Although another potential resource for funding your education, student loans are different from scholarships and grants. Upon borrowing student loans, you will need to manage them until they are successfully repaid per the timeline established by the loan lender. Federal student loans must be repaid:
- Even if you do not complete your degree,
- Are unable to secure a job related to your program of study or
- Were unsatisfied with your educational experience.
Lenders and student loan servicers are aware that a borrower’s financial status varies across time. If you have concerns about successfully repaying your student loans or are currently struggling to do so, you have options.
For the latest student loan updates due to COVID-19 and the CARES Act, visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus
For more detailed information about the loan program, visit the GCU student loan page.
GCU’s Loan Repayment Support team can help answer your questions regarding federal student loans you have already borrowed. This includes:
- Identifying your servicer
- Past due payments
Call us at 602-639-6777 to speak with a team member.
For financial aid questions while actively attending GCU, reach out to your student services counselor at 855-GCU-LOPE.
Student Loan Resource Links
When a loan disbursement posts to your student account, you will receive an email from GCU informing you of the disbursement posting. You should also receive notification by mail or email from the loan servicer assigned to your loan. If you do not receive an email or letter, you can view your loan servicer information at StudentAid.gov.
Upon entering repayment on your student loan, your servicer will automatically place you in a Standard Repayment Plan. If you want a different plan, you must contact them as soon as possible. If you are experiencing difficulties repaying your student loan, you may be able to change your repayment plan to one that lowers your monthly payment and, in some cases, will be based on your income. If you do not make arrangements with your servicer, they will report any delinquency to the credit bureaus.
Postponement of Payments: Deferments and Forbearances
The U.S. Department of Education allows you to temporarily suspend payments if you are experiencing financial difficulties. If you choose to use postponement, consider paying the interest that accrues to avoid a higher balance also referred to as capitalization. Your loan servicer should automatically be notified if you are attending at least half-time and payments should be suspended during that time. If you are not in deferment after attending at least 30 days, contact your student services counselor at 855-GCU-LOPE.
Consolidation is a free process which combines multiple federal student loans into one loan with a fixed interest rate based on the average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated. Once your loan consolidation application has been approved, you will have a single monthly payment on your new consolidated loan instead of multiple monthly payments on the loans you consolidated.
- Perkins Loans are eligible for consolidation.
- PLUS loans received by parent(s) cannot be consolidated with a student’s federal student loans.
- Private loans cannot be consolidated with federal student loans.
Exit counseling prepares you to repay your federal student loans. It reviews your student loan obligations, available repayment plans, prioritizing your finances and how to avoid default.
You will need to complete exit counseling if you:
- Drop below half-time enrollment
Log into your account at StudentAid.gov to complete your exit counseling. It should take about 20-30 minutes to complete.
The U.S. Department of Education offers programs that may forgive a portion of your student loan debt if you enter fields such as teaching or public service. To learn more about loan forgiveness, please visit StudentAid.gov or reach out to your servicer for free assistance.
If you do not repay your federal student loans, your loan(s) may go into default. Once in default:
- You are ineligible for additional financial aid.
- Your wages and your tax refund may be garnished.
- Your delinquency will be reported to credit bureaus.
- Your academic transcript may be withheld.
To avoid going into default, contact your loan servicer as soon as you begin experiencing financial difficulties.
ECMC Financial Literacy Program
Learning how to manage your money in college and beyond is an important life skill that will help set you up for success. ECMC Learning works with student loan borrowers to build financial literacy and successfully repay student loans. Through our long-standing partner, ECMC, ECMC Learning is available to all GCU students, faculty and staff. Registration for an ECMC account is required in order to access this literacy program. Please visit ECMC Financial Literacy Program.
Please visit StudentAid.gov to find the most up-to-date forms to manage your student loans. This site includes request forms for:
If you are an active or non-active student working with the Loan Repayment team, you can easily upload requested documentation to the team via your GCU student portal. If you forgot your password for the student portal, follow the “Resetting Your Password” steps, or call GCU Technical Support at 602-639-7200.
Cohort Default Rates
The Cohort Default Rates is a standard measurement used by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to evaluate school's default rates for students who have defaulted in loans while in repayment in a specific cohort year. GCU's commitment is to provide loan repayment assistance and support for our student loan borrowers and provide them with resources to help manage the repayment of their student loans.
GCU’s published CDR rates for the past 3 years are:
|Loan Cohort Year||FY2018||FY2017||FY2016|
|Number in default||1,802||1,957||1,772|
|Number in repayment||35,855||33,421||31,482|
The 2018 national cohort default rate is 7.3%. GCU will continue to update their CDR rates as they are made available. You can compare CDR rates at any time using the College Navigator.