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Student Loan Repayments Resume

Student loan payments have restarted and regular interest rates have resumed. You will get your billing statement or other notice at least 21 days before your payment is due. If you don’t get a billing statement at least 21 days before, contact your Loan Servicer.

Because of legislation passed by Congress, student loan payments have restarted. Borrowers can lower their payments, even to $0, by enrolling in the new SAVE Plan.

Responsible Borrowing

The key to responsible borrowing is to learn the basics and manage your loan debt. Watch the video Responsible Borrowing to learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out student loans. Watch Repayment: How to Manage Your Student Loans to learn about changing repayment plans, postponing or reducing your payments, or combining your federal student loans. Also visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information.

If you'd like some guidance about accepting loans, you can also try the Loan Simulator. It's a tool that can help you with your goals, repayment plans, and consolidation options.

If you have decided to accept the student loan funds we have offered you, these Student Loan Instructions will help you with that process.

Federal Student Loan Update

Grand Rapids Community College wants to be sure you get up-to-date and accurate information about your federal student loans. We also want to supply any help needed to begin repayment of those loans. That’s why we’ve partnered with Student Connections to provide you with additional support. 

Loan Forgiveness update:

Payment Pause update: 

  • All borrowers in the payment pause will start making payments in October 2023.
  • Borrowers who left school April 2023 or later are an exception. They’re still in their automatic grace period and will begin payments when it concludes.
  • You’ll get your bill (including your payment amount and due date) at least 21 days before your due date.

Take These Steps Now

Repayment starts in October 2023. Follow these steps to get ready:

  1. Get access to your student loan data on and your federal loan servicer’s website.
  2. Use your loan servicer’s website to answer some basic questions about how much you owe, your payment amount, and your due date.
  3. Keep yourself in the loop about ongoing efforts to supply debt relief and support to student loan borrowers.
  4. Prepare to start making payments.

Worried about Affording Your Monthly Payments?

Don’t panic. You’re not alone. Millions of student loan borrowers will struggle as repayment begins. The good news is there are many repayment options for borrowers facing financial hardship. Depending on your income, monthly payments can be reduced to zero dollars.

The Borrower Advocates at Student Connections can help answer any questions you have and determine what steps you need to take. This service is completely free to you!

Questions about Student Loan Repayment?

In October 2023, 30 million borrowers will begin repayment at the same time. The existing support network will be strained, making it difficult to reach a person who can answer your questions. That’s where Student Connections can help!

Student Connections is passionate about helping students. They partner with schools to provide support for borrowers throughout the student loan repayment process. With more than 60 years of experience in counseling student loan borrowers, their primary goal is to help you find the repayment plan that best fits your needs.

While you are in student loan repayment, Student Connections may contact you through emails, text messages and phone calls to:

  • Help you understand your loan obligations and responsibilities.
  • Discuss available options for an affordable repayment plan.
  • Ensure you are aware of repayment options during financial hardships.
  • Promote your long-term repayment success

Talk to a Borrower Advocate for free at (866) 311-9450. They’re available to answer questions about your outstanding loans and will work directly with you and your loan servicer when appropriate.

Questions About Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?

If you’re employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the PSLF Program. The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans: 

  • after you’ve made the equivalent of 120 qualifying monthly payments under an accepted repayment plan, and
  • while working full-time for an eligible employer.

For more information:

Avoid Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

Federal Student Aid (FSA) continues to warn borrowers about student loan scams. With so many recent efforts to create new programs that provide debt relief, even savvy borrowers might find it hard to tell the difference between a scam and legitimate forgiveness and relief efforts

Beware of any source that is not directing you to FSA or your loan servicer.

State of Michigan Resources

The State of Michigan provides various resources to help you explore college costs, student loans, debt management, avoiding scams, and many other topics related to smart borrowing and paying for college. Visit the State's comprehensive website to access these free resources.

Preferred Lender Statement

GRCC does not have a preferred lender list for private (alternative) student loans. Before looking into private loans, students should first check on their eligibility for Federal Direct Student Loans. If after Federal Direct loans, students wish to consider private (alternative) loans, more information is available at the bottom of this webpage.

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan programs carry both annual and cumulative (lifetime) limits. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from FAFSA, lists your cumulative loans, but it is important that you also keep records of all your loan transactions. View your loan history

Subsidized Loans

The Direct Subsidized Loan enables undergraduate students who show financial need to borrow money for educational expenses. Generally, interest does not accrue until the student graduates, withdraws from school, or drops below half-time. 

Unsubsidized Loans

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan enables undergraduate students to borrow money to pay for their educational expenses regardless of financial need. Interest accrues on an unsubsidized loan while a student is in school. The student may choose to pay the interest while in school to avoid paying interest on interest. 


Students must complete the FAFSA, be enrolled in a minimum of six credits, and meet all other financial aid eligibility requirements to be considered for a Direct Loan.

Student loans are awarded to all eligible students. You may decline, accept, or reduce the loans offered through your Online CenterTo set up your account on your Online Center, go to login request and submit requested information. First time borrowers need to complete Entrance Counseling and Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN). Your award letter contains student loan instructions to guide you through the process.

Borrowing Limits

Yearly Maximums

Student Level & Dependency StatusMaximum Subsidized and UnsubsidizedMaximum Subsidized
Dependent freshman$5,500$3,500
Dependent sophomore$6,500$4,500
Independent freshman$9,500$3,500
Independent sophomore$10,500$4,500

Lifetime Limits

Student Level and Dependency StatusMaximum Subsidized and UnsubsidizedMaximum Subsidized
Dependent Undergraduate$31,000$23,000
Independent Undergraduate$57,500$23,000

If you reach your lifetime loan limit, you cannot receive any more of that type of loan. If you exceed your limit, aid already disbursed will be returned to the federal government and you will be billed. You will have to find alternate ways to finance your education. Therefore it is to your advantage to borrow only what you need for educational expenses and to keep track of your cumulative debt. Financial Aid representatives are happy to work with you to find ways to minimize your borrowing.

Interest Rates 

Interest is “variable-fixed” rate. This means that students may receive a new rate with each new loan, but the rate will be fixed for the life of the loan. New interest rates will be set each July 1 through the following June 30 by the Department of Education.

The following interest rates are effective for all Direct Loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024: 5.50% for Undergraduate borrowers of Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans and 7.05% for Graduate or Professional Borrowers of Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

The interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans will be 8.05%.

Student Loan Origination Fee Update

The U.S. Department of Education recently decreased the student loan origination fees for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and for Parent PLUS loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage for all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, is 1.057%. The percentage for Parent PLUS Loans is currently 4.228%. Loans first disbursed before that date had different loan fees.

View examples available of how the student loan fee is calculated.


Visit our disbursement and refund webpage for more information

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans 

These loans enable parents without an adverse credit history, to borrow funds to help pay for the cost of their child's education. Students must be dependent as defined by the federal government on FAFSA, enrolled at least half-time, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Interest accrues beginning with the first disbursement. Repayment of principal and interest begins while the student is in school — within 60 days after the final loan disbursement is made for the period of enrollment for which the funds were borrowed.


To request a PLUS loan, log in to the Federal Student Aid website and click on Parent Tab and select Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan.

  • Interest rate is 8.05%.
  • Loan origination fee is 4.228%.
  • Repayment begins within 60 days after the final loan disbursement is disbursed for the period of enrollment for which the parent has borrowed for their student.
  • No grace period. Interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made.
  • Parents who have PLUS loans must begin repaying both principal and interest while student is in school or request deferment on the payment(s) of this loan as long as the student is maintaining half-time enrollment.
  • No loan counseling is required by the school. Based on your credit check the Federal government may require you to complete counseling.
  • The maximum a parent can borrow is equal to the cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid the student receives.
  • To complete a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, visit the Federal Student Aid website and click on Apply for Aid and select Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan.

Students whose parent has been denied a PLUS loan based on credit may qualify for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans.

Alternative or Private Student Loans

GRCC encourages students considering alternative or private student loans to research multiple lenders and their terms. Unlike federal student loans, students applying for alternative or private loans may need an established credit record for consideration. Also, a co-signer may be required. Additionally, interest rates and loan repayment terms vary.

While we do not provide information to students regarding private lenders or have preferred lender arrangements, we will certify private loan applications that are submitted to GRCC by students via their lender. 

Please note: The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires that before a private educational lender may finalize a private education loan for a student in attendance at an institution of higher education, the private lender must obtain the signed, completed self-certification form. Most lenders will provide this form directly to students. If your lender does not, you can obtain a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form.