Below are some common questions that potential clients have asked us before enrolling in our student loan & debt consolidation program. If you have a question that is not answered below, feel free to contact us.
What does it mean to consolidate your student loans and unsecured debt?
Loan and debt consolidation is a method by which a consumer groups together all of their unsecured loans and debts in an attempt to acquire reduced payments through lower interest rates, reduced and/or eliminated late fees, and perhaps longer terms.
How does your student debt/loan consolidation program work?
We will reach a deal with your creditors and lenders and attain the most desirable terms achievable. In turn, you will make a monthly payment to, DMCC Corp.. We will then make the payments to your creditors in an arranged upon fixed amount.
What are the benefits of student loan consolidation and debt consolidation?
By negotiating with your creditors, we will be able to:
Protect your credit rating.
End those pestering phone calls from your creditors.
Reduce and/or eliminate your high interest rate and late fee.
Reduce your monthly payments up to 70%!
Consolidate all your college loans and unsecured debts into one low payment.
Get you out of debt quickly and hassle free!
How long will it take to for me to be completely out of debt upon enrolling in your program?
Depending on the overall quantity of debt you have, clients are normally able to become debt free within 1 to 4 years, as opposed to the 15 to 20 year route they were following before enrolling in our student loan consolidation and debt consolidation programs. At the conclusion of our program, when all of your debt is settled, we will also ask that your creditors recognize in writing that you have paid your debt off.
What sorts of unsecured debt can I consolidate?
Any type of unsecured debt is acceptable, including but not limited to credit card debt, medical bills, overdue utility bills, department store cards, lines of credit, collection agency debts, personal loans, and of course student loans.
Will your student loan consolidation and debt consolidation program help repair my credit?
Your credit rating will get better when you are a client of our debt management services. This is a direct result of the positive payment history you are demonstrating as we pay your creditors regularly, every monthly. However, we do not eliminate negative credit information from your credit report. Any person or company that says that they can is lying. We will teach you how to remove erroneous information as well as how to manage your finances to prevent future incidences of debt from occurring.
Will debt consolidation adversely affect a positive credit rating?
It will state on your credit report that your debt is being paid through a credit counseling organization. This merely shows to future creditors that you've taken responsible steps toward settling your debt. Creditors will also look positively upon the recurring payments you'll be making through the program.
Can I apply for a loan with your company?
We provide loans for people with good and bad credit.
What is cuStudentLoans?
cuStudentLoans is a network of over 160 not-for-profit credit union lenders who use common underwriting and pricing to provide members with an affordable private student loan program. This program is composed of two loan products: the cuScholar Private Student Loan and the cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation. cuStudentLoans is managed by a CUSO (Credit Union Service Organization) called Member Student Lending, LLC.
What is LendKey?
LendKey Technologies, Inc. is the cloud-based technology company that powers cuStudentLoans.org. LendKey works closely with the Member Student Lending CUSO to ensure credit union members receive exceptional service. LendKey is also the servicer for the cuScholar Private Student Loan. For more information about LendKey, please visit www.lendkey.com.
What is a credit union?
A credit union is a member-owned financial institution providing credit at competitive rates and other financial services to its members. To learn about the benefits of credit unions, please visit our About Credit Unions section.
What is the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
The cuScholar Private Student Loan is issued from a not-for-profit credit union participating in the cuStudentLoans program and can be used to pay for qualified educational expenses including tuition, room and board, books, and other school related expenses. Private student loans serve as a way for students to fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of
federal loans, grants, and available scholarships.
What is the difference between a private student loan and a federal student loan?
Federal student loans follow guidelines set forth by the U.S. Dept of Education and typically offer fixed and lower interest rates compared to private student loans. However, federal loans, unlike most private loans, have borrowing limits, which may not allow a student to borrow enough to cover the entire cost of education. Private loans help students fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of federal loans, grants, and available scholarships. Both private and federal student loans typically allow students to defer payments while in school and some offer economic forbearance options once a student completes school. Unlike federal loan programs, private lenders assess the credit history of the borrower and cosigner before making a loan.
How do I know if I’m eligible for federal aid?
Eligibility for federal, state and university funded financial aid is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students are strongly encouraged to apply for federal aid by completing the FAFSA, which can be obtained online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
How much financial aid am I eligible to receive?
The financial information you provide in the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) is used by the government to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount you and your family are expected to pay towards your education. The EFC is then subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA) for your respective school to determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.
What is an Expected Family Contribution?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a calculated assessment of how much your family is expected to contribute to your college costs. The EFC takes into consideration your family’s financial strength – income and assets. Other factors considered include the number of family members and number of family members in college.
What is Cost of Attendance?
The Cost of Attendance (COA) is the total cost as determined by a school’s financial aid office including tuition and fees, room, board, books, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Every school has a slightly different Cost of Attendance, but all must meet standard guidelines as set by the U.S. Department of Education. The Cost of Attendance represents the maximum amount of financial aid, grants, scholarships and student loans that can pay to an account during an academic period. This prevents students from applying for an excessive amount of student loans beyond the established Cost of Attendance.
How can I learn more about my financial aid options?
It is recommended that you consult with your school’s financial aid office, and visit the College Resource Center where you can read more about all of your financial aid options and refer to our financial aid glossary to better understand the terms you will need to know.
Does applying for a federal loan impact my ability to obtain the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
No. Students are encouraged to explore and exhaust all federal aid options first, and then use private loans to help pay the remaining education expenses.
Who is eligible for the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
To apply for the cuScholar Private Student Loan, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible school, and you must be or become a member of a participating credit union.
If you’re not currently a member of a credit union, you will be prompted to select one that you can join during the application process.
You or your cosigner also must meet our credit requirements. Choosing a creditworthy cosigner will increase the likelihood of being approved and may lead to a lower loan rate. You can apply without a cosigner if you meet all of the credit criteria by yourself.
What is a cosigner?
A cosigner is a parent, grandparent, guardian or other adult who is creditworthy and willing to assume legal responsibility for the loan liabilities along with you. The cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Is a cosigner required to obtain the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
In most instances, a cosigner is required to obtain the cuScholar Private Student Loan. A creditworthy cosigner increases the likelihood of your loan approval and may lead to a lower loan rate. Creditworthy students that meet the credit requirements may apply without a cosigner.
Will the cosigner’s credit record be affected?
Yes, in a cosigned loan both the borrower and the cosigner are jointly liable for making all loan payments. The loan will appear on both the borrower and cosigner’s credit report.
Is the cosigner responsible for repaying the loan?
If the borrower fails to repay the loan, then the cosigner is responsible for repaying the loan. However, the cosigner may be released of this obligation once the borrower is able to meet certain criteria to determine creditworthiness and makes 24 consecutive and on-time full payments of principal and interest during the Repayment Period.
What is the cosigner release process?
Cosigner release is available for creditworthy borrowers after making consecutive on-time principal and interest payments during the Repayment Period.
The borrower may request for cosigner release and retain the loan on a stand-alone basis, if the following requirements are met:
*Note: The cosigner release process is initiated only after a request has been emailed to email@example.com. It may take up to 7-10 business days to process a cosigner release request.
How much can I borrow?
The minimum you can borrow is $2,000 per year. The maximum you can borrow lifetime is the certified amount determined by your school, up to $120,000 for undergraduate students and $160,000 for graduate students. The school certified amount is typically the Cost of Attendance (COA) less any other financial aid received.
Do I need to be enrolled in an educational institution to complete the application process?
Yes, you must provide proof of enrollment at an eligible school within the cuStudentLoans program to complete the application process.
Why isn’t my school on the list?
Not all educational institutions participate in or are eligible for our program. Unfortunately, we’re not able to accept a loan application if your school is not on our eligibility list.
How is the eligible schools list determined?
School eligibility is determined using a blind study that assesses a variety of factors. The eligible schools list is reviewed by lending partners every year.
When should I begin the process?
We encourage you to start early. You can start the loan application process once you know what school you will be attending, the Cost of Attendance for the current academic year, and can provide proof of enrollment. The process can take from 2-8 weeks depending on the borrower, school, and time of year.
How do I apply for the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
The application process must be completed online at apply.custudentloans.org.
How does the cosigner complete his/her portion of the application?
During the application process, cosigners will be asked to complete their own application and create an account using a different email address than the borrower’s account. Cosigners complete the same application procedures as the borrower for joint credit.
Will both the borrower and cosigner’s credit be checked?
Yes. During the application process, and as part of the underwriting process, a credit bureau report is pulled on both the borrower and cosigner. The borrower’s creditworthiness or ability to repay the loan is assessed based on the credit of the borrower, the credit of the cosigner, as well as the
borrower’s academic attributes. The borrower and cosigner credit reports will expire after 90 days.
What is ACS?
ACS (Academic Credit Score) is a proprietary scoring model that assesses borrower creditworthiness by taking into account not only the credit bureau data, but also the student’s academic characteristics such as GPA, course of study, and class standing.
What documentation is required in the application?
After you are conditionally approved based on credit, you (and your cosigner) may be asked to submit the following required documents:
What proof of enrollment do I need to provide?
If you are a returning student, you must provide an unofficial copy of your most recent graded transcript as proof of enrollment at the school you are attending. If you are an incoming freshman, your school will confirm your enrollment during the certification process.
What proof of income do I need to provide?
You must provide a copy of your two most recent pay stubs within the last 60 days. Pay stubs submitted for review must clearly display the following five pieces of information:
Depending on your type of employment or financial situation, we may be able to accept alternate proof of income:
If the loan is cosigned, only the cosigner needs to submit these documents.
How do I become a credit union member?
If you are not a member of a credit union, we will match you with a participating credit union that you’re eligible to join during the application. You will need to complete membership before your loan can be reviewed for final approval. If you decide to cancel the loan request there is no further obligation for membership. Learn about the benefits of credit unions and the simple membership process in About Credit Unions.
What is school certification and how can it affect my loan?
Before the loan can be finalized, the school must authorize the loan disbursement date and loan amount. This process is completed by the school’s financial aid office where they certify that the student attends the school and meets a minimum registration status of half-time or greater.
School certification also acts as a borrower protection to prevent over borrowing. The school has authority to reduce a private student loan to fit within the Cost of Attendance after all other financial aid is paid to the account.
The certification request is sent to the school through an electronic servicer (ELM, Great Lakes, etc.) or faxed upon request. Once the certification is returned, the borrower can accept the final disclosures and the loan will be disbursed.
Schools will vary on the amount of time it takes to process a student loan certification. Be advised that it usually takes 7-10 business days, but can take longer for a school to respond to a certification request after we have sent it.
If you are concerned about meeting your tuition deadline, be sure to apply early and stop by your financial aid office after the certification has been made available to confirm an estimated processing time.
How do I check the status of my application?
The status of your application is available by signing in to your account. The green status bar you see immediately after login indicates which state your application is currently in.
What do the stages of the status bar mean?
How long is the process?
You should allow yourself 6-8 weeks from the time of the initial application until your school receives your funds. Every private student loan must be sent to the borrower’s school for certification prior to being finalized.
Remember, once the process is complete, the funds may not be disbursed to the school right away. The funds will be transferred on a date specified by the school.
After filling out an application is there a commitment to borrow?
No. A borrower may withdraw a request at any time and has up to 30 days from the loan disbursement date to return the money and avoid being charged any fees or interest.
What are the rates and fees on the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
The cuScholar Private Student Loan is a variable rate loan. Please visit Rates & Fees for the current rates.
How is the interest rate calculated?
Interest Rate = Base Rate + Loan Margin
The Base Rate is the average of the 3-Month LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) Index, which is a variable component that resets quarterly on the first day of January, April, July, and October.
The Loan Margin stays constant for the life of the loan and is determined at loan inception, depending on the borrower’s credit history and ACS Grade.
What is the LIBOR Index?
The London Interbank Offered Rate (or LIBOR) is a daily reference rate based on the interest rates at which banks borrow unsecured funds from other banks. This offered rate is the funding cost to a bank and is commonly used as a benchmark for the bank’s lending rate.
Do you offer any borrower benefits?
Yes! Qualified borrowers can enjoy:
What is the repayment term of the cuScholar Private Student Loan?
The repayment term begins six months after the borrower graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree-granting program. Once repayment begins, the borrower has 10 years to repay the loan.
How soon will a borrower receive the loan proceeds?
The loan proceeds will be sent directly to the school by check or through electronic funds transfer (EFT). The check will usually be mailed within 5-7 business days of the borrower accepting their final disclosure unless the school requests a later date.
How often is accrued interest capitalized?
Unpaid interest accrues while the borrower is in school. Upon entering full repayment, all accrued and unpaid interest is capitalized (or added) to the principal balance once at the time repayment begins.
What is the In-School Repayment period?
The in-school period lasts while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time and includes a six month Grace Period once the borrower leaves school. During this time, the borrower is required to either make full interest payments or a monthly $25 Proactive Payment. Any unpaid interest continues to accrue during the in-school period.
What is a Grace Period?
The Grace Period is a six month period of time that begins once a borrower graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program. After the Grace Period, the borrower must begin making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers are required to either make full interest payments or a monthly $25 Proactive Payment during the Grace Period.
What is a Proactive Payment?
A Proactive Payment is a $25 monthly payment the borrower must make while they are in school. The borrower will begin making full principal + interest payments once they have separated from the school or dropped below half-time status. The Proactive Payment helps the borrower demonstrate financial discipline and saves the borrower interest expenses over the life of the loan.
What repayment options are available during the in-school period?
Two in-school repayment options allow the borrower to defer full principal and interest payments until six months after separating from the school:
When do borrowers enter full repayment status?
Borrowers are given a six month Grace Period once they graduate or separate from school before they enter repayment status. Once borrowers enter repayment status, they are responsible for making full principal and interest payments.
How are payments made?
All monthly loan payments are made to the servicer, LendKey, using either an electronic transfer from a financial institution account designated during the application process or mailed in by check. Borrowers can set up automatic monthly ACH payments by logging into their account, clicking the Payments tab, and Manage Payments. Please have the following information available: Financial Institution Name, Account Type, Account Holder Name, Routing Number, and Account Number.
Borrowers can submit payments via paper check to the following loan payment address:
P.O. Box 824575
Philadelphia, PA 19182-4575
Please write your Loan ID and the payment date in the memo line. For example, if your payment is for your March 1st invoice, please put “03/01/12” next to your Loan ID.
Note: Please do not send a check payment before you receive your statement for that month.
Can a borrower prepay the loan at any time?
Yes, a borrower may prepay the loan either partially or in full at any time without incurring any fees or penalties. Please submit prepayments electronically through your account or via paper check and ensure to write your Loan ID and “Toward Principal” in the memo line.
What options are available for borrowers struggling to make payments?
Some borrowers may not have found employment yet six months after leaving school; therefore, borrowers may request to pay just the interest expense on the loan for the first two years while in repayment status. This is referred to as the Initial Interest Only option. The Initial Interest Only option can be requested in writing during the six month Grace Period.
Borrowers more than two years out of school may request forbearance.
What are the forbearance policies?
If you are unable to make your payment due to economic hardship, unemployment, underemployment, returning to school or medical reasons, you may be eligible for forbearance. The maximum allowable forbearance time is 18 months granted in increments of up to 6 months. You must complete a forbearance form for consideration and are responsible for all payments until notified of your request being approved.
Will my personal information be shared with third parties?
How is financial information protected?