Below is the who, what, when and how of applying for LIPP specific to 2023 graduates. We also recommend all 2023 graduates review the Frequently Asked Questions section, which includes the questions we most often hear from recent graduates, and the Understanding Lender Certifications video, which should be helpful as you compile information to submit to LIPP.
Know who you owe and set up accounts with your servicers
- If you borrowed federal loans (PLUS, Stafford/direct) and you aren’t sure who services them, see StudentAid.gov to find your servicer(s).
- If you borrowed Harvard institutional loans, log on to https://heartland.ecsi.net/
- If you borrowed private loans (HUECU, College Ave, etc.), check with the lender directly.
- For common lenders’ contact information, check this page and find your lender(s).
Review and understand the communications your servicer may send you prior to entering repayment
- Glossary of LIPP Terms and Glossary of Loan Terms: We have compiled these two PDFs for general guidance as you navigate your loan communications and repayment.
- Interest-only statements: These inform you about the interest that is accumulating prior to capitalization. If you choose to pay off any interest, that will be considered an optional payment and not eligible for LIPP.
- Notifications about the grace period ending: You may receive a letter informing you the grace period is ending and repayment will begin immediately. Typically, this means that while the repayment period will begin as soon as the grace period is over, the first required payment will likely not be due until approximately 3-4 weeks after the grace period ends.
- Federal loans will have a 6 month grace period with the first required payment typically due between November and January. The due date will be determined by your specific servicer and your Stafford (direct) loans might begin repayment one month later than the PLUS loans.
- Perkins loans will have a 9 month grace period with the first payment likely due in March.
- Private loans vary so check with your lender directly about the terms.
- LIPP is based on your required payment due so we will not reimburse you for any optional payments. If you think you have payments due before November (for example if you took a leave of absence and already used your grace period), please contact us.
- Disclosures/Obligation Statements/Repayment Schedules: These are generally issued 6-8 weeks before your first payment is due and will provide you with an estimate of your due date and required monthly payment. You will submit this document with your first application. More instructions and examples will follow when we open the application process.
- Auto-Pay/Auto-Debit Instructions: If you wish to set up an automatic withdrawal with your servicers, you may need to wait until the grace period is over and your first payment is showing due. Some servicers may require you to make your first payment manually on their site before setting up the auto-pay. Check with your servicer for instructions.
- LIPP is based on your required payment due not the amount you choose to pay. When you send documentation of your monthly amount due, please send us your billed amount rather than your auto-pay amount.
- If your required monthly payment changes, you may need to change your auto-payment accordingly.
- If your payment is suspended while your servicer sets up the auto-pay on your account (meaning you do not have a required payment due), you should not make a payment until you are required to do so. Remember LIPP only covers required payments so you will not be reimbursed for the optional payments.
Find out when your first payment is due
- Once you are on your servicer’s site, you can see billing details for your loans.
- Your PLUS loans might be due 1 month earlier than your Stafford (federal direct) loans.
- Confirm your loans are on the standard 10 year repayment plan (check that the payoff date is 2033).
- Harvard institutional loans including SPIF loans are typically due in January. Perkins loans are due March 1st. An initial LIPP determination will be created and once the Perkins goes into repayment you should send an updated lender certification and we will request a 2nd check on your behalf.
*If you were a joint degree candidate, check your statement in case your due dates differ.
*If you previously went into repayment on other graduate or undergraduate loans you will also need to check your statement in case your due dates differ.
When to apply for LIPP
- 5-6 weeks before your first payment is due. For example, if your first payment is due:
- November 30th, you should complete your application no later than October 15th
- December 15th, you should complete your application no later than October 31st
- January 2nd, you should complete your application no later than December 2nd
- A complete application includes the online application and ALL supporting documents in a status of Accepted.
- The earliest we will begin to accept LIPP application documents from 2023 graduates is typically in mid-October. If you are a 2023 graduate and still unsure whether you have sufficient documentation to apply, please be in touch with our office, we are happy to advise you on what to submit.
- Harvard is closed December 23rd – January 2nd for winter recess. There are early financial deadlines due to the break. If you complete an application after the first week of December, you may not receive payment until mid-to-late January.
- LIPP does not process retroactive assistance. If you have a December payment due and you wait until January to apply or submit your supporting documents you will not be eligible for December assistance.
What to expect regarding disbursement
- It will take roughly 1-3 weeks to receive your assistance after you receive your LIPP eligibility notification email depending on what type of disbursement you receive.
- If you opted into direct deposit by signing up for Zelle you should receive your disbursement within 1 business week from the date of your email notification
- If you opted for a paper check you should receive your disbursement within 3 business weeks from the date of your email notification.
- Your LIPP amount will include your eligible assistance through June 2024.
- Using your LIPP assistance, you will pay your lenders monthly as required. Do not pay them in lump sums; this is for your protection because if your eligibility changes due to a change in employment or situation you may need to repay a portion of the assistance you received.
- If choosing to receive your LIPP disbursement via check, a paper check will be mailed to the mailing address you provide on your application.
- If choosing to be paid via Zelle you may want to reach out to your bank to see if there is a transfer limit (i.e. $2,000 per transfer). LIPP cannot break up a disbursement and send it in multiple transactions, so if your bank limit is low it may be worth looking into opening a new account with a bank that allows for higher transfer amounts.