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Still Owe for Last Semester? Here Are Loans for the Past Due Amount

Kendra Burgess
still owe for last semester? here are loans for the past due amount
still owe for last semester? here are loans for the past due amount

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Like many college graduates, you may have a past due balance on your tuition. It can be challenging to manage if you didn’t save enough money or take out enough student loans to cover the amount you owe.

In addition to this, not every lender allows you to take out loans to cover a past due amount. Luckily, there are still student loan options available to cover past due tuition.

We’ll go through each option in depth, including the consequences of having a past due balance, methods for repaying past due tuition, and how past due tuition might affect your ability to graduate.

What does it mean to have past due tuition?

When a student owes money to their school after getting charged with tuition and fees, it is already past due. This can happen for various reasons, such as not making payments on time, dropping classes, or withdrawing from school entirely.

Depending on your school’s policies, you may have to pay the entire balance immediately or arrange to pay it off over time. If you don’t pay your tuition balance, your school may take action against you, including withholding your transcript or diploma, putting a hold on your account, or even suing you for the amount owed. Some schools do not allow you to sign up for more classes until your past due tuition is paid.

Sometimes, schools will work with students to set up a payment plan. However, the school can still take legal action if you don’t make payments as agreed.

Every school has different policies about tuition balance, so it’s critical to stay informed. Some schools may be more lenient, while others may be stricter. Check with your school’s registrar or financial aid office for specific policies.

What are the consequences of having past due tuition?

Failing to pay your college tuition on time might cause serious problems. As previously stated, your school may pursue legal action against you if you do not pay what you owe. Withholding your transcript or diploma, registration holds on your account, or cancelled enrollment are all possible consequences.

In addition to this, being unable to pay the balance of your tuition can damage your credit score. At a certain point, schools will report missed payments to the credit bureaus and can send your account to a collections agency. This can make it challenging to get a mortgage, car loan, or even a job in the future.

What are ways to pay off last semester’s past due amount?

If you’re having trouble repaying your past due tuition, a few options are available to assist you. We’ll go through each option in detail so you can make an informed decision.

Talk to your university’s financial aid department

Some schools have programs in place to help students with their tuition balance. For example, your school may be able to work out a payment plan or offer financial assistance.

If the thought of speaking to your university’s student aid department intimidates you, here are some tips that’ll make the conversation go more smoothly:

  • Be honest about your current financial situation and explain why you cannot pay your past due tuition.
  • Bring documentation that supports your claims, such as a letter from your employer or bank statements.
  • Be prepared to discuss your repayment options and make a plan to repay your debt.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you cannot repay your debt in full, ask if your school can waive some of the late fees or interest.

Keep in mind that not all schools offer assistance for past due tuition. If your school doesn’t have a program, they may still be willing to work with you on a case-by-case basis. 

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If you’re having trouble paying your tuition, you may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant or other financial aid. It’s important to complete the FAFSA each year to ensure you aren’t leaving any aid on the table.

Market Realist explains that FAFSA assists those who may qualify through scholarships, grants, or student loans placed towards future balances and any past due ones. The FAFSA application is free and takes less than an hour to complete.


There are many scholarships available to help students pay for college. Some scholarships are need-based, while others are merit-based. Many schools offer scholarships to students who excel academically or athletically or have exceptional skills and talents. There are also emergency scholarships available that could help with your past due tuition balance.

To learn more about scholarships, check out our comprehensive guide on How to Find College Scholarships.

Private student loans

If you have good credit, you may be able to take out a private student loan to help cover the balance of your past due tuition. Not all lenders have the same standards for tuition balances, so you must contact them first to ensure the funds can be used for past due tuition. Earnest, SoFi, and College Ave are a few lenders who can provide student loans for past due tuition.

Once approved, the funds will be sent directly to your school to pay off your past due balance. You will then have to repay the loan according to the terms of your agreement.

If you choose to borrow privately, shop for the best interest rate and repayment terms possible. Purefy’s rate comparison tool is a great place to start, and you can see offers from top lenders in minutes after completing a simple form.

Applying for private student loans can be confusing, but our guide will help determine when and how to apply.

Lenders who offer student loans for past due tuition

Not every lender offers student loans for past due tuition balances, but there are still options. Here are our top picks:

  • Earnest. Earnest is a private lender that offers college tuition loans to qualified borrowers with flexible repayment options. Through Earnest, you can customize your loan term to find a monthly payment that fits into your budget.
  • Ascent. If you’re looking for a student loan to cover past due tuition, Ascent is another excellent option. They also offer outcomes-based loans to students who do not meet the credit criteria or have a cosigner, so your academic performance can still allow you to qualify.
  • College Ave. Another option is College Ave, which offers biweekly payments and a quick decision process.

How past due tuition can affect you after school

Your ability to pay your past due tuition can affect you long after graduation. Not being able to repay your debt can damage your credit score and make it harder for you to get a job. Some schools will even withhold your diploma until your balance is paid.

If you’re struggling to repay your debt, you have options. You can talk to your school’s financial aid department, apply for a grant, or take out a private loan.

Now that we’ve gone through what happens if you don’t pay your college tuition, keep in mind that you must stay on top of your tuition payments, no matter which road you take. Make sure you understand all the deadlines and requirements for your school to avoid any penalties or late fees.

Consolidate your student loans and save money

Before deciding whether to pay your past due tuition, carefully weigh the pros and cons. Not being able to repay your debt can have serious financial consequences that can last for many years. Talk to your school’s student aid department or a financial advisor to see if any options are available to help you repay your debt.

If you’re struggling to repay your tuition balance, Purefy can help. We assist qualified borrowers searching for more favorable repayment terms by offering student loan refinancing. We’re also partnered with the industry’s top lenders to connect you to the best private student loan for your situation.

Our award-winning team of student loan advisors can guide you through the student loan refinance process or help you apply for a private student loan. You can schedule a free consultation with a student loan advisor to explore your options and see how we can help you save money.

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Earnest Rate Disclosure

Rates displayed include the 0.25% Auto Pay discount. You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment from a checking or savings account. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.24% APR to 13.03% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 3.83% APR to 12.53% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Nine-month grace period is not available for borrowers who choose our Principal and Interest Repayment plan while in school.

Earnest clients may skip one payment every 12 months. Your first request to skip a payment can be made once you’ve made at least 6 months of consecutive on-time payments, and your loan is in good standing. The interest accrued during the skipped month will result in an increase in your remaining minimum payment. The final payoff date on your loan will be extended by the length of the skipped payment periods. Please be aware that a skipped payment does count toward the forbearance limits. Please note that skipping a payment is not guaranteed and is at Earnest’s discretion. Your monthly payment and total loan cost may increase as a result of postponing your payment and extending your term.

Loan Eligibility criteria: Eligible students must: 1) For college Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors, attend, or be enrolled to attend, a Title IV school full-time. For college Seniors and Graduate students, attend, or be enrolled to attend, a Title IV school at least half-time; and 2) be pursuing a Bachelor’s or Graduate degree. Earnest private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information, self-certification of loan amount, and school certification.

Responsible borrowing tip: Explore all scholarship, grant and federal options before applying for a private loan.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

ELFI Rate Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan provider offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist students financially with receiving their education. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 10-24-2022. Variable interest rates may increase after closing but will never exceed 18.00%. Interest rates may also differ from the rates shown above. The term of your loan, financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history can affect the interest rate. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 7% would have 120 payments of $11.61 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

College Ave Rate Disclosure

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
Minimum loan amount $1,000, as certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive.
This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 11/17/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Ascent Rate Disclosure

Ascent Student Loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Ts&Cs.

Rates are effective as of 11/14/2022 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized back account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Rates.

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