announced borrowers will receive a one-month extension of the federal student loan administrative forbearance period, the pause in interest accrual, and the suspension of collections activity.

The measures will run through Jan. 31, 2021, ED announced in a news release, providing borrowers with debt relief for an additional month as the forbearance period was set to expire at the end of the year.

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges for many students and borrowers, and this temporary pause in payments will help those who have been impacted,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “The added time also allows Congress to do its job and determine what measures it believes are necessary and appropriate. The Congress, not the Executive Branch, is in charge of student loan policy.”

The month extension means borrowers will have relief in place through the remainder of the Trump administration. Had ED not extended the moratorium, relief for borrowers could have lapsed until President-elect Joe Biden entered the White House on January 20, creating a headache for borrowers, loan servicers, and the department in the interim.

Tens of millions of borrowers entering repayment all at the same time would be a difficult task for Federal Student Aid (FSA) and loan servicers, though it could still pose an issue next month if there is a small window between when the extension is set to expire and when Biden takes office.

Congressional leaders have called on the Trump administration to use its authority to issue an extension as negotiations over year-end spending bills and another federal relief package continue.

FSA is working with federal student loan servicers to notify borrowers of the extension, according to the release. Some borrowers had already received emails letting them know payments were due again in January.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, non-payments will continue to count toward the number of payments required under an income-driven repayment plan, a loan rehabilitation agreement, or the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Additionally, wage garnishments for borrowers in default will still be discontinued and any borrowers who have their wages garnished will receive refunds.

Publication Date: 12/4/2020

August 2020: ED Announces Trump’s Executive Order Extending Borrower Relief Will Be Automatic

By Owen Daugherty, and Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Staff Reporters

The Department of Education (ED) on Friday officially announced that student loan borrowers' federal loan payments, as a part of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order, will be automatically paused through December 2020, interest free, with no opt-in request needed. 

Collections on defaulted loans will also remain halted until 2021, and non-payments will count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and income-driven repayment (IDR) progress, the department noted in a press release. Borrowers wishing to continue making payments during the suspension period will still be able to do so.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) is “working in partnership with its student loan servicers to notify borrowers of this extension of loan relief measures, and this outreach effort will continue through the fall and toward an eventual return to repayment,” the announcement reads. “FSA’s servicers are working to make these changes, and borrowers can expect to see this extension reflected in their accounts over the next several weeks.”

The notice from ED addresses some of the questions regarding implementation of the executive order, clearing up confusion regarding PSLF and IDR progress, though the timing could create an obstacle as some borrowers were already receiving notices from their loan servicers saying  their payments are scheduled to resume at the end of September.

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, students can continue their education and borrowers can enjoy relief from some of the financial stress many may be facing due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “We want everyone to be focused on a safe return to full-time learning. The president and I will continue to support the success of all students.”

Prior to the executive action taken by Trump or this latest announcement from ED, NASFAA had written to congressional leaders calling for student loan borrower protections enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including the suspension of payments and interest accrual, to be extended before they expire at the end of September.

While few policy differences have been resolved in the latest round of coronavirus relief talks, Congress is rapidly approaching a jam-packed legislative session in September that will require the enactment of some sort of spending measure, which could contain additional aid to student loan borrowers and the higher education community. However, negotiations on additional aid remain fluid. 

Publication Date: 8/21/2020

Financial Services from External Sources: The OFA of AMS has learned free financial consultations are being offered at AMS, promoted by external companies.  We are posting this note to alert you that OFA does not endorse these services nor do we know about them in advance of their visit to our campus.  We caution students and residents to make informed decisions, shop around for advice and educate yourself before paying an advisor to help navigate the loan repayment process.

April 2018:  A $350 million fund has been established to help borrowers in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) meet program requirements. Please read the NY Times article detailing this fund and how it may benefit you.  

Graduated and Working in Rhode Island?  Consider the 2018 Wavemaker Fellowship where you could receive an annual refundable tax credit against your RI income tax to defray the cost of student loan repayments.  Applications for 2018 available January 2018.  For more details, please visit their website.

Fannie Mae Introduces Innovative Solutions for Borrowers with Student Loan Debt:  Innovations Help Borrowers Pay Down Student Debt and Overcome Debt Related Obstacles When Buying a Home article is worth a read.

Exit Program: The following presentation, Loan Repayment; Building a Strategy, was offered to the MD'19 class on March 27. If you were unable to attend and/or need a refresher, please view at your leisure. 

Month-by-Month To-Do List

A helpful guide of deadlines, items to consider, relevant forms, and other information you'll need during the financial aid process.

Helpful Links

Information for Residents

Recordings of How to Manage Your Student Loans During Residency (Full Length), Where to StartThe Effects of Postponing PaymentsChoosing the Best Repayment PlanPublic Service Loan Forgiveness, and Consolidation, Refinancing and Taxes are available for your viewing.

The National Association of Financial Aid Administrators recently published the following article that may impact the servicing of your federal loans - ED Announces Move to Single Student Loan Servicer.  

Physicianloans has increased their maximum loan amount up to $750K with no money down for qualified homebuyers.

Timeline for Residents

Fall of Intern Year  

Select a repayment plan for your Direct/PLUS Loans while your loans are still in the grace period. Decide whether you would like to consolidate and combine your Perkins or LDS Loans with your Direct/PLUS Loans. Consolidation allows you to roll these into one new loan that you can repay using one of the income-driven repayment plans.

After November 15th, complete and submit a Brown Residency Deferment Application for your Brown Institutional Loans. Complete your portion of the form and forward it to your residency program coordinator. The coordinator will need to complete and certify/stamp the bottom portion of this form.  Then return to the Brown Loan Office for processing.  New paperwork must be submitted each year.  Have more questions?  Please visit the Brown Loan Office website.

The first payment is due in December on Direct/PLUS loans and must be sent to your federal loan servicer.  

Winter of Intern Year  

The first payment is due on January 1st for your Brown Institutional Loans and must be sent to the Loan Office, unless you have completed the residency deferment process above. Visit the Heartland ECSI website to review your loans and make payments online.

The first payment is due on April 1st for your Perkins Loans and must be sent to the Loan Office, unless you have completed the forbearance process above.  Visit the Heartland ECSI website to review your loans and make payments online.  Have you considered consolidating your Perkins loans into at least one of your Direct loans?  This would reclassify your Perkins loans as federal loans and an IDR and possible PSLF would then be available.

Ongoing During Residency 

When you've chosen an income driven repayment plan (IBR, PAYE, or REPAYE) for your federal loans, remember that you will need to verify your income each year, as early as August and September.  So, be careful to pay attention to emails you receive from your servicer. 

Consider completing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Certification form with your employer annually to keep track of months earned.  See form below-make sure all section are completed prior to submitting.   

You must plan on reapplying if you wish to extend a deferment or forbearance for your Brown loans. The deferments and forbearances are typically granted for 6 to 12 months at a time. (Ex: The Medical Loan offers 36 months of residency deferment. If your initial residency deferment is granted for 12 months, you will need to complete the entire deferment process again each November.)

Helpful Links