Types of loans
Types of Loans
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution. To be eligible for Federal Stafford and Plus loans, you must be enrolled in at least six hours per semester. Any accepted loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system. Students can access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by clicking HERE.
- Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact-the Direct Loan Servicing Center-for everything related to the repayment of your loans, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
- Have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: Direct Loan Servicing Online
- Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.
These loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
Effective as of July 1, 2013 students with a zero student loan balance will be limited to the amount of Subsidized Loans they can receive during their Undergraduate career. Eligibility will be limited to 150% of the length of their degree program. If degree is not received by the end of the 150% timeframe subsidized loans will be converted to unsubsidized loans.
NSU can prorate the Direct Loan Loan amount for an undergraduate who enrolls in only one semester as an undergraduate during the academic year and will graduate during the same academic year. The proration is based on a ratio of the number of hours enrolled during the semester divided by 24 hours multiplied by the applicable annual loan limit.
Life Time Loan Limits:
- $31,000 as a dependent undergraduate student
- $57,500 as an independent undergraduate student (only $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)
- $138,500 as a graduate or professional student (only $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans). The graduate loan limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.
These aggregate limits include both Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and any Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans received through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). There are two types of MPNs in the Direct Loan Program: 1) MPN for Student Loans, and 2) MPN for Parent PLUS Loans.
The process for completing an electronic MPN is simple. You will need to have your Department of Education issued FSA ID to begin the process. If you do not have your FSA ID, please visit the Official FSA ID Website.
You can begin the MPN process by choosing:
- Complete New MPN for Student Loans (if you are taking out a loan to pay for your own education); OR
- Complete New MPN for Parent PLUS Loans (if you are taking out a loan to pay for your child’s education)
As required by the Department of Education, all first time borrowers at Northwestern State must receive entrance counseling before receiving their first loan disbursement. Additionally, all students that have previous loans must receive exit counseling before graduating, dropping below half-time, or resigning from the university. These counseling sessions will provide you with important information about your loans.
To begin a counseling session, please click on one of the links below:
Federal regulations state that if a student is in the first year of undergraduate studies and is a first time Stafford loan borrower, the school may not disburse the first installment of the loan until 30 calendar days after class begins.
Federal regulations state that a single semester loan must be disbursed in two installments, the first half at the beginning of the semester and the second half may not be disbursed until midpoint of the semester.
Find the right repayment plan for you, learn how to make payments, get help if you can’t afford your payments, and see what circumstances might result in a loan being forgiven, canceled, or discharged. Click Here for more information
Parent Plus Loans
These are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. Any accepted loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.
Parent eligibility requirements for a Direct PLUS Loan
You must be the student’s biological or adoptive parent or the student’s stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. For financial aid purposes, a student is considered “dependent” if he or she is under 24, unmarried, and has no legal dependents at the time the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is submitted. (Exceptions are made for veterans, wards of court, and other special circumstances.) If a student is considered dependent, then the income and the assets of the parent have to be reported on the FAFSA.
Additional requirements to receive a PLUS loan
Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). In addition, parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs. You can find more information about these requirements in: 2016-2017 Do You Need Money for College?
Applying for a PLUS Loan and the Master Promissory Note (MPN)
To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must complete an online PLUS Application and online MPN if you have not previously completed a Direct PLUS MPN.
You’ll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount and loan fees, and the expected loan disbursement dates and amounts.
Credit check & endorser alternative
When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.
Loan limits, interest rate, and loan charges
There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans, but you may not borrow more than the cost of your child’s education minus any other financial aid received, such as a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. The school will determine the actual amount you may borrow.
The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 6.84%. Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan’s first disbursement. To find out more information on interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
In addition to interest, you pay a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan that you receive. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The fee is deducted before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.