Regardless of which route you take for your student loans during your year of service, contact your
lender ahead of time to make sure the type of loans you have are eligible for forbearance or deferment,
and get details about what that means for you financially.
Fobearance is a temporary postponement of principal loan payments.
Loan interest continues to accrue, but when you complete your VISTA year of service, the National Service Trust will pay interest on your behalf.
• However, these payments are considered income so you will have to pay taxes on the amount of
interest paid by the Trust.
• Reason for forbearance is "national service"
• You would choose forbearance if you go with the education award
Deferment is a postponement of monthly loan payment(s).
• For subsidized loans, accrued interest will automatically be paid by the Department of Education
if the loan is deferred.
• Your lender decides if you can defer your student loans during your year of service
• You’ll need to obtain forms from your lender.
• Reason for deferment is “economic hardship”
• You may also be eligible for cancellation of part of your Perkins Loan
• You would choose deferment if you go with the stipend
(Forebearance and Deferment Information specific to VISTAs, please check with your program for more specific information. Contact gro.yawdetinu|gnuj.zil#ziL to post program specific information.)
For several years, AmeriCorps members with student loans have been able to request forbearance for loan payments. However, a new option was created by Congress that members should consider. The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan was proposed as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 and became effective on July 1, 2009.
Here is an informative article regarding student loans:
AmeriCorps is one feature in the article. The article also references some of the legislative changes that may be important in calculations you make regarding college costs, careers and loans.
Here's the bottom line: AmeriCorps members qualify as working for a "public service" organization. Calculations for payments could be zero during service. They can continue to be minimal after service. If you continue with public service (i.e. teaching, government work, 501(c)3 employment, etc.) for 10 years and follow the payment guidelines, the balance of your loan is forgiven.
Members should discuss this option with their college Financial Aid Office.