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The Vermont Choice - a fixed-rate education loan

The Vermont Choice loan is a non-federal education loan for students who meet established eligibility criteria for specific programs.

APPLY NOW Check your existing application

 

THE VERMONT CHOICE STUDENT LOAN:

Need education financing for a specific program or situation? Here’s how to apply:

  1. Check if you are eligible.
    Are you a student who is …
    • a Vermont resident attending a program in or out of state, or
    • from another state and attending a program in Vermont
  2. AND
    • enrolled in an eligible non-Title IV program as determined by VSAC, or
    • has a qualified back balance at a Title IV institution, from a term ending no more than 24 months in the past?

    You may be eligible for a Vermont Choice loan. If you are unsure whether you meet the criteria, please contact a VSAC loan counselor at 1-800-226-1029 before you apply.

  1. Choose your cosigner.
    There is no origination fee if your cosigner meets our excellent credit criteria.
  1. Understand the interest rate and repayment terms.
    With the Vermont Choice loan, you get a …

    4.80% fixed interest rate; 4.80% to 5.56% APR.

    You’ll be making monthly principal and interest payments while enrolled.


ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the Vermont Choice loan, you must be a student who:

  • is enrolled in an eligible non-Title IV program as determined by VSAC, or
  • has a qualified back balance at a Title IV institution, from a term ending no more than 24 months in the past

and is:

  • a Vermont resident attending in or out of state, or a nonresident borrowing for attendance at a Vermont school
  • a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • applying with an eligible credit-approved cosigner
  • not in default on an education loan

 

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HOW TO APPLY

  1. The student starts the online application for the Vermont Choice loan and provides the cosigner’s name and e-mail address. VSAC then e-mails the cosigner, who must complete his or her application and credit review.
  2. VSAC will notify you of the next steps, and you can check your existing application online.

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LOAN AMOUNTS

Minimum: $200
Maximum: whichever is less — the amount requested by the applicant or the school/program-certified cost minus financial aid

 

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REPAYMENT PERIOD

  • Immediate repayment of both the principal and interest begins at final disbursement, with the first payment due within 45 days.
  • Payments are required monthly. There are no prepayment penalties.
  • The length of the repayment term is determined by the approved loan amount.
    • 10 years for up to $9,999
    • 15 years for $10,000 and above

Repayment periods cannot be extended beyond the original term.

  • Temporary postponements available for financial hardship at VSAC’s discretion.
  • Periods of forbearance do not count toward the repayment term.
  •  

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INTEREST RATES & FEES

The Vermont Choice loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan and will not vary according to market conditions.

An origination fee of 0%, 3% or 5% is deducted from the loan amount at disbursement. The fee is based on the strength of the cosigner’s credit.

Repayment option Fixed interest rate Origination fee (determined by strength of cosigner's credit) Annual Percentage Rate-APR
Immediate Repayment of principal & interest payments while enrolled 4.80% 0%, 3% or 5% 4.80%-5.56%

Interest accrues on the loan from the date of disbursement.

 

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COSIGNER INFORMATION

A student applicant needs a cosigner to… apply for a Vermont Choice loan.
A cosigner is… a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (frequently the student applicant’s parent or guardian) who is equally responsible for repaying the loan.
A cosigner who meets our excellent credit will… enable the student applicant to get a 0% origination fee loan.
Cosigner’s responsibilities include… (1) making payments, including any late or collection fees if the student borrower is unable to pay.
(2) signing all paperwork along with the student borrower.
A cosigner should expect to… (1) receive the same monthly bill statement for the loan that the student borrower receives.
(2) have the loan’s payment status reported to national credit bureaus.
Cosigner release may be available … upon request to borrowers who meet VSAC's credit criteria after 48 months of active repayment.
Loan debt is cancelled completely … if the student dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled. If the cosigner dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled, the cosigner is removed from the loan, which remains in the student’s name.

 

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APR and REPAYMENT EXAMPLE - Vermont Choice student loan for the 2016-2017 school year

APR example for loan approved for $10,000

Fixed interest rate Origination fee
(determined by strength of cosigner's credit)
APR Finance charge Monthly full payments Total amount paid
Immediate Repayment of principal & interest payments while enrolled
4.80% 0%
excellent credit

3%
better credit

5%
good credit
4.80%


5.25%


5.56%
$4,160.60


$4,460.60


$4,660.60
180 at
$78.67
$14,160.60

Repayment Assumptions:

  • An origination fee, when applicable, is deducted from the loan disbursement.
  • Loan repayment term is 180 months and begins when full payments are due. (For loans approved for less than $10,000, the maximum term is 120 months).
  • Two equal disbursements of $5,000.00 in September and January and outstanding interest is capitalized at the final disbursement.
  • All payments are made on time and examples are estimates.

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FUNDING SOURCES

FINANCIAL AID PROCESS

APPLY ONLINE

CALCULATE YOUR COSTS

How Federal Education Loans Work

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