Student loan debt summary letters to be sent out in June

June 01, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Later this month Penn State students will receive a letter outlining their total student debt from federal sources and a summary of their student debt from University and private sources while they were enrolled at Penn State.

All accredited institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania are required to send yearly letters by July 1 under Act 121 of 2018 informing borrowers of their loan debt to date. Current Penn State students should expect an email by the end of June through LionPATH from the Office of Student Aid. The email will direct the student to an online summary of their loan debt in Penn State’s student system.

The loan debt summary includes the principal loan amount, estimated interest rate, expected monthly payment and the total estimated payoff amount for federal loans and estimated loan amounts for non-federal loans borrowed while the student was enrolled at Penn State.

Current Penn State students will receive an advance email letting them know the official notification will be coming prior to the end of June. The first communication will provide resources for students to help them gather all information related to their loans, as well as University services to help them build a financial plan.

Daad Rizk, director of the Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center, said her office is prepared to help students who may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of debt they have accumulated. The center acts as a catalyst, passing critical University financial information to students through first-year seminar sessions, one-on-one meetings, and online sessions and modules. The first-year sessions inform students how to keep up with their student loan borrowing amounts and eliminate the future shock of unattended debt.

The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center has staff and student ambassadors who are able to meet with students one-on-one — with all information kept confidential — and help to form a budget and a plan for paying off student debt. Students can access the center through Starfish.

The center has also developed a series of Zoom sessions and self-study modules, including one specifically geared toward student loans. Students and others in the Penn State community can also attend twice-monthly webinars on different topics, offered from the center at no cost.

Students are always encouraged to reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services, also known as CAPS, if they feel they need professional counseling or crisis services. The Penn State Crisis Services line is open 24/7 at 1-877-229-6400. Students can also text a crisis line by texting “LIONS” to 741741.

There are a number of external resources for current and previous students. The U.S. Department of Education provides studentaid.gov, which was recently combined with the National Student Loan Database System. This site helps students find their loan servicer as well as their current federal loan amounts, and representatives can also be reached by calling 800-4-FED-AID. The site also helps people understand aid and apply and manage it. It has a tool to calculate federal loan monthly payments, explore payment plan options and complete financial awareness counseling.

It’s good practice for anyone — with student loans or not — to regularly check their credit score and report. The site annualcreditreport.com is verified by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as the official place to get a free annual credit report, a right guaranteed by federal law. Payment history on items such as student loans have the largest effect on a person’s credit score. It’s also a way to see if there are any outstanding debts that have overdue payments. Some debts may also have been opened without a person’s consent if their identity was stolen, and may require attention.

Last Updated June 01, 2020