HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency has announced the newest expansion of its successful PA Forward Student Loan Program, offering borrowers a more streamlined way to manage their debt by combining all of their federal and private student loans into a single monthly payment.

The PA Forward Student Loan Refinance Program offers competitive fixed interest rates, currently as low as 3.72 percent APR, which is significantly lower than the average private student loan rate of 8.86 percent and the average Federal PLUS loan rate of 6.97 percent.

PHEAA’s PA Forward Student Loan Program offers a suite of borrower-friendly loans for undergraduate and graduate students, for parent borrowers and, now, for borrowers in repayment seeking a simple and straightforward way to manage their debt.

Eligible federal loans include Stafford, PLUS, Graduate PLUS, Consolidation, and Perkins Loans. Borrowers should be aware that refinancing federal student loans will result in the loss of current or future federal loan-specific loan benefits. Eligible private loans include any student loan used for qualified postsecondary education expenses.

“As with all of PHEAA’s business activities, the money earned through the PA Forward Student Loan Program will be used to help support the Agency’s public service mission for the Commonwealth,” said Representative Mike Peifer, PHEAA Board Chairman. “This includes more than $1 billion that has been allocated to fund student aid programs and services for Pennsylvania residents over the last 10 years – helping to fund grant awards for 825,000 students with financial need during that time.”

“While this new program helps borrowers manage their debt during repayment, students should avoid taking out any loan, if possible, by first taking full advantage of federal and state grant and scholarship opportunities,” said Senator Wayne Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. “When borrowing is absolutely necessary, PHEAA works to make sure that students have the resources needed to make smart choices – this includes access to free planning tools such as MySmartBorrowing.org and to low-cost loans through the PA Forward Student Loan Program.”

PHEAA’s PA Forward Refinance Loan offers several benefits, including:

  • No application or origination fees
  • No pre-payment penalty
  • Flexible repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Potential for lower monthly payments
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrolling in Direct Debit
  • Available biweekly payment options that can pay off a 10 year loan, 10 months sooner; saving significantly more money in interest

While the PA Forward Refinance Loan does not require a co-signer, applicants may benefit from a creditworthy co-signer if they do not meet minimum credit requirements. A creditworthy co-signer may also increase an applicant’s chances for approval and could result in a lower interest rate.

The program is available to eligible Pennsylvania residents or eligible residents of an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA, and OH) who are borrowers of the student loans that are to be refinanced.

For more information, visit PHEAA.org/refi. For specific questions, call 1-844-PAFORWD (844-723-6793).

Students, borrowers, and families are encouraged to visit PHEAA on Facebook, Twitter (@PHEAAaid), and LinkedIn where they can learn more about the higher education financial aid process, register for reminders of financial aid deadlines, and get information pertaining to planning for higher education. Additionally, video tutorials explaining the student aid process and types of aid available can be found at YouTube.com/PHEAAstudentAid.

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