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College of
Health Sciences

Debt management and financial planning

We are committed to informing you about default and debt management. Many of our students rely on student loans to assist them with their educational costs. Carefully considering the amount of debt you will incur during your academic career is important. Borrowing loans to pay for college can have long-term financial implications. Like any other debt, a student loan is a serious financial obligation that must be repaid. In addition to the principal amount you borrow, you will be charged interest. Failure to make on-time monthly payments may affect your credit rating and your ability to borrow in the future. 

Default and debt management education should start in your first year at the Geisinger School of Nursing and extend through graduation. While borrowing is easy, repayment can be challenging; it is important to know what to expect. Before you borrow, you can find a loan simulator to estimate your loan repayment at

Things to consider when planning how much to borrow

  • Amount: Do you need to borrow the full amount for which you are eligible?
  • Number of loans: If you decide to continue your education after graduating from Geisinger School of Nursing, your total indebtedness will be affected.
  • Loan limits: Most student loan programs specify the minimum and maximum amounts you can borrow.
  • Length of repayment period: Choosing a shorter repayment period will reduce interest costs.
  • Minimum monthly payments: Your monthly payments will depend on the amount you borrow and the repayment plan you select.
  • Borrower’s rights and responsibilities: Be sure you understand your rights and responsibilities under each loan program and keep all financial aid paperwork.

Responsible student loan borrowing

Borrowing responsibly will help you:

  • Establish your credit
  • Secure future loan borrowing for things like purchasing a home or car, or graduate school
  • Obtain credit cards

Repayment options

  • Deferment: When you can postpone repaying your loan
  • Forbearance: When a lender allows you to temporarily postpone repaying the principal, but the interest charges continue to accrue
  • Consolidation: The combining of your student loans into one bigger loan from a single lender
  • Loan forgiveness: When, under certain circumstances, the federal government will cancel all debt

Default of your Federal Direct Loan

Neglecting your student loan responsibility may result in serious consequences. In some cases, the following steps may be taken to recover outstanding balances due:

  • The Department of the Treasury may offset your federal and/or state tax refunds and any other payments, as authorized by law, to repay your defaulted loan.
  • You may have to pay additional collection costs.
    You may be subject to administrative wage garnishment. This is where the Department of Education requires your employer to forward 15% of your disposable pay toward repayment of your loan.
  • The Department of Education may take legal action to force you to repay the loan.
  • Credit bureaus may be notified, and your credit rating will suffer.

If your student loan goes into default, help is available. To find out if you are eligible for the Default Rehabilitation Program and to establish a monthly repayment plan, contact your loan servicer.

Removing default status: 

If you're in default of your Federal Student Loan, you have options to help reinstate your eligibility to receive Federal Title IV aid:

  • Pay the balance on your defaulted loan in full
  • Rehabilite your loan (contact your lender for information and how to enroll)
  • Consolidate your loan at Student Aid 
  • For more information on how to get out of default, visit Manage Your Default.

Borrowers’ rights and responsibilities

As a student loan borrower, you have rights and responsibilities. It is important to be informed about all aspects of your student loans, including: 

  • Loan balances
  • Repayment options
  • Fees
  • Grace periods
  • Interest rates
  • Default and its consequences
  • Consolidation 

As a student loan borrower, you are borrowing money and agreeing to pay it back. You are also bound by many important responsibilities during the life of the loan. If you do not repay your loan on time or according to the terms in your promissory note, you may go into default. Default has serious consequences and will affect your credit rating.

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