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Federal Nursing Loan Program
Guide for Student Borrowers

This guide has been designed to inform you of your privileges and obligations under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Nursing Student Loan Program. If you received a Nursing Student Loan (also referred to as "NSL") while attending one of SUNY's state-operated campuses, please review the following information carefully.

Q: What is the SUNY Student Loan Service Center?

The SUNY Student Loan Service Center is the central billing and collection office for the State University of New York's state-operated campuses. Once you are no longer in attendance at the SUNY campus that granted your loan - whether by graduation, withdrawal, or a change in status to less than half-time, the campus will transfer all pertinent loan documentation to the SUNY Student Loan Service Center. Therefore, all correspondence and loan payments are to be directed to the SUNY Student Loan Service Center and not to the campus you attended. Please contact us at:

SUNY Student Loan Service Center
5 University Place
Rensselaer, New York 12144-3440
Phone: (518) 525-2626
Fax: (518) 525-2600
email: slsc@albany.edu

The records of the SUNY Student Loan Service Center are assigned loan account numbers. Each borrower is assigned a unique 9 digit student identification number which begins with the numbers 898. It is extremely important to include your loan account number on all payments and correspondence to the SUNY Student Loan Service Center. Unidentified items may result in delayed responses to your inquiries and/or misapplication of payments.

Q: What are the Exit Interview and Repayment Agreement?

All borrowers are required to complete an Exit Interview Questionnaire and Repayment Agreement prior to leaving the campus they attended in order to ensure that they are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities under the NSL program. Failure to complete the NSL exit interview process can result in an administrative hold being placed on your diploma, transcripts and registration status.

Q: Are there loan limits?

For Nursing Student Loans received prior to March 23, 2010, the annual maximum loan during the first two years of study is $2,500 and $4,000 for borrowers who are in their last two years of study. The aggregate maximum NSL that any nursing student may obtain is $13,000.

For Nursing Student Loans received on or after March 23, 2010, the annual maximum loan during the first two years of study is $3,000 and $5,200 for borrowers who are in their last two years of study. The aggregate maximum NSL that any nursing student may obtain is $17,000 in the case of any student during fiscal years 2010 and 2011. After fiscal year 2011, such amounts shall be adjusted to provide for a cost-of-attendance increase for the yearly loan rate and the aggregate of the loans.

Q: Does my loan have a grace period?

The grace period for NSLs is nine months immediately following completion or termination of your studies of at least half-time status. If you resume studies at a nursing school at least half time during your grace period, you are entitled to another full nine months grace period upon completion or termination of full or half time studies.

Q: How can I change my address?

You are required under the terms of the loan agreement to keep the SUNY Student Loan Service Center informed of any change in your name or address. Leaving a forwarding address notice with the Postal Service is not considered official notification of a change in address. Failure to properly notify the SUNY Student Loan Service Center may negatively impact your credit rating if we are unable to locate you and service your account.

Q: When does repayment begin?

Repayment is required to begin at the end of your initial grace period, which is determined by the regulations in effect at the time the loan was granted. Currently, the grace period for Nursing Student Loans is nine months immediately following completion or termination of your studies of at least half-time status at the loan-granting campus. There are circumstances in which repayment may be deferred. (Refer to "Deferment Benefits" for further detail). Once your loan account information is established at the SUNY Student Loan Service Center, you will be sent an acknowledgment statement, confirming information that the campus has submitted. You will also receive periodic reminders during the grace period as to when repayment will begin. The SUNY Student Loan Service Center will send a billing statement before the first scheduled payment is due.

Q: What is my length of repayment?

Nursing Student Loans have a 10-year repayment period. Periods of authorized deferment are not counted as part of the 10-year repayment period. The length of repayment is determined by the total amount borrowed, the interest rate, and the repayment amount. A $40 minimum monthly payment may be required, which may shorten the repayment period to less than 10 years. Repayment may be extended beyond 10 years in very limited circumstances where there has been a cured default. That is, the borrower failed to make consecutive payments at some point during the repayment period, has made at least 12 consecutive payments during the most recent 12 months of the repayment period, and needs additional time beyond the original 10-year repayment period to complete repayment of the debt. This extension is not automatic. The SUNY Student Loan Service Center has the authority to grant or deny a request to extend a repayment period for a cured default, taking into account a borrower's particular financial circumstances and needs.

Q: Whom do I repay?

Payment can be made to the SUNY Student Loan Service Center by check, money order, credit card or Automated Clearing House (ACH) -NEVER SEND CASH. Checks should be made payable to the SUNY SLSC and be sure to enclose the top portion of your monthly billing statement or coupon with your remittance. ACH offers you the option of having your checking or savings account directly debited for the amount of your payment each month, which facilitates timely loan payment. To make payment by credit card, please go to Payment Options in the Borrower's section of our website SUNY Student Loan Service Center's Website

Q: How do I accelerate payments?

If you wish to accelerate repayment of your loan (repay ahead of schedule), you may do so by making payments larger than the amount required. Any additional amount remitted on a current account will be applied toward principal. Accelerating repayment shortens the repayment term and reduces the total interest that you will be required to pay over the life of the loan.

Q: Can I make advanced payments?

If you wish to make advance payments for future installments, your payment must be a multiple of your regular monthly payment. For instance, if your current monthly payment is $100 and you would like to make advance payments for the two succeeding months, your payment must equal $300, which is to be applied as: $100 for the current month and $100 for each of the two succeeding months. If you are making advance payments, you must attach a separate note indicating that the additional funds are to cover future payments. Mail this note along with your advance payment to the SUNY Student Loan Service Center, 5 University Place, Rensselaer, NY 12144. Otherwise, the additional amount will be applied toward the principal balance of your loan.

Q: What are the late fees, including those for nonnegotiable checks?

You are expected to make payments by the due date. Late fees are assessed for late payments or for the late filing of a benefit form. You will be charged up to $20 per occurrence for a nonnegotiable check.

Q: What are the consequences of delinquency and default?

Allowing your account to become delinquent can seriously affect your personal credit rating. Your campus must withhold services to you if you become a defaulted borrower. Should you default, requests for transcripts will not be honored. Should you attempt to register at a SUNY state-operated campus, your registration will be blocked. If repayment is not made according to the terms of the contract, regulations also allow for the referral of delinquent accounts to collection agencies and to an attorney for litigation. You will be held responsible for all of the resulting penalty, collection, and litigation costs as provided in the promissory note. Also, under NYS Tax Law, the SUNY Student Loan Service Center is entitled to intercept NYS income tax refunds of defaulted borrowers.

Q: How is bankruptcy handled?

Pursuant to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, education loans, such as Nursing Loans, are nondischargeable in bankruptcy under petitions filed after October 7, 1998.

Q: What are my deferment benefits?

If you are in a deferrable activity, payments on the loan will be deferred and interest will not accrue. You must apply for a deferment through the SLSC. Deferment forms are available on our Website. In accordance with Federal law governing your note, you may apply for deferment of repayment during a period in which you are:
  • enrolled in a full-time or half-time collegiate nursing program leading to a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree in nursing, or enrolled in a program of advanced professional training in nursing, or training to become a nurse anesthetist. (See important note below regarding this deferment);
  • performing active duty as a member of a uniformed service(Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Corps, or the U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps) (maximum deferment is 3 years); or
  • a Peace Corps volunteer (maximum deferment is 3 years);
Enrollment in a Nursing Program: If you re-enroll at the same or another nursing school during your 9-month grace period, not only will your repayment be deferred, but you will also be entitled to an additional 9-month grace period upon completion or termination of your full-time or half-time studies.
For borrowers who obtained Nursing Loans after November 4, 1988 the maximum deferment is 10 years for student enrollment and advanced professional training combined. For borrowers with Nursing Loans prior to November 4, 1988 each type of deferment (student enrollment and advance professional training) is limited to five years.

Q: How often must I file deferment forms?

The "Certification of Deferment" must be filed with the SUNY Student Loan Service Center at least once a year for each year you are in an eligible status. The SUNY Student Loan Service Center is required by Federal regulations to assess a late fee when forms are not submitted in a timely manner. Failure to file forms in a timely manner is equivalent to not making timely payments and can negatively affect your credit rating.

Q: What is forbearance?

Forbearance is a temporary postponement of payments or the acceptance of smaller payments than were previously scheduled. Interest will continue to accrue during any period of forbearance. Forbearance must be requested in writing, and adequate documentation that supports a financial inability to make payments must be provided. Unlike periods of deferment, a period of forbearance must be counted as part of the required 10-year repayment period.

Q: Can I consolidate my loan?

Nursing Student Loans are eligible for loan consolidation under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The U.S. Department of Education administers the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which allow for loan consolidation.

Q: What are my death and total disability benefits?

The outstanding loan balance may be discharged in the event of death or permanent and total disability of the borrower. The SUNY Student Loan Service Center should be contacted for specific instructions.

Q: Can anyone else gain access to my loan information?

Due to various State and Federal laws governing confidentiality of records, we cannot disclose any information about your account to anyone other than you, the borrower, without your express written permission.

Q: What if I have further questions?

If you have any questions or need additional information, you may contact the SUNY Student Loan Service Center by telephone at: (518) 525-2626 or by e-mail at: slsc@albany.edu. You may also access the SUNY Student Loan Service Center's website.