Mar. 16, 2020 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) 

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) recently announced an expansion of its PA Forward Student Loan Program, offering borrowers a more streamlined way to manage their debt by combining all their federal and private student loans into a single monthly payment.

The program offers competitive fixed interest rates, currently as low as 3.72% APR, which is significantly lower than the average private student loan rate of 8.86% and the average Federal PLUS loan rate of 6.97%.

Eligible federal loans include Stafford, PLUS, Graduate PLUS, Consolidation and Perkins loans. Borrowers should be aware that refinancing federal student loans will result in the loss of current or future federal loan-specific benefits. Eligible private loans include any student loan used for qualified postsecondary education expenses.

PHEAA’s PA Forward Refinance Loan offers several benefits, including

  •   No application or origination fees.
  •   No pre-payment penalty.
  •   Flexible repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years.
  •   Potential for lower monthly payments.
  •   0.25% interest rate reduction for enrolling in Direct Debit.
  •   Available biweekly payment options that can pay off a 10-year loan, 10 months sooner; saving significantly more money in interest.

The program is available to eligible Pennsylvania residents or eligible residents of an approved state (MD, NJ, DE, NY, VA and OH) who are borrowers of the student loans that are to be refinanced.

For more information, visit For specific questions, call 844-PAFORWD (844-723-6793).

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717.260.6136 /