Who is Iowa Student Loans?

Iowa Student Loans is a private, not-for-profit company that was established in 1979. It is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa. The aim of the company is to enable students from Iowa to obtain a college education. As such, this company provides scholarships and loan programs to students from Iowa. They offer private loans for students that and are geared towards students who have financial need after using other types of financial aid (i.e., federal funding, scholarships, etc.). The interest that is earned from student loans is reinvested and earmarked to create scholarships for future Iowa college students.

The company currently manages over 2.5 billion dollars in student loans and has assisted nearly 400,000 Iowa students afford college. They employ over 200 people has a board of directors that is appointed by the Iowa State governor. Iowa Student Loans works jointly with Aspire Resources Inc., which provides the loan disbursements and loan servicing. Customer service is provided to borrowers through Aspire Servicing Center.


What Does Iowa Student Loans Provide to Students?

Iowa Student Loans has a portion of their website dedicated to ensuring that students are borrowing money smartly. They are invested in seeing students succeed and ensure this by allowing them to borrow only as much money as necessary, and no more! The Student Loan Game Plan part of their website helps students develop a plan to minimize the amount of money that they need to borrow in the first place. Students can also find other resources, such as borrowing money by academic major, and tips on how to save money. The website also provides an online monthly calculator to help students see what their monthly budget will be.

Iowa Student Loans also offers scholarships to Iowa students and their parents. Currently, awards of about $1,500 are open to parents who help their high school seniors save for college. Additional awards are open for high school seniors. These awards include the following.

Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarships – which provide awards worth $2,000 to high school seniors and a $500 award to the high school that they attend. This award aims to make students aware of basic financial, borrowing, and lending terms.

Come 2 Iowa Senior Scholarship – provides awards to high school seniors from surrounding states in an effort to increase the number of out-of-state students. Awards are worth $1,000.

Other career specific programs help nurses and teachers afford a college degree. Iowa Student Loans also has a special reduced interest rate loan available for members of the armed forces.


How to Make Payments 

Students who have their loans serviced through Iowa Student Loans partner, Aspire, have several options to repay their loans. The monthly payments can be auto-debited from a checking or savings account, which alleviates the need to remember to send in payment each month. Alternatively, students who prefer to send a check or money order can do so through the mail. A third option, allows students to make a payment by phone with their checking or savings account, ATM card, or credit card.


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Iowa Student Loans FAQ

How are payments applied to my loan?

For Iowa student loans, as well as most other loans, the payment is first applied to fees and accrued interest. Any remaining amount is put towards reducing the principal of the loan. If a borrower decides to pay extra one month, the amount is usually divided among all loans equally. However, if a borrower is interested in paying off a specific loan first, a request can be made to go towards a specific loan. This would be a good idea if one of the loans is a high interest loan.

How to I request to target a specific loan if I want to pay extra?

Requests can be processed online, through the use of the auto-debit tool, or borrowers may call the customer service number.

Can I postpone my payments?

Yes. Payments may be postponed under certain circumstances. Borrowers may qualify for deferment of loans or forbearance. Borrowers interested in a loan deferment or forbearance will not have to make payments on their loans for a certain number of months. However, borrowers should realize that interest will still accrue on the loans during this time and that if the interest is not paid, then it will capitalize. Thus, the amount of the loan will grow.

Who Is Eligible for Loan Forgiveness?

Loan forgiveness occurs in very rare circumstances and are only for federal student loans – so Iowa Student Loans are not eligible. Students who work in low demand fields, such as public service, nursing, or teaching, may be eligible for partial or total loan forgiveness. Borrowers who die or become permanently disabled may be eligible for a loan forgiveness. Students who make payments under the Income-Based Repayment plan for 25 consecutive years and who have still not paid the remaining debt on their loans may be eligible for loan forgiveness. Students who file for bankruptcy may be eligible for loan forgiveness if they demonstrate that paying a loan off would pose an undue hardship. Lastly, if someone fraudulently borrowed a loan under your name or if your school closes prior to your degree completion, then you may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Who Is Eligible for Iowa Student Loans?

Iowa Student Loans are open to Iowa residents who attend an accredited college within the State of Iowa. Borrowers must be at least  18 years of age or be a minor who applies with a cosigner. Students must plan to enroll at least half-time at an eligible college or university and be making progress towards their degree. Furthermore, only residents of the U.S. are eligible to apply.


Final Thoughts

Students who borrow under Iowa Student Loans may have either Iowa Student Loans or Aspire as their loan servicer. Students who run into trouble repaying loans under either servicer should be sure to call the appropriate customer service number as soon as possible. Both providers work with students to arrange an affordable repayment plan.