Cares Act Illinois Student Loans

Cares Act Illinois Student Loans

7 min read



If you’re looking to get into a career that fits your interests, college courses can help. Many colleges offer certificate programs or degrees focused on specific careers, and these certificates can help you develop skills necessary for getting started in your chosen field after graduation. You may find out what employers are hiring for by checking with local businesses or organizations that do business with your school. Or, take advantage of our Career Services Office at (312) 405-3710 to speak with a career counselor who can provide advice on finding internships, jobs, and graduate schools that fit your skill set.

Community Service

Service projects are one way to practice your leadership skills while giving back to the community. Projects range from tutoring elementary students to volunteering in nursing homes. While service is often a positive experience, some people feel obligated to volunteer for free; others might prefer to pay someone else to do the work. Either way, service gets you involved in a worthy project that helps others.


Paying for child care can create financial challenges for families. If you have children, consider becoming a babysitter yourself, or look into childcare options offered by your neighborhood church, synagogue, temple or mosque. By offering affordable daycare services, many churches and synagogues can supplement their income, and many religious organizations are willing to hire volunteers to help with childcare duties. If you don’t want to become a full time caregiver, try applying for a job as a nanny or family assistant. Jobs are posted online in sites like


College doesn�t need to cost thousands of dollars. In fact, it doesn�t even need to be paid for. Take classes at your local community college and earn credits that transfer to four-year schools. Classes at community colleges tend to be less expensive than those at universities, and they still give you the opportunity to meet new friends and expand your network. Another option is to attend a for-profit institution where tuition tends to be lower than traditional public institutions and you’ll receive hands-on training in vocational fields like engineering, computer science and culinary arts. Check out our list of top online bachelor’s degree programs.

Job Training

Take the first step towards a fulfilling future by learning a trade. Trade schools can teach you how to repair electronics, operate machinery, or install plumbing. There are countless opportunities to learn new skills and get trained in them. Look into training programs offered by local community colleges, technical schools, and adult education centers. Find more information about different types of trades here.

New Media

You could make money by writing a blog or starting a YouTube channel for video blogging. A good camera with quality sound equipment can significantly improve your chances of making money as a videographer. Consider picking up a DSLR camera and investing in some decent microphones, lighting equipment, and editing software before starting your own video studio. You could start by posting videos of yourself doing simple things, like cooking, acting silly, or singing karaoke. Once you gain enough views, viewers may subscribe to your channel and watch the videos regularly. The more popular your videos become, the more likely people will pay to advertise on your page, increasing your revenue.

Online Education

There are lots of options for earning credentials on the internet. For example, if you’re already employed, certifications earned on Coursera can add value to your resume. Also, if you have the ambition, a postgraduate diploma program on edX can lead to a higher paying job. Both Udacity and General Assembly offer accredited coursework you can complete in only a few months. Even if you aren’t working, taking online classes gives you the flexibility to study at your own pace.

Cares Act Illinois Student Loans

Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISUC) was created in 1992 and operates under  IV-E of the Higher Education Act. ISAC’s mission statement reads as follows, “the commission shall promote financial responsibility by providing loans and loan guarantees for eligible borrowers.” Eligible students include those who meet state criteria set forth by the Federal Perkins Loan program. The ISAC also provides grants and prepaid tuition plans for qualifying students.

Student Service Center (SSC)

The SSC is responsible for collecting student loan payments and managing the delinquency of delinquent loans for the ISAC. It also serves as the central point of contact between borrowers and lenders regarding repayment options and payment arrangements. Borrowers may use this service center to apply for additional educational funds, including federal work-study programs, scholarships, and grants. Students may submit applications for aid at any time throughout their academic career. Applications are submitted online using the SSC website.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA is responsible for processing veterans’ education loans, as well as administering the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In addition, the VA may provide direct student assistance to eligible veterans, such as free counseling, loan consolidation, forbearance, deferment, and discharge. To qualify for these services, veterans must have been honorably discharged from active duty and meet income eligibility requirements.

State Guaranteed Student Loan Program (GSLP)

The GSLP offers a guaranteed loan option for qualified borrowers. Qualified borrowers under the age of 24 may receive loans to cover undergraduate costs and repayments begin seven years after graduation. These loans are also offered to graduate students for purposes of post-graduate study. Interest accrues annually beginning six months after disbursement. There is no cap on the amount of money that may be borrowed.

Direct Subsidized Loan Program (Subsidized Plan)

Direct subsidized loans can be obtained by eligible undergraduates. An interest rate of 4.66% per year is charged for the first seven years after enrollment, then increases to 6.21% per year. A maximum funding limit applies to all loans issued.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program (Unsubsidized Plan)

Undergraduates are eligible to obtain direct unsubsidized loans if they have demonstrated financial need. Interest rates vary depending on the loan type. Maximum borrowing limits apply to each loan type.

Illinois Health Care Choice Program

Illinois residents are eligible to participate in the Illinois Health Care Choice (IHCC) Program. Under this program, qualified borrowers may enroll in low-cost private health insurance plans that offer coverage similar to Medicaid. The IHCC Program enables individuals to make cost-effective decisions about their healthcare without regard to employment status or income level. All applicants are subject to credit checks and must pay monthly premiums.

Cares Act Illinois Student Loans

If you have attended college, then you know how difficult it is to pay back student loans after graduation. If you are struggling with paying off debt, here is some help! Cares Act Illinois Student Loans was created to provide assistance to students who are facing financial difficulties while trying to repay their private student loans. In addition to providing funding for the program, the state of Illinois provides grants for eligible borrowers.

What if I have federal education loan debt?

You may qualify for federal student loans. Federal student loans are funded by the U.S Department of Education and administered by Sallie Mae. How do I get started?

When applying for a loan at Finaid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are already receiving aid through a work study or scholarship program, you can use those forms to determine eligibility for a Cares Act loan instead.

The application takes about 15 minutes. After submitting the application, you should receive a confirmation email, which will give you instructions on where to send supporting information. If you don’t receive any emails, please follow these steps to submit your application securely:

Go to Click on “Apply Now.”

On the website, click on “Apply Online.” Select the type of loan you want. If you are currently enrolled in school, select “Student Loan.” Otherwise, select “Other” and then choose “Illinois Student Loan.”

Select whether you need a consolidation loan, a payment plan, or both. Please note that you cannot apply for both a consolidation and a repayment plan. A repayment plan is only offered once you have been approved for a consolidation loan.

Complete the fields under “Personal Information.” Be sure to enter your Social Security number correctly. If you are not certain what your SSN is, you can look it up at

Next, review the terms and conditions for your loan. Then, answer the questions posed below.

Is your income low enough to qualify? Answer yes or no.

Do you live close enough to your school to commute to class each day? Answer yes or no..

Would you benefit from deferment? Answer yes or no

Cares Act Illinois Student Loans

Caring for student loans is one of the top three priorities for students and graduates.

About $40 billion dollars in federal student loan debt was outstanding at the end of 2016.

More than 45% of all borrowers have some sort of delinquency or default on their student loans.

A quarter of all borrowers who were able to keep their loan payments current experienced payment errors due to incorrect information provided by the lender or borrower.

The average monthly payment of a student loan is about $400 per month.


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Cares Act Illinois Student Loans

Cares Act (The Higher Education Emergency Relief Act of 2008)

The original purpose of the bill was to create a program allowing student borrowers who were unable to pay back their loans due to economic hardship to defer payments for two years. After three years, student loan deferrals would again become possible. However, the legislation created a much larger program that extended the payment deferral options indefinitely.

Program Description

Under the Cares Act, students enrolled in school at least half-time may defer repayment until they graduate or enter a work training program approved by the Secretary of Education. Deferments are allowed if the borrower cannot cover minimum monthly payments and makes no more than 120% of the family’s federal poverty level. In addition, the Department of Education offers free counseling services to help borrowers manage their finances and repay their debts.

Impact on Education

The Cares Act resulted in $8 billion in savings for public universities and colleges over 10 years, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.

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