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How to fill out the federal loan rehabilitation form

Step-by-step instructions to get your federal student loans out of default.


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If your federal student loans are in default, not all hope is lost: You have a few options, including rehabilitation. This opens you up to the benefits of federal student loans after making several consecutive repayments adjusted to your financial situation. And applying can be as simple as contacting your lender.

How federal loan rehabilitation works

Federal loan rehabilitation is a way to get out of default on federal student loans in the Direct, FFEL or Perkins Loan programs. It involves making nine monthly repayments toward your loans within 20 days of each due date over a 10-month period.

What does rehabilitation do?

    • Removes the default from your credit history.
    • Makes you eligible for federal aid again.
    • Makes you eligible for deferment and forbearance.
    • Stops all collection payments like wage garnishments.
    • Gives you access to more repayment plans.
    • Makes you eligible for forgiveness programs.

What do I need to do before I apply?

If you decided federal loan rehabilitation is right for you, you’ll first want to contact your loan servicer and compile all of the documents you need to fill out the Income and Expense Form.

Contact your servicer

Reach out to your servicer to let them know you’re interested in rehabilitation. Perkins Loans require nine full monthly repayments in order to get out of default. But if you have a Direct or FFEL Loan, your servicer will offer you a monthly repayment based on the following formula:

15% of your discretionary income / 12

Follow these steps to calculate it yourself:

If you can afford the monthly repayments, you’re done. Otherwise, you can ask your lender for a lower repayment based on your income and expenses by completing and submitting the Loan Rehabilitation: Income and Expense Form, along with all supporting documents.

Have these documents and information on hand

Make sure you have the required documents proving how much you make and spend in a month. It’ll make it easier to calculate how much you spend when you fill out the Income and Expense Form.

How to fill out the Loan Rehabilitation: Income and Expense Form

Your servicer might send you a copy of the Loan Rehabilitation: Income and Expense Form. Otherwise, you can download it on the Federal Student Aid website. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to complete each section. Print clearly in blue or black ink.

Mail in your Income and Expense Form and supporting documents

If you got your form from your servicer, send it to the address printed at the bottom of page 4. Otherwise, send it to your loan servicer.

You can find your loan servicer’s mailing address on your federal loan statement. After your servicer reviews the form and documents, it’ll give you another adjusted offer based on your income and expenses.

How else can I get out of default?

Rehabilitation isn’t the only way to get a federal loan out of default. The simplest way is to pay it off in full — though that option might not be possible if you’re struggling to make repayments.

You can also get out of default by applying for a Direct Consolidation Loan. You’ll either need to agree to pay off the loan with an income-driven repayment plan or make three full, on-time repayments in a row before applying for consolidation.

Student loan rehabilitation vs. consolidation

With the consolidation loan, you’ll be eligible for most benefits that come with federal loans such as deferment and forbearance. But the default will stay on your credit history. While both options are far better than staying in default, each have their own separate benefits.

Consider loan rehabilitation if…

  • You want the default status removed from your credit history.
  • Your wages are already being garnished.
  • You want less fees added to your existing debt.

Consider loan consolidation if…

  • You have multiple loans in default.
  • You want to get out of default faster.

Compare student loan refinancing options

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Discover Private Consolidation Loan
Good to excellent credit
2.80% to 12.49%
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
Starting at 1.89%
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
Credible Student Loan Refinancing
Good to excellent credit
1.99% to 9.24%
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing
2.39% to 6.01%
Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing
1.99% to 5.64%
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (with Autopay)
Full balance of your qualified education loans
2.25% to 6.09%
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing (Variable Rate)
2.27% to 7.49%
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Rehabilitating your federal loans can be as simple as reaching out to your loan servicer. But if you still aren’t able to afford repayments based on your income, you’ll have to provide a more detailed account of your income and expenses.

To learn more about how student loans work, check out our guide.

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