The Perkins Loan (formerly National Direct Student Loan) Program was established to assist students in financing their postsecondary educations. This program has played a significant role in enabling students to attend college.
Repayment is important to you and future University of Maryland students. By signing the promissory note for the Perkins Loan, you agreed to repay your loan upon leaving school. Your repayment makes it possible for other students to benefit from this financial resource.
Repaying the loan establishes a credit reference which may be built upon in obtaining credit from other sources. Failure to repay the Perkins Loan may seriously impair your future borrowing ability.
The purpose of the exit interview and this booklet is to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower under the Perkins Loan program. It is hoped that this booklet will help answer your questions regarding repayment responsibilities.Barbara Gill
The University of Maryland has contracted with Heartland ECSI to service your Perkins loan after you leave school. While the University will still maintain your Perkins loan, Heartland ECSI will be responsible for sending you billing statements, receiving and processing your payments, reviewing and processing deferment and cancellation forms, and addressing all of your other customer service needs.
Borrower service representatives are available to assist you Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. The toll free telephone number is 1-888-549-3274. You may also send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or access the Heartland ECSI website at www.heartlandecsi.com, where you can obtain instructions on using Heartland ECSI's borrower services, obtain and review the various types of deferments available to Perkins loan borrowers, and download a host of borrower forms for your use.
Among the features offered by Heartland ECSI is the Automatic Direct Draft Option, permitting the automatic withdrawal of your loan payment from your checking account.
Payments, forms, and correspondence should be mailed to:
Regardless of your reason for leaving the university, as a recipient of a Federal Perkins Loan you are required to attend an exit interview. At the exit interview, your rights and responsibilities as a borrower are discussed along with your repayment schedules, terms of payment, billing procedures, interest charges, etc. It is at this time, too, that you will be presented with summary information on all loans you have received from the university (including the amount and date on which your first payment will be due).
Exit interview attendance is essential in that during the session you will have an opportunity to ask questions about your loan(s), your eligibility for deferment or cancellation benefits, and your obligation to pay back your loan now that you are no longer in school. Although the above areas are discussed in this booklet, there may be special conditions that apply to you which require further clarification.
The exit interview also provides us with an opportunity to update the information we have on you--your name and address as well as information regarding future plans which may affect your repayment terms.
The University must inform you of the following:
You are required to do the following without exception:
Once you have left school or are registered as less than half-time (minimum of 6 credits for an undergraduate and 24 units for a graduate), you are entitled to a nine month grace period. During this time, no payment is required and interest does not accrue.
During your grace period you will receive notices updating you on your loan along with another copy of your repayment schedule which you must sign and return. These notices will be printed on your bill forms but will indicate a "grace period notice" or "statement of account" and should not be confused with an actual bill.
Those who are granted a deferment will receive an updated repayment schedule 90 days into the grace period. You must sign and return each repayment schedule for our file record.
Billing cycles are set up on a quarterly basis. Minimum amounts due are $90.00 quarterly or $120.00 quarterly if you have received your first loan after 10/1/92. Those who have borrowed more than $2,800.00 will find their quarterly payments increase with the size of their loan in order to repay the loan within the 10 year maximum time limit allowed under federal law.
Bills are mailed by Heartland ECSI approximately 20 days prior to the due date, however, borrowers are reminded they are still responsible for payments due even if bills are not received. Contact Heartland ECSI to resolve billing questions or if you don't receive a bill. You must update your address with Heartland ECSI to ensure timely receipt of bills.
Payments are due on the first of the month. If a payment is not received within 15 days of the due date, an overdue notice will be sent and late fees assessed. Please write your account number on all checks and send your checks to Heartland ECSI to the address indicated.
Paying ahead or making prepayments is allowed without penalty but does not necessarily replace your obligation to make a scheduled payment. A borrower is not allowed to double up one quarter and skip the next quarter without notifying Heartland ECSI.
Deferment is a period when interest does not accumulate and payments on the principal loan need not be paid. Borrowers who qualify for deferments must submit a completed deferment form. A blank student deferment form maybe obtained by visiting the Heartland ECSI website at www.heartlandecsi.com, or you may call Heartland ECSI at 1-888-549-3274 to obtain one.
Borrowers who qualify for cancellation benefits must submit a written cancellation request. You need to contact Heartland ECSI to request a cancellation form and to find out if your loan qualifies for cancellation benefits. The certified forms are due every year until your eligibility ends. If you remit payments while you are eligible for loan cancellation, your payments will not be refunded.
If you have to remit payments to several lenders, you may consolidate your Perkins loan with your other loans. Consolidation may let you pay graduated payments, or income-sensitive payments, depending on the amount of your total debt. You may also be able to stretch your repayments beyond ten years.
--Consolidation will increase your interest rate--
If you need additional information on consolidation or to receive an application, please contact any one of the following organizations.
The loan you are about to begin repaying will provide you with an excellent credit reference, provided you meet your responsibilities. In order to process a credit reference we will need your written authorization. Most companies seeking reference checks have forms you can sign and forward to us to complete.
Those who choose to ignore their obligation and fail to remit timely payments will find the following actions taken:
The single best thing a borrower can do is to keep the lines of communication open. This loan is an important responsibility and must be treated that way.
Heartland ECSI's address and main phone numbers are listed below. Please remember that all correspondence, forms, and payments should show your account number. Please direct all questions and written documentation to the address below.
Good luck to you in your future endeavors.
For information on the various types of deferments and cancellation provisions offered under the Perkins Loans Program for which you may be eligible, you may go to the Heartland ECSI website at www.heartlandecsi.com