FAQ

Undergraduate Loan

Am I eligible for a PA Forward Undergraduate Loan?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be enrolled or plan to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree, certificate, or diploma granting program at an eligible school.
  • Be a PA resident attending an
    approved school

    Approved School

    Federally-approved educational institution under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965

    in or out of PA or a student from an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA, and OH) attending an approved PA school.
  • Be a U.S. citizen/national or a Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S. with a permanent resident card (Green Card).
  • Be a borrower/co-signer who meets the minimum credit requirements.
How much can I borrow?
  • Each year, you may borrow up to the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation expenses, and miscellaneous expenses) minus any financial aid you are receiving (including other loans and work study) as certified by your school’s financial aid office.
    Aggregate loan limits

    Aggregate loan limits

    Total amount of PA Forward Student Loans borrowed and disbursed during a student’s academic career.

    for a PA Forward Student Loan ($150,000) apply.
  • The minimum loan amount is $1,500.
Do I need a co-signer?
If you have not reached the
age of majority

Age of Majority

The age a person is considered an adult.

based on the law of your state of residence, you will be required to obtain a co-signer. You may also be required to obtain a co-signer if you don't meet the minimum credit requirements.
NOTE: Approval for private loans is based on your credit score, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio. Although you may not be required to obtain a co-signer, you may benefit from a
creditworthy

Creditworthy

Having a satisfactory credit rating

co-signer if you do not meet the minimum credit requirements. Having a co-signer may increase your chances that the loan will be approved and, perhaps, may get you a better interest rate.
What is Co-signer Release?

The PA Forward Student Loan Program allows for co-signers to be released from their responsibilities after meeting certain requirements.

Co-signer release requirements include:

  • Making 48 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest while in repayment, excluding deferment and forbearance time.
    • Payments are considered on-time if they are received no later than 15 days after the due date.
    • A lump sum payment counts as one qualifying payment.
  • Upon completion of making 48 consecutive on-time payments, the borrower must provide proof of income, as well as pass a debt-to-income calculation and credit check.
  • Must be in repayment making your full billed monthly payment amount.
  • The use of any deferment or forbearance will not count towards the co-signer release payment counter. The payment counter will resume once the deferment or forbearance ends.

Once the co-signer is released, they will no longer be held responsible for the repayment of loan. This responsibility will remain solely with the original borrower of the loan. If you have any questions, please contact American Education Services, the servicer of the loan.

What is the interest rate on the PA Forward Student Loan?

We offer competitive, fixed interest rates. Because the interest rate depends on your credit score/history the rate can range from:

4.03%1 – 6.56% APR2

1 Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Calculations - The lowest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $10,000 made in a single disbursement, a borrower who selected an Immediate Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 120 months, monthly payments of $100.78 and a final payment $78.64, a fixed periodic interest rate of 4.47%, and total payments of $12,149.33. The borrower in this sample qualified for a 0.25% Direct Debit benefit for the entirety of the repayment period and a 0.50% Graduation benefit was applied 47 months into repayment.

2 The highest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $10,000 made in a single disbursement, a borrower who selected a Fully Deferred Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 180 months, monthly payments of $116.26, a fixed periodic interest rate of 6.92%, and total payments of $20,925.92. The borrower received an in-school deferment of 46 months and a grace period of 6 months. The borrower in this sample did not qualify for any interest rate discounts.

Please note these APRs are estimates and may differ from the actual rates received.

NOTE: Subject to aggregate loan limits.

Applicants, including co-signers, are subject to credit qualifications, completion of an application and credit agreement, and verification of application information.

PHEAA reserves the right to discontinue all programs or benefits without prior notice

What is a Graduation Benefit?

We believe graduating is a great accomplishment and we want to reward you! Therefore, upon graduation and when you enter repayment, you will receive a 0.50% interest rate reduction.

NOTE: You will not be required to notify us when you graduate as we typically receive enrollment information directly from your school. Once we receive notification you graduated, we will apply the 0.50% interest rate reduction to your account.

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is a free, automated payment service. It's not only convenient—you don't have to write a check or pay for a stamp—you will also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you use Direct Debit.

What are my repayment plan options?
  • Immediate Repayment- If you want to get a head start on paying back your loan right away, this is the option to choose. With this option you will:
    • Be eligible for the lowest interest rate available
    • Pay your loan off earlier
    • Pay the least amount of interest over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options
    NOTE: Your first payment will be due within 30 to 60 days after the date of your final
    disbursement

    Disbursement

    Disbursement is the transfer of loan funds from a lender to the school

    .
  • Interest Only- If you want to avoid
    interest capitalization

    Interest Capitalization

    Capitalization is the addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. Capitalization of interest results in a higher principal balance and additional finance charges over the course of repayment and may cause your monthly amount to increase.

    this is the repayment option for you! With this option you will:
    • Be responsible to pay the accrued interest during school
    • Enter repayment with the starting principal balance of the original amount you borrowed
    NOTE: Interest payments will begin 30 to 60 days after the loan’s first disbursement. Full payments, payments made toward principal and interest, will not begin until 30 to 60 days after the expiration of your
    grace period

    Grace Period

    A grace period is a 6-month period before the first payment on a loan is due. The grace period begins the day after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status and ends the day before repayment begins.

    .
  • Partial Interest Payment- To get a head start on paying the interest that accrues on your loan; this is a great option for you! With this option you will:
    • Be required to pay a fixed $25.00 a month payment that is applied toward your loan while you are in school
    • Have less interest capitalize when you enter repayment
    NOTE: Payments will begin 30 to 60 days after the loan’s first disbursement. Full payments, payments made toward principal and interest, will not begin until after the expiration of your grace period.
  • Full Deferral- If you don’t want to worry about making payments until you leave school, this option is available to you! With this option you will:
    • Not have to make payments while in school; however, will end up paying the most amount of money over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options
    NOTE: Payments will not be due until after you separate from school and any applicable grace period has expired.
What do I need to apply?

Below are the items you should have ready when filling out your application:

  • Name, address, and telephone number
  • Date of birth and Social Security Number
  • Email address
  • Name and location of school you are or plan on attending
  • Annual income
  • Grade level and anticipated graduation date
  • Academic period for which you would like to receive the loan
  • Co-signer's name and email address (if applicable)
How do I save money on simple interest loans?

There are three easy ways to save money on your loan:

  • Pay early
    • If you make your payment before your due date, more of the payment will be applied towards principal
  • Pay more frequently
    • Making payments more frequently, such as making bi-weekly payments, can help lower your principal balance and interest amount paid. By making payments every 2 weeks you end up making an extra full payment a year.
  • Pay extra
    • Making a lump sum or paying more than your monthly payment can lower your principal faster, which means you accrue less interest.

Graduate Loan

Am I eligible for a PA Forward Graduate Loan?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a student enrolled or plan to be enrolled at least half-time seeking an advanced degree such as masters, doctoral, law, health profession, certificate, diploma, or others at an eligible school.
  • Be a PA resident attending an
    approved school

    Approved School

    Federally-approved educational institution under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965

    in or out of PA or a student from an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA, and OH) attending an approved PA school.
  • Be a U.S. citizen/national or a Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S. with a permanent resident card (Green Card).
  • Be a borrower/co-signer who meets the minimum credit requirements.
How much can I borrow?
  • Each year, you may borrow up to the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, trance expenses, and miscellaneous expenses) minus any financial aid you are receiving (including other loans and work study) as certified by your school's financial aid office.
    Aggregate loan limits

    Aggregate loan limits

    Total amount of PA Forward Student Loans borrowed and disbursed during a student’s academic career.

    for a PA Forward Student Loan ($300,000) apply.
  • The minimum loan amount is $1,500.
Do I need a co-signer?
If you have not reached the
age of majority

Age of Majority

The age a person is considered an adult.

based on the law of your state of residence, you will be required to obtain a co-signer. You may also be required to obtain a co-signer if you don’t meet the minimum credit requirements.
NOTE: Approval for private loans is based on your credit score, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio. Although you may not be required to obtain a co-signer, you may benefit from a
creditworthy

Creditworthy

Having a satisfactory credit rating

co-signer if you do not meet the minimum credit requirements. Having a co-signer may increase your chances that the loan will be approved and, perhaps, may get you a better interest rate.
What is Co-signer Release?

The PA Forward Student Loan Program allows for co-signers to be released from their responsibilities after meeting certain requirements.

Co-signer release requirements include:

  • Making 48 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest while in repayment, excluding deferment and forbearance time.
    • Payments are considered on-time if they are received no later than 15 days after the due date.
    • A lump sum payment counts as one qualifying payment.
  • Upon completion of making 48 consecutive on-time payments, the borrower must provide proof of income, as well as pass a debt-to-income calculation and credit check.
  • Must be in repayment making your full billed monthly payment amount.
  • The use of any deferment or forbearance will not count towards the co-signer release payment counter. The payment counter will resume once the deferment or forbearance ends.

Once the co-signer is released, they will no longer be held responsible for the repayment of loan. This responsibility will remain solely with the original borrower of the loan. If you have any questions, please contact American Education Services, the servicer of the loan.

What is the interest rate on the PA Forward Student Loan?

We offer competitive, fixed interest rates. Because the interest rate depends on your credit score/history the rate can range from:

4.03%1 – 6.56% APR2

1 Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Calculations - The lowest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $10,000 made in a single disbursement, a borrower who selected an Immediate Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 120 months, monthly payments of $100.78 and a final payment $78.64, a fixed periodic interest rate of 4.47%, and total payments of $12,149.33. The borrower in this sample qualified for a 0.25% Direct Debit benefit for the entirety of the repayment period and a 0.50% Graduation benefit was applied 47 months into repayment.

2 The highest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $10,000 made in a single disbursement, a borrower who selected a Fully Deferred Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 180 months, monthly payments of $116.26, a fixed periodic interest rate of 6.92%, and total payments of $20,925.92. The borrower received an in-school deferment of 46 months and a grace period of 6 months. The borrower in this sample did not qualify for any interest rate discounts.

Please note these APRs are estimates and may differ from the actual rates received.

NOTE: Subject to aggregate loan limits.

Applicants, including co-signers, are subject to credit qualifications, completion of an application and credit agreement, and verification of application information.

PHEAA reserves the right to discontinue all programs or benefits without prior notice

What is a Graduation Benefit?

We believe graduating is a great accomplishment and we want to reward you! Therefore, upon graduation and when you enter repayment, you will receive a 0.50% interest rate reduction.

NOTE: You will not be required to notify us when you graduate as we typically receive enrollment information directly from your school. Once we receive notification you graduated, we will apply the 0.50% interest rate reduction to your account.

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is a free, automated payment service. It's not only convenient—you don't have to write a check or pay for a stamp—you will also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you use Direct Debit.

What are my repayment plan options?
  • Immediate Repayment- If you want to get a head start on paying back your loan right away, this is the option to choose. With this option you will:
    • Be eligible for the lowest interest rate available
    • Pay your loan off earlier
    • Pay the least amount of interest over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options
    NOTE: Your first payment will be due within 30 to 60 days after the date of your final
    disbursement

    Disbursement

    Disbursement is the transfer of loan funds from a lender to the school

    .
  • Interest Only- If you want to avoid
    interest capitalization

    Interest Capitalization

    Capitalization is the addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. Capitalization of interest results in a higher principal balance and additional finance charges over the course of repayment and may cause your monthly amount to increase.

    this is the repayment option for you! With this option you will:
    • Be responsible to pay the accrued interest during school
    • Enter repayment with the starting principal balance of the original amount you borrowed
    NOTE: Interest payments will begin 30 to 60 days after the loan’s first disbursement. Full payments, payments made toward principal and interest, will not begin until 30 to 60 days after the expiration of your
    grace period

    Grace Period

    A grace period is a 6-month period before the first payment on a loan is due. The grace period begins the day after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status and ends the day before repayment begins.

    .
  • Partial Interest Payment- To get a head start on paying the interest that accrues on your loan; this is a great option for you! With this option you will:
    • Be required to pay a fixed $25.00 a month payment that is applied toward your loan while you are in school
    • Have less interest capitalize when you enter repayment
    NOTE: Payments will begin 30 to 60 days after the loan’s first disbursement. Full payments, payments made toward principal and interest, will not begin until after the expiration of your grace period.
  • Full Deferral- If you don’t want to worry about making payments until you leave school, this option is available to you! With this option you will:
    • Not have to make payments while in school; however, will end up paying the most amount of money over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options.
    NOTE: Payments will not be due until after you separate from school and any applicable grace period has expired.
What do I need to apply?

Below are the items you should have ready when filling out your application:

  • Name, address, and telephone number
  • Date of birth and Social Security Number
  • Email address
  • Name and location of school you are or plan on attending
  • Annual income
  • Grade level and anticipated graduation date
  • Academic period for which you would like to receive the loan
  • Co-signer's name and email address (if applicable)
How do I save money on simple interest loans?

There are three easy ways to save money on your loan:

  • Pay early
    • If you make your payment before you due date, more of the payment will be applied towards principal
  • Pay more frequently
    • Making payments more frequently, such as making bi-weekly payments, can help lower your principal balance and interest amount paid. By making payments every 2 weeks you end up making an extra full payment a year.
  • Pay extra
    • Making a lump sum or paying more than your monthly payment can lower your principal faster, which means you accrue less interest.

Parent Loan

Am I eligible for a PA Forward Parent Loan?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a PA resident or a resident of an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA, and OH) and be the biological or adoptive parent or
    legal guardian

    Legal Guardian

    Anyone who is providing support to a dependent student.

    of the student; OR
  • Be the spouse of the student’s parent and considered to be a parent in accordance with the instructions on the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the purposes of reporting income and assets on the FAFSA.
  • The student must be attending an
    approved school

    Approved School

    Federally-approved educational institution under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965

    in or out of PA or a student from an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA, and OH) attending an approved PA school.
  • Be a U.S. citizen/national or a Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S. with a permanent resident card (Green Card).
  • Be a borrower who meets the minimum credit requirements.
How much can I borrow?
  • Each year, you may borrow up to the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation expenses, and miscellaneous expenses) minus any financial aid your student is receiving (including other loans and work study) as certified by your student’s financial aid office.
    Aggregate loan limits

    Aggregate loan limits

    Total amount of PA Forward Student Loans borrowed and disbursed during a student’s academic career.

    for a PA Forward Student Loan ($150,000) apply.
  • The minimum loan amount is $1,500.
What is the interest rate on the PA Forward Student Loan?

We offer competitive, fixed interest rates. Because the interest rate depends on your credit score/history the rate can range from:

4.21%1 – 6.40% APR2

1 Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Calculations: The lowest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $10,000 made in a single disbursement, a borrower who selected an Immediate Repayment Plan, monthly payments of $102.29 for a period of 120 months, a fixed periodic interest rate of 4.47% and total payments of $12,275.28. The borrower in this sample qualified for a 0.25% Direct Debit benefit for the entirety of the repayment period. This APR is an estimate and may differ from the actual rate received.

2 The highest APR is based on the following assumptions. A loan of $10,000 made in a single disbursement, a borrower who selected an Interest Only Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 180 months, monthly payments of $53.50 for 46 months and monthly payments of $86.67 for the remainder of the repayment term, a fixed periodic interest rate of 6.42% and total payments of $18,061.88. The borrower in this sample did not qualify for any interest rate discounts.

This APR is an estimate and may differ from the actual rate received.

NOTE: Subject to aggregate loan limits.

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is a free, automated payment service. It's not only convenient—you don't have to write a check or pay for a stamp—you will also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you use Direct Debit.

What are my repayment plan options?
  • Immediate Repayment- If you want to get a head start on paying back your loan right away, this is the option to choose. With this option you will:
    • Be eligible for the lowest interest rate available
    • Pay your loan off earlier
    • Pay the least amount of interest over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options
    NOTE: Your first payment will be due within 30 to 60 days after the date of your final
    disbursement

    Disbursement

    Disbursement is the transfer of loan funds from a lender to the school

    .
  • Interest Only- If you want to avoid
    interest capitalization

    Interest Capitalization

    Capitalization is the addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. Capitalization of interest results in a higher principal balance and additional finance charges over the course of repayment and may cause your monthly amount to increase.

    this is the repayment option for you! With this option you will:
    • Be responsible to pay the accrued interest while your student is enrolled in school
    • Enter repayment with the starting principal balance of the original amount you borrowed
    NOTE: Interest payments will begin 30 to 60 days after the loan’s first disbursement. Full payments, payments made toward principal and interest, will not begin until the student leaves school or drops below half-time.
What do I need to apply?

Below are the items you should have ready when filling out your application:

  • Name, address, and telephone number
  • Date of birth and Social Security Number
  • Email address
  • Name and location of school you or your student are or plan on attending
  • Annual income
  • Grade level and anticipated graduation date
  • Academic period for which you would like to receive the loan
How do I save money on simple interest loans?

There are three easy ways to save money on your loan:

  • Pay early
    • If you make your payment before you due date, more of the payment will be applied towards principal
  • Pay more frequently
    • Making payments more frequently, such as making bi-weekly payments, can help lower your principal balance and interest amount paid. By making payments every 2 weeks you end up making an extra full payment a year.
  • Pay extra
    • Making a lump sum or paying more than your monthly payment can lower your principal faster, which means you accrue less interest.

Refinance Loan

Am I eligible for a PA Forward Refinance Loan?

To qualify, you must be a:

  • PA resident or resident of an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA, and OH) who is the borrower for the student loans
  • Borrower who is currently in repayment
  • U.S. citizen/national or a Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S. with a permanent resident card (Green Card)
  • Borrower and/or co-signer who meet the minimum credit requirements
How much can I borrow?
Do I need a co-signer?
If you have not reached the
age of majority

Age of Majority

The age a person is considered an adult.

based on the law of your state of residence, you will be required to obtain a co-signer. You may also be required to obtain a co-signer if you don’t meet the minimum credit requirements.
NOTE: Approval for private loans is based on your credit score, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio. Although you may not be required to obtain a co-signer, you may increase your chances that the loan will be approved and, perhaps, may get a better interest rate.
What is Co-signer Release?

The PA Forward Student Loan Program allows for co-signers to be released from their responsibilities after meeting certain requirements.

Co-signer release requirements include:

  • Making 48 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest while in repayment, excluding deferment and forbearance time.
    • Payments are considered on-time if they are received no later than 15 days after the due date.
    • A lump sum payment counts as one qualifying payment.
  • Upon completion of making 48 consecutive on-time payments, the borrower must provide proof of income, as well as pass a debt-to-income calculation and credit check.
  • Must be in repayment making your full billed monthly payment amount.
  • The use of any deferment or forbearance will not count towards the co-signer release payment counter. The payment counter will resume once the deferment or forbearance ends.

Once the co-signer is released, they will no longer be held responsible for the repayment of loan. This responsibility will remain solely with the original borrower of the loan. If you have any questions, please contact American Education Services, the servicer of the loan.

What is the interest rate on the PA Forward Refinance Loan?

We offer competitive, fixed interest rates. Because the interest rate depends on your credit score/history, the rate can range from:

3.72%1 – 7.11% APR2

1 Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Calculations - The lowest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $20,000 made in a single disbursement, an Immediate Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 60 months, monthly on time payments of $365.90, a fixed periodic interest rate of 3.98%, and total payments of $21,953.91. The borrower in this sample qualified for a 0.25% Direct Debit benefit for the entirety of the repayment period.

This APR is an estimate and may differ from the actual rates received.

2 Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Calculations - The highest APR is based on the following assumptions: a loan of $20,000 made in a single disbursement, an Immediate Repayment Plan and a repayment term of 240 months, monthly on time payments of $156.62, a fixed periodic interest rate of 7.13%, and total payments of $37,589.83. The borrower in this sample did not qualify for any interest rate benefits during the repayment period.

This APR is an estimate and may differ from the actual rates received.

NOTE: Subject to aggregate loan limits.

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is a free, automated payment service. It's not only convenient—you don't have to write a check or pay for a stamp—you will also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you use Direct Debit.

What do I need to apply for a PA Forward Refinance Loan?

Below are the items you should have ready when filling out your application:

  • Name, address, and telephone number
  • Date of birth and Social Security Number
  • Email address
  • Annual income
  • Co-signer's name and email address (if applicable)
  • Current account and student loan information
  • Mobile phone to receive one-time passcode
How do I save money on simple interest loans?

There are three easy ways to save money on your loan:

  • Pay early
    • If you make your payment before your due date, more of the payment will be applied towards principal
  • Pay more frequently
    • Making payments more frequently, such as making bi-weekly payments, can help lower your principal balance and interest amount paid. By making payments every 2 weeks you end up making an extra full payment a year.
  • Pay extra
    • Making a lump sum or paying more than your monthly payment can lower your principal faster, which means you accrue less interest.
Can I get a deferment if I go back to school?

Yes. If you go back to school, at least half time, you may qualify for 36 months of an In-School deferment.

What should be included on my loan statement?

A Loan Statement is a recent loan account document provided by your current loan servicer(s) for each loan(s) that you wish to refinance. You will need to provide any Loan Statement(s) with your application for a PA Forward Refinance Loan.

Your loan statement should include:

  • Your name
  • Full account number
  • Servicer name and address
  • Loan balance
  • Loan interest rate
  • Monthly payment amount
If I have an upcoming payment with my existing servicer, prior to my loans being refinanced, should I make the payment?

Yes. We encourage you to continue to make payments until your loans have been refinanced. If there is an overpayment on your underlying loans, your servicer should return the overpayment to us. Upon receiving the overpayment, we will apply it to the principal balance of your PA Forward Refinance loan.

Will checking the rates or applying for a refinance loan affect my credit?

Checking the rates and terms you may qualify for will not affect your credit. However, if you select one of our products and apply for a loan, we will request your credit report from one of the consumer reporting agencies, which will be reported as an inquiry on your credit file.

When is the right time to refinance?

You can submit your refinance application at any time as long as your education loans are in a repayment status.

Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together?

Regrettably, no you cannot combine you and your spouse’s loans in to one loan. However, you can both apply for a PA Forward Refinance Loan separately.

Can a student education loan be refinanced with a parent loan?

If your student took out a student education loan, you may not include their student loan with your parent loan through refinance.

When will my existing loans be paid off?

The payoff of your underlying loans will happen approximately 1 week after the Final Disclosure for your PA Forward Refinance Loan is issued.

What happens if there is an overpayment on my underlying loans?

The servicers of your underlying loans will send overpayments directly to our office. Any overpayments will be applied to the principal balance of your refinance loan as of the date of disbursement to prevent interest from accruing on the overpayment.

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