Student loans are available for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. These loans may be a necessity to attend and complete college; however, be mindful of your debt load and borrow only what you need.
Eligibility for all student loans is determined by your school’s financial aid office from information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information or to complete the FAFSA, go to A Guide to the FAFSA.
If you are borrowing a Federal Stafford loan, you must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
- Student loans must be repaid with interest. Interest usually continues to be charged until the loan is paid in full. For interest rates on Stafford and PLUS loans in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, go to Student Aid on the Web.
- For information on repayment plans go to Student Aid on the Web.
- Your loan repayment amount can be calculated at Get Money Smarts.
- For information on deferment/forbearance options
- Deferments- A deferment is a temporary postponement of payments on your student loan if you meet specific requirements. For more information click here.
- Forbearance- Like a deferment, forbearance temporarily postpones your federal student loan payments. For more information on forbearance click here.
- Additional information on managing your student loans can be found here.
Your loan can go into default if you have not been able to make a payment in at least 270 days.
The Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program offers a number of solutions if you cannot make a payment or if you have already defaulted and are trying to return your loan to good standing. If you are close to default, please call our Default Prevention Unit at 1-877-293-8946, or e-mail Default Prevention. If your loans have already defaulted and you would like to discuss your options, please call our Default Resolution Unit at 1-800-322-3086 or e-mail Default Resolution.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
The PSLF Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program) loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers. Since you must make 120 qualifying payments on your eligible federal student loans after October 1, 2007 before you qualify for the loan forgiveness, the first forgiveness of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017. More information on this program can be found here.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you havePLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness. More information on this program can be found here.
Several loan repayment and assistance programs are available through the Montana University System.
Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program
The Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program provides for the direct repayment of educational loans. The total loan repayment assistance may not exceed $3,000 per year for up to four years. Qualified applicants will be ranked based on a scoring system that takes into account the impacted schools and academic areas. More information including eligibility requirements and applications for this program can be found at the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program.
Montana Rural Physician Incentive Program
The Montana Rural Physician Incentive Trust Fund was established to facilitate payment of qualified educational debts of rural physicians who serve communities or populations that are medically underserved and where there is a demonstrated need for medical services. The trust is funded by fees assessed to all Montana allopathic and osteopathic medical students participating in the WICHE and WWAMI programs. More information including eligibility requirements and applications for this program can be found here.
Montana Institutional Nursing Incentive Program
The Montana Institutional Nursing Incentive Program is a loan reimbursement program for individuals who are licensed to practice as a registered professional nurse and who are currently employed as a full-time registered professional nurse by either the Montana state prison or the Montana state hospital. More information on this program can be found here.