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Prior to 1994, borrowers could also receive loans under the Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) Program. Effective July 1, 1994, SLS loans were no longer issued. The SLS Program was merged into the unsubsidized component of the Stafford Loan Program. However, many students obtained SLS loans before that date, and the conditions and benefits of those earlier loans remain unchanged.102

Many older loans are insured directly by the federal government, with no guaranty agency acting as intermediary. These loans are called Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs). FISLs were made from 1966 to 1984. Unless specified otherwise, the term FFEL in this section includes FISLs.

Between 1978 and 1998, the Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Program provided federal insurance for educational loans made by private lenders to health professions students. New HEAL loans were discontinued on September 30, 1998.

The HEAL Program was transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Education on July 1, 2014. The Department of Education is now responsible for managing the servicing of non-defaulted HEAL loans and collection of defaulted HEAL loans.103

There are also separate regulations allowing disability discharges for HEAL loan borrowers. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) has the authority to discharge HEAL loans based on a finding of total and permanent disability.104


  • 102 {100} SLS loans were considered a part of the FFEL category of loans. Therefore FFEL regulations should apply to these loans as well.

  • 103 {101} U.S. Dep’t of Educ., Electronic Announcement, HEAL Program Information—Maximum HEAL Program Interest Rates for Quarter Ending September 30, 2017 (July 14, 2017).

  • 104 {102} 42 C.F.R. § 60.39(b)(1). See, e.g., Student Loan Mktg. Ass’n v. Herdman, 2005 WL 648143 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 22, 2005). See § 10.8.3, infra.