The Student Debt Assistance matching fund is available for all GoCorps applicants that have student loan debt. Here's how it works: GoCorps raises $2,500 which is a matching gift fund for each Goer's student loans. GoCorps has made arrangements with each partnering organization to allow each Goer to raise an additional $125/mo into their monthly budget. This money is set aside each month and at the end of the two years of service, each Goer will have raised $2,500, which is then matched by the GoCorps Student Debt Assistance fund. At that point, $5,000 is sent to the loan provider of each Goer.
Besides the $2,500 of Student Debt Assistance matching funds, each goer is also eligible to raise an additional $200/mo or more to go toward the monthly payments of their student loans. Depending on the student loan debt amount, Goers who have these payments rolled into their monthly budget can pay an additional $2,000-$3,000 toward the principal of their student loans. Therefore, at the end of their two years of service, most Goers will have paid down their student loans by at least $7,000!
There are two potential ways to take care of your student loan payments while you are serving overseas:
- You may qualify to postpone (defer) your loan payments until you return from your two years service
- You can raise additional funds to cover your loan payments while you are serving
You may qualify for deferment (postponement) or forbearance during your service. Since educational loans come from hundreds of different banks and institutions (providers), arranging to get your school loan payments deferred or for forbearance should be done directly with your loan provider(s).
In most cases, simply adding your loan payments to your living expenses is how volunteers cover their loan payments while serving overseas. This process usually involves applying with your loan provider to qualify for an 'income based payment schedule.' This will make your loan payments to be no more than $200/mo while your are serving overseas. GoCorps partnering organizations will then help you set your budget to include sufficient funds to cover your loan payments while you are serving overseas.
The GoCorps Student Debt Assistance funds are contingent upon the completion of your GoCorps two years of service. Therefore, GoCorps is not able to match any payments to the loan provider that are made prior to the end of your two year GoCorps commitment.
Since the GoCorps Student Debt Assistance is a matching fund, if you have less than $5,000 in student loans, then the maximum matching amount is half of your total loan amount. For example, if you have $4,000 in student loans at the end of serving for two years on your GoCorps placement, you would write a check for $2,000 to your loan provider and GoCorps would match it with $2,000 from the Student Debt Assistance fund.