STUDENT LOAN BORROWER FAQ
If you fail to make payments on a student loan for at least 270 days, you’re considered in default. In that case, your lender may file a default claim with Trellis Company (formerly TG) for repayment of the loan. Trellis will pay the money you owe to your lender, and then we become responsible for collecting the loan on behalf of the federal government.
Usually. If your loan is not in default, contact your lender.
If your loan is in default, use Trellis’ online account management tool, myTrellis, to make on-time online payments via checking or savings account autodraft, debit card, or credit card. For more information, contact Trellis Collections at (800) 222-6297 or email@example.com.
If your loan balance doesn’t reflect all of your payments, or if you believe that you’ve paid your loan in full, request a statement of your account from Trellis Collections at (800) 222-6297 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After reviewing the information, if you continue to disagree with the balance on record, send two copies of cancelled checks, money orders, or other pertinent information to support any payments not reflected on the statement to Trellis Collections via email or postal mail at Trellis Collections, P.O. Box 83100, Round Rock, TX, 78683-3100.
If your balance does not reflect the federal income tax refund offset about which you were notified, send a copy of your tax refund offset notice to Trellis Collections.
If you feel that your loan should not be in default, you must provide documentation that shows that your loan was erroneously placed in default even though you took timely and appropriate actions, such as submitting appropriate deferment forms.
Ask your lender directly about what documentation you need to provide to determine whether your situation warrants reconsideration of its default status.
Borrowers are required to make payments on student loans even if they don’t receive a bill or a repayment notice. Even though they’re not obligated to do so, many lenders send billing statements to borrowers as a convenience. However, not receiving a notice doesn’t remove your obligation to make regular payments. Sometimes a borrower may not receive a billing statement from the lender because the borrower failed to notify the servicing agency about address changes.
If you believe that your lender should reconsider placing you in default, contact your lender directly.
Borrowers cannot remove the obligation to repay student loans based on the fact that they were not old enough to take out the loans when they did so. By virtue of Section 484A(b)(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091a(b)(2)), the argument that “the signing of a contract by a minor does not create a binding obligation” can no longer release you from your obligation to repay your student loan.
If your loan is not in default, you may qualify for a loan deferment, forbearance, or Income-Based Repayment (IBR). Check with your lender for more information and to learn whether you qualify for these payment plans.
If your loan is in default and you cannot afford to make payments, you should complete and return a Financial Disclosure Form along with evidence of your current financial situation as evidence of your inability to pay (i.e. paycheck stub, copies of billing statements) to Trellis Collections or the collection agency servicing your account. Trellis Collections or the collection agency may be able to use the information you provide to establish a payment plan that’s acceptable to the collection agency and affordable to you.
An incarcerated borrower, or someone on his or her behalf, should notify the agency servicing the loan of the location and terms of incarceration. Trellis Collections can provide current reporting procedures for individual circumstances — contact Trellis Collections at (800) 222-6297 or email@example.com.
Borrowers who are dissatisfied with the quality of the educational services they received sometimes raise this as a defense or objection to repaying a student loan. However, your enrollment agreement with your school is separate and distinct from a loan contract with a lender. Even if you have a claim against the school, you must still honor your loan contract with the lender.
Borrowers who have claims against Texas schools should present those claims against the school directly to the Texas Workforce Commission. Students who have complaints against cosmetology schools in Texas should contact the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Cosmetology Program.
In some instances, complaints against a school may be valid grounds for reducing or canceling an obligation to repay a student loan. For example, the loan liability of borrowers who prove they withdrew from enrollment and were owed, but never received, a refund of tuition and fees may be able to have their loans reduced.
If your school won’t release your academic transcript unless your defaulted loan is satisfied, keep working with the school. The academic transcript is the property of the school, and the school is responsible for deciding whether to release the transcript. No federal law exists to allow a guaranty agency to require a school to either release or not release an academic transcript. Trellis can only inform schools of the current status of student loan accounts.
Regardless of the age of the debt, statutes of limitations are not valid defenses against repayment of a student loan. By virtue of section 484A(a) of the Higher Education Act, no statute of limitations limits the Department of Education’s or a guaranty agency’s ability to file suit, enforce judgments, initiate offsets, or take other actions to collect a defaulted student loan.
Holders of defaulted student loans make periodic updates to federal credit reporting agencies. However, negative credit information may be reported for up to seven years. In other words, whether your loan is paid off following a default or not, the fact that you at one time had a defaulted loan may remain on your credit report for some time.
It is possible to have the defaulted student loan information removed from your credit report through the federal loan rehabilitation program. To request loan rehabilitation information and to find out whether you qualify, contact your loan holder in writing.
More information about student loan default and loan rehabilitation is available on Trellis’ Adventures In Education website.
Loan consolidation is a good way of combining federal student loans that are owed to multiple agencies, thus easing your repayment and communication challenges. The money you receive from a consolidation loan is used to pay off your existing student loan debt. Loan consolidation offers an affordable way to repay your student loan debts and remove them from default. Depending on the types of loans you have, after consolidation you may be able to make one monthly payment.
There are restrictions on the types of loans that can be consolidated, and some borrowers won’t benefit from consolidation. Contact your loan holder to find out whether you’re eligible to use loan consolidation to improve your situation, and whether consolidation would be a good idea for you.
More information about student loan consolidation is available on Trellis’ Adventures In Education website.
Federal regulations provide for the cancellation of student loans if the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled. To obtain a Total and Permanent Discharge, complete the Discharge Application form and have it signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in your state. The form provides the doctor a means of certifying that your condition is permanent and prevents you from working even in a limited capacity. Your VA doctor can sign this form for you. If you need additional information about this form, contact Trellis Collections at (800) 222-6297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Education has made provisions that allow defaulted borrowers to regain eligibility for additional Title IV financial assistance. This renewed eligibility can be granted only once to a borrower who meets the qualifications. Currently, if you enter repayment with the holder of your loan and make nine consecutive on-time monthly payments, you may qualify for renewed Title IV eligibility. You must continue to make these monthly payments in order to retain the renewed eligibility.
The Department of Education’s website provides a FAQ on loan forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge.