34 CFR 674.33 - Repayment.
(a) Repayment Plan.
(1) The institution shall establish a repayment plan before the student ceases to be at least a half-time regular student.
(2) If the last scheduled payment would be $25 or less the institution may combine it with the next-to-last repayment.
(3) If the installment payment for all loans made to a borrower by an institution is not a multiple of $5, the institution may round that payment to the next highest dollar amount that is a multiple of $5.
(4) The institution shall apply any payment on a loan in the following order:
(i) Collection costs.
(ii) Late charges.
(iii) Accrued interest.
(b) Minimum monthly repayment -
(1) Minimum monthly repayment option.
(i) An institution may require a borrower to pay a minimum monthly repayment if -
(A) The promissory note includes a minimum monthly repayment provision specifying the amount of the minimum monthly repayment; and
(B) The monthly repayment of principal and interest for a 10-year repayment period is less than the minimum monthly repayment; or
(ii) An institution may require a borrower to pay a minimum monthly repayment if the borrower has received loans with different interest rates at the same institution and the total monthly repayment would otherwise be less than the minimum monthly repayment.
(2) Minimum monthly repayment of loans from more than one institution. If a borrower has received loans from more than one institution and has notified the institution that he or she wants the minimum monthly payment determination to be based on payments due to other institutions, the following rules apply:
(i) If the total of the monthly repayments is equal to at least the minimum monthly repayment, no institution may exercise a minimum monthly repayment option.
(ii) If only one institution exercises the minimum monthly repayment option when the monthly repayment would otherwise be less than the minimum repayment option, that institution receives the difference between the minimum monthly repayment and the repayment owed to the other institution.
(iii) If each institution exercises the minimum repayment option, the minimum monthly repayment must be divided among the institutions in proportion to the amount of principal advanced by each institution.
(3) Minimum monthly repayment of both Defense and NDSL or Federal Perkins loans from one or more institutions. If the borrower has notified the institution that he or she wants the minimum monthly payment determination to be based on payments due to other institutions, and if the total monthly repayment is less than $30 and the monthly repayment on a Defense loan is less than $15 a month, the amount attributed to the Defense loan may not exceed $15 a month.
(4) Minimum monthly repayment of loans with differing grace periods and deferments. If the borrower has received loans with different grace periods and deferments, the institution shall treat each note separately, and the borrower shall pay the applicable minimum monthly payment for a loan that is not in the grace or deferment period.
(5) Hardship. The institution may reduce the borrower's scheduled repayments for a period of not more than one year at a time if -
(i) It determines that the borrower is unable to make the scheduled repayments due to hardship (see § 674.33(c)); and
(ii) The borrower's scheduled repayment is the minimum monthly repayment described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(6) Minimum monthly repayment rates. For the purposes of this section, the minimum monthly repayment rate is -
(i) $15 for a Defense loan;
(ii) $30 for an NDSL Loan or for a Federal Perkins loan made before October 1, 1992, or for a Federal Perkins loan made on or after October 1, 1992, to a borrower who, on the date the loan is made, has an outstanding balance of principal or interest owing on any loan made under this part; or
(iii) $40 for a Federal Perkins loan made on or after October 1, 1992, to a borrower who, on the date the loan is made, has no outstanding balance of principal or interest owing on any loan made under this part.
(7) The institution shall determine the minimum repayment amount under paragraph (b) of this section for loans with repayment installment intervals greater than one month by multiplying the amounts in paragraph (b) of this section by the number of months in the installment interval.
(c) Extension of repayment period -
(1) Hardship. The institution may extend a borrower's repayment period due to prolonged illness or unemployment.
(2) Low-income individual.
(i) For Federal Perkins loans and NDSLs made on or after October 1, 1980, the institution may extend the borrower's repayment period up to 10 additional years beyond the 10-year maximum repayment period if the institution determines during the course of the repayment period that the borrower is a “low-income individual.” The borrower qualifies for an extension of the repayment period on the basis of low-income status only during the period in which the borrower meets the criteria described in paragraph (c)(2)(i) (A) or (B) of this section. The term low-income individual means the following:
(A) For an unmarried borrower without dependents, an individual whose total income for the preceding calendar year did not exceed 45 percent of the Income Protection Allowance for the current award year for a family of four with one in college.
(B) For a borrower with a family that includes the borrower and any spouse or legal dependents, an individual whose total family income for the preceding calendar year did not exceed 125 percent of the Income Protection Allowance for the current award year for a family with one in college and equal in size to that of the borrower's family.
(ii) The institution shall use the Income Protection Allowance published annually in accordance with section 478 of the HEA in making this determination.
(iii) The institution shall review the borrower's status annually to determine whether the borrower continues to qualify for an extended repayment period based on his or her status as a “low-income individual.”
(iv) Upon determining that a borrower ceases to qualify for an extended repayment period under this section, the institution shall amend the borrower's repayment schedule. The term of the amended repayment schedule may not exceed the number of months remaining on the original repayment schedule, provided that the institution may not include the time elapsed during any extension of the repayment period granted under this section in determining the number of months remaining on the original repayment schedule.
(3) Interest continues to accrue during any extension of a repayment period.
(1) Forbearance means the temporary cessation of payments, allowing an extension of time for making payments, or temporarily accepting smaller payments than previously were scheduled.
(2) Upon receipt of a request and supporting documentation, the institution shall grant the borrower forbearance of principal and, unless otherwise indicated by the borrower, interest renewable at intervals of up to 12 months for periods that collectively do not exceed three years.
(3) The terms of forbearance must be agreed upon, in writing, by the borrower and the institution. The school confirms this agreement by notice to the borrower, and by recording the terms in the borrower's file.
(4) In granting a forbearance under this section, an institution shall grant a temporary cessation of payments, unless the borrower chooses another form of forbearance subject to paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(5) An institution shall grant forbearance if -
(i) The amount of the payments the borrower is obligated to make on title IV loans each month (or a proportional share if the payments are due less frequently than monthly) is collectively equal to or greater than 20 percent of the borrower's total monthly gross income;
(ii) The institution determines that the borrower should qualify for the forbearance due to poor health or for other acceptable reasons; or
(iii) The Secretary authorizes a period of forbearance due to a national military mobilization or other national emergency.
(6) Before granting a forbearance to a borrower under paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section, the institution shall require the borrower to submit at least the following documentation:
(i) Evidence showing the amount of the most recent total monthly gross income received by the borrower; and
(ii) Evidence showing the amount of the monthly payments owed by the borrower for the most recent month for the borrower's title IV loans.
(7) Interest accrues during any period of forbearance.
(8) The institution may not include the periods of forbearance described in this paragraph in determining the 10-year repayment period.
(e) Compromise of repayment.
(1) An institution may compromise on the repayment of a defaulted loan if -
(i) The institution has fully complied with all due diligence requirements specified in subpart C of this part; and
(ii) The student borrower pays in a single lump-sum payment -
(A) 90 percent of the outstanding principal balance on the loan under this part;
(B) The interest due on the loan; and
(C) Any collection fees due on the loan.
(2) The Federal share of the compromise repayment must bear the same relation to the institution's share of the compromise repayment as the Federal capital contribution to the institution's loan Fund under this part bears to the institution's capital contribution to the Fund.
(1) Incentive repayment program. An institution may establish the following repayment incentives:
(i) A reduction of no more than one percent of the interest rate on a loan on which the borrower has made 48 consecutive, monthly repayments.
(ii) A discount of no more than five percent on the balance owed on a loan which the borrower pays in full prior to the end of the repayment period.
(iii) With the Secretary's approval, any other incentive the institution determines will reduce defaults and replenish its Fund.
(2) Limitation on the use of funds.
(i) The institution must reimburse its Fund, on at least a quarterly basis, for money lost to its Fund that otherwise would have been paid by the borrower as a result of establishing a repayment incentive under paragraphs (f)(1)(i), (ii) and (iii) of this section.
(ii) An institution may not use Federal funds, including Federal funds from the student loan fund, or institutional funds from the student loan fund to pay for any repayment incentive authorized by this section.
(g) Closed school discharge -
(i) The holder of an NDSL or a Federal Perkins Loan discharges the borrower's (and any endorser's) obligation to repay the loan if the borrower did not complete the program of study for which the loan was made because the school at which the borrower was enrolled closed.
(ii) For the purposes of this section -
(A) A school's closure date is the date that the school ceases to provide educational instruction in all programs, as determined by the Secretary;
(B) “School” means a school's main campus or any location or branch of the main campus; and
(C) The “holder” means the Secretary or the school that holds the loan.
(2) Relief pursuant to discharge.
(i) Discharge under this section relieves the borrower of any past or present obligation to repay the loan and any accrued interest or collection costs with respect to the loan.
(ii) The discharge of a loan under this section qualifies the borrower for reimbursement of amounts paid voluntarily or through enforced collection on the loan.
(iii) A borrower who has defaulted on a loan discharged under this section is not considered to have been in default on the loan after discharge, and such a borrower is eligible to receive assistance under programs authorized by title IV of the HEA.
(iv) The Secretary or the school, if the school holds the loan, reports the discharge of a loan under this section to all credit bureaus to which the status of the loan was previously reported.
(3) Determination of borrower qualification for discharge by the Secretary. The Secretary may discharge the borrower's obligation to repay an NDSL or Federal Perkins Loan without an application if the Secretary determines that -
(i) The borrower qualified for and received a discharge on a loan pursuant to 34 CFR 682.402(d) (Federal Family Education Loan Program) or 34 CFR 685.213 (Federal Direct Loan Program), and was unable to receive a discharge on an NDSL or Federal Perkins Loan because the Secretary lacked the statutory authority to discharge the loan; or
(ii) Based on information in the Secretary's possession, the borrower qualifies for a discharge.
(4) Borrower qualification for discharge. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, in order to qualify for discharge of an NDSL or Federal Perkins Loan, a borrower must submit to the holder of the loan a written request and sworn statement, and the factual assertions in the statement must be true. The statement need not be notarized but must be made by the borrower under penalty of perjury. In the statement the borrower must -
(i) State that the borrower -
(A) Received the proceeds of a loan to attend a school;
(B) Did not complete the program of study at that school because the school closed while the student was enrolled, or the student withdrew from the school not more than 120 days before the school closed. The Secretary may extend the 120-day period if the Secretary determines that exceptional circumstances related to the school's closing justify an extension. Exceptional circumstances for this purpose may include, but are not limited to: the school's loss of accreditation; The school's discontinuation of the majority of its academic programs; action by the State to revoke the school's license to operate or award academic credentials in the State; or a finding by a State or Federal government agency that the school violated State or Federal law; and
(C) Did not complete and is not in the process of completing the program of study through a teachout at another school as defined in 34 CFR 602.2 and administered in accordance with 34 CFR 602.207(b)(6), by transferring academic credit earned at the closed school to another school, or by any other comparable means;
(ii) State whether the borrower has made a claim with respect to the school's closing with any third party, such as the holder of a performance bond or a tuition recovery program, and, if so, the amount of any payment received by the borrower or credited to the borrower's loan obligation; and
(iii) State that the borrower -
(A) Agrees to provide to the holder of the loan upon request other documentation reasonably available to the borrower that demonstrates that the borrower meets the qualifications for discharge under this section; and
(B) Agrees to cooperate with the Secretary in enforcement actions in accordance with paragraph (g)(6) of this section and to transfer any right to recovery against a third party to the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (g)(7) of this section.
(5) Fraudulently obtained loans. A borrower who secured a loan through fraudulent means, as determined by the ruling of a court or an administrative tribunal of competent jurisdiction, is ineligible for a discharge under this section.
(6) Cooperation by borrower in enforcement actions.
(i) In order to obtain a discharge under this section, a borrower must cooperate with the Secretary in any judicial or administrative proceeding brought by the Secretary to recover amounts discharged or to take other enforcement action with respect to the conduct on which the discharge was based. At the request of the Secretary and upon the Secretary's tendering to the borrower the fees and costs that are customarily provided in litigation to reimburse witnesses, the borrower must -
(A) Provide testimony regarding any representation made by the borrower to support a request for discharge;
(B) Provide any documents reasonably available to the borrower with respect to those representations; and
(C) If required by the Secretary, provide a sworn statement regarding those documents and representations.
(ii) The holder denies the request for a discharge or revokes the discharge of a borrower who -
(A) Fails to provide the testimony, documents, or a sworn statement required under paragraph (g)(6)(i) of this section; or
(B) Provides testimony, documents, or a sworn statement that does not support the material representations made by the borrower to obtain the discharge.
(7) Transfer to the Secretary of borrower's right of recovery against third parties.
(i) In the case of a loan held by the Secretary, upon discharge under this section, the borrower is deemed to have assigned to and relinquished in favor of the Secretary any right to a loan refund (up to the amount discharged) that the borrower may have by contract or applicable law with respect to the loan or the enrollment agreement for the program for which the loan was received, against the school, its principals, its affiliates and their successors, its sureties, and any private fund, including the portion of a public fund that represents funds received from a private party.
(ii) The provisions of this section apply notwithstanding any provision of State law that would otherwise restrict transfer of those rights by the borrower, limit or prevent a transferee from exercising those rights, or establish procedures or a scheme of distribution that would prejudice the Secretary's ability to recover on those rights.
(iii) Nothing in this section limits or forecloses the borrower's right to pursue legal and equitable relief regarding disputes arising from matters unrelated to the discharged NDSL or Federal Perkins Loan.
(8) Discharge procedures.
(i) After confirming the date of a school's closure, the holder of the loan identifies any NDSL or Federal Perkins Loan borrower who appears to have been enrolled at the school on the school closure date or to have withdrawn not more than 120 days prior to the closure date.
(ii) If the borrower's current address is known, the holder of the loan mails the borrower a discharge application and an explanation of the qualifications and procedures for obtaining a discharge. The holder of the loan also promptly suspends any efforts to collect from the borrower on any affected loan. The holder of the loan may continue to receive borrower payments.
(iii) In the case of a loan held by the Secretary, if the borrower's current address is unknown, the Secretary attempts to locate the borrower and determine the borrower's potential eligibility for a discharge under this section by consulting with representatives of the closed school or representatives of the closed school's third-party billing and collection servicers, the school's licensing agency, the school accrediting agency, and other appropriate parties. If the Secretary learns the new address of a borrower, the Secretary mails to the borrower a discharge application and explanation and suspends collection, as described in paragraph (g)(8)(ii) of this section.
(iv) In the case of a loan held by a school, if the borrower's current address is unknown, the school attempts to locate the borrower and determine the borrower's potential eligibility for a discharge under this section by taking steps required to locate the borrower under § 674.44.
(v) If the borrower fails to submit the written request and sworn statement described in paragraph (g)(4) of this section within 60 days of the holder of the loan's mailing the discharge application, the holder of the loan resumes collection and grants forbearance of principal and interest for the period during which collection activity was suspended.
(vi) If the holder of the loan determines that a borrower who requests a discharge meets the qualifications for a discharge, the holder of the loan notifies the borrower in writing of that determination.
(vii) In the case of a loan held by the Secretary, if the Secretary determines that a borrower who requests a discharge does not meet the qualifications for a discharge, the Secretary notifies that borrower, in writing, of that determination and the reasons for the determination.
(viii) In the case of a loan held by a school, if the school determines that a borrower who requests a discharge does not meet the qualifications for discharge, the school submits that determination and all supporting materials to the Secretary for approval. The Secretary reviews the materials, makes an independent determination, and notifies the borrower in writing of the determination and the reasons for the determination.
(ix) In the case of a loan held by a school and discharged by either the school or the Secretary, the school must reimburse its Fund for the entire amount of any outstanding principal and interest on the loan, and any collection costs charged to the Fund as a result of collection efforts on a discharged loan. The school must also reimburse the borrower for any amount of principal, interest, late charges or collection costs the borrower paid on a loan discharged under this section.