With our competitive, fixed interest rates, you never need to worry about your interest rate going up!
The interest rate you pay will be determined after you apply. It will be based upon your credit history and other factors, to include:
- Credit score
- Co-signer credit history (if applicable)
- Loan term
- Repayment plan
If approved, we will notify you of the rate you qualify for within the stated range.
Interest Rate Rewards
With our great interest rate rewards, you could save a total 0.75% (0.50% Graduation and 0.25% Direct Debit interest rate rewards) off your fixed interest rate!
Lower Interest Rate for Graduating
We are invested in your future and with that comes a 0.50% interest rate reduction for graduating!
Save Time and Money with Direct Debit
Direct Debit is a free service that sets up an electronic deduction from your checking or savings account each month. You will qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction upon Direct Debit approval.
Helping you cover the costs of college is exactly why the PA Forward Student Loan Program was established.
- Borrow up to 100% certified cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, etc.) up to the aggregate limit of $150,000
- Minimum loan amount: $1,500
- No pre-payment penalty
- No origination or application fees
The PA Forward Student Loan is a loan designed specifically for students enrolled or plan to be enrolled in a degree, certificate, or diploma granting program. This loan is meant for:
- PA residents attending an approved schoolin or out of PA
Federally-approved educational institution under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965
- Students from an approved state (DE, MD, NJ, NY, OH, VA, and WV) attending an approved PA school
- U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens of the U.S.
- Students regardless of enrollment status, including those enrolled less than half-time2
NOTE: PA Forward Student Loans are separate from the PHEAA Pennsylvania State Grant. Eligibility for a PA State Grant does not mean you will be approved for a PA Forward Student Loan.
Repayment Plan Options
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 by making principal and interest payments while in school
- Pay the least amount of interest over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options
Disbursement is the transfer of loan funds from a lender to the school.
For less than half time students, Immediate Repayment is the only repayment plan option.
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.
- Be responsible to pay the accrued interest during school
- Enter repayment with the starting principal balance of the original amount you borrowed
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 payment3 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.
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.
Payments and Terms
- The minimum monthly payment for a PA Forward Student Loan is $50.00 a month, unless you select the Interest Only or Partial Interest Payment repayment plans.
- You have the option to choose between three terms4 to make repayment fit your needs:
NOTE: The longer your term, the more interest you could pay over the life of the loan.
A co-signer is a person who accepts equal responsibility for the repayment of the loan.
Age of Majority
The age a person is considered an adult.
Having a satisfactory credit rating
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.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all payments due between 3/13/2020 and 9/30/2020 count as a qualifying payment for the purposes of co-signer release, regardless if the payment was made.
- 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.
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 60 months, monthly payments of $183.49 and a final payment $175.40, a fixed periodic interest rate of 4.10%, and total payments of $11,001.26. 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.
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 $131.09, a fixed periodic interest rate of 8.20%, and total payments of $23,596.64. 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.
3 Partial Interest Payment – After the in-school and grace periods, any unpaid interest will be repaid along with principal. For example, a borrower of a $10,000.00 loan will pay $25.00 per month for 52 months (46 months in school and 6 months in grace). Following that time period, if that borrower selected a 10-year repayment plan and received a periodic interest rate of 6.10%, the borrower would have an APR of 5.53%, monthly payments of $122.26 for 120 months, and a total amount repaid of $15,971.63. 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 applied at the end of the 52-month partial interest period.
4 Repayment Terms (No interest rate discounts were applied to these examples.) –
- A borrower of a $10,000 loan who selects a 5-year (60 months) repayment term may receive an APR between 4.09% and 6.59%, monthly principal and interest payments between $184.62 and $261.03, and a total amount repaid between $11,077.01 and $15,661.89.
- A borrower of a $10,000 loan who selects a 10-year (120 months) repayment term may receive an APR between 5.29% and 7.17%, monthly principal and interest payments between $107.54 and $159.70, and a total amount repaid between $12,904.55 and $19,164.50.
- A borrower of a $10,000 loan who selects a 15-year (180 months) repayment term may receive an APR between 5.79% and 7.69%, monthly principal and interest payments between $83.31 and $131.09, and a total amount repaid between $14,995.62 and $23,596.64.
5 Loans taken for less than half-time are only eligible for a 5- and 10-year repayment term.
Please note these APRs are estimates and may differ from the actual rates received.
NOTE: Subject to aggregate loan limits.
The PA Forward Student Loan Program is a credit-based loan program. Applicants, including co-signers, are subject to credit qualifications, completion of an application and credit agreement, and verification of application information. PHEAA uses applicant(s) FICO score(s) to determine eligibility and interest rates. Higher credit scores may mean an applicant is offered a lower interest rate.
PHEAA reserves the right to discontinue all programs or benefits without prior notice.