JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Rights and Responsibilities for Stafford Loans

Note that details provided on this page reference older loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). All new federal student loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct Loans). For information regarding Federal Direct Loans, refer to the Loans page of ED's Federal Student Aid website or contact the college's financial aid office.

Your rights

As a student borrower, you have the right to:

  • Notification in writing if your loan is sold or transferred, showing the name, address and phone number of the new owner of your loan. You must direct all future correspondence to that new owner
  • Deferment of repayment for a defined period if you qualify and request it from your loan holder
  • Request a forbearance from your loan holder if you do not qualify for a deferment and are unable to make payments on your loan
  • Prepay all or any part of the amount you owe without penalty
  • A minimum monthly loan payment of $50, depending on the amount borrowed. It can be less with a graduated or income-sensitive repayment plan
  • A maximum of ten years to repay most loans, unless your loans are consolidated, or you qualify for an extended repayment schedule. Extending this period, however, may increase your total debt
  • A copy of your promissory note (may be an electronic copy)
  • Access to information about your loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, disbursements, loan statuses, and loan servicers by checking with the My Federal Student Aid.

Your Responsibilities

As a student borrower, you are responsible for:

  • Repaying your loan and all accrued and/or capitalized interest according to the established repayment schedule—even if you drop out of college, cannot find a job, or are dissatisfied with the education you’ve received
  • Notifying your college and loan holder(s) if you change your address, change your name, change your phone number, correct your Social Security Number, withdraw from school, drop below half-time attendance, transfer to another school, or change your graduation date
  • Participating in an entrance interview before you receive your first student loan
  • Participating in an exit interview before you leave college

Note: If you fail to repay your loan, your loan will default. This will result in serious consequences, which include damaging your credit rating.