How to Correct Errors on Your Student Loan Application

Errors on a student loan application can reflect poor planning or even dishonesty in an applicant. You should take special care when correcting errors to ensure the process is handled smoothly and without further issues. First, you need to determine whether the error can be corrected without withdrawing the application. If the application needs to be withdrawn, you will have further steps to take to make sure your funds come through by the time you need them.

Determining Severity of an Error

Some errors are very minor and can be easily corrected; others require fully resubmitting an application. Determining the severity of your error is the first step to resolving it. Ask yourself this question: will this error affect the size or terms of my loan? For example, failing to accurately report the number of credit hours you are taking this semester will affect your loan amount. Failing to accurately report your campus mailbox number will not. Any error that will not affect your loan can typically be handled through a simple amendment.

Amending an Application

An amendment is a written document that is either attached to an original application or is used to make changes to that application. For example, if you need to amend your address, you will likely submit a written request which will then allow the lender to change your loan application. If you need to amend a statement regarding how long you lived at your previous residence, this will typically just be added as an extra sheet to the application. In both cases, the amendment will likely be filed at any point during the application process. The lender can move forward with funding your loan before this information has been changed. Today, a number of amendments can be completed online instead of through formal written request.

Withdrawing an Application

If you determined your error will affect the funding of your loan, you will need to withdraw your application and resubmit the document. Contact your lender as soon as possible to make sure the loan does not go through the processing phase. Most lenders will catch errors in processing since they double check applications for accuracy. To be safe, though, you should be proactive to change the application yourself. This can also reduce delays in the funding process. Once you have withdrawn your application, submit a new one. Be extremely careful with this document as withdrawing again can mean your funds are significantly delayed.

Changing Information after Processing

Once a loan has been processed, you will need to go through much more hassle if you wish to amend the application. One option may be canceling the loan and sourcing a new one. Federal loans, like Stafford and Perkins loans, have a short window for when loans can be canceled. Private lenders may be more flexible. If you do cancel a loan, though, you may not have options to meet your tuition requirements in a given term. Speak with your lender and your college financial aid office before moving forward to ask about your options.

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