Payment Problems
Life Doesn’t Always Go as Planned

There are a variety of reasons you might have difficulties making your loan payments on time – unexpected expenses, unemployment or other extenuating circumstances.

Past-Due Loans
If you payments are past due, but not yet in default, you want to do everything you can to avoid the consequences of a loan default. These consequences include additional collection costs applied to your loan balance, damage to your credit rating, and potential wage garnishment. The good news is that you may qualify for loan payment relief. Check out our resources for past-due loans.

Common Reasons (and Solutions) for Late Payments

There are many reasons borrowers fall behind in their payments. These are some of the most common ones borrowers give for missing payments.

Reason: I didn’t know when my payments were supposed to start.

Federal law requires lenders to notify education loan borrowers of the date of their first payment – as well as provide important information, such as the lender’s name and address, repayment options and estimated loan balance – well in advance of the first payment. If you’ve moved and not notified your lender of your change of address, their communication might not have reached you.

Solution: Use the National Student Loan Data System to obtain the contact information for your lender or loan servicer.



Reason: My loan was sold, so I thought that meant it was paid off.

Federal education loans, like many other kinds of loans, are sometimes sold or assigned to parties other than the original lender – but you are still obligated to pay off your loan. If your loan is sold, the new holder is required to notify you about the sale and provide you with new payment information, such as their name and address.

Solution: Continue to make your scheduled payments, using the new lender information. You can find your lender’s contact information on the NSLDS site.



Reason: My child is responsible for paying off the loans. That PLUS loan is my child’s responsibility.

Parents of undergraduates may take out PLUS loans to help pay for their child's education. Repayment of the PLUS loan remains the parent's legal obligation, even if you and your child agree that the child will pay off the loan.

Solution: To find information about where to make your PLUS loan payments visit the  NSLDS site.


USA Funds Loan SolutionsSM is a website that allows you to view information about your USA Funds loans, including:

  • The name and contact information for your lender or loan servicer.
  • Your payment history.
  • Resources to help you apply for loan payment relief and resolve your payment issues.