Loans

Loans

Direct StudentDirect PLUSDirect GradPLUSStatePrivate

 

A loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid.   Loan repayments are serious financial and legal obligations. Students and their families must understand their commitment prior to taking out a student loan.  Excessive borrowing and failure to repay loans may have serious adverse effects on a student's future credit rating.  Borrowers experiencing difficulty in meeting their repayment responsibilities should immediately notify their loan servicer.  In certain situations, borrowers may be eligible for deferments/forbearance (postponements) of the repayment obligation.  Borrowers are obligated to repay the full amount of the loan even if they do not graduate, did not find employment in their field of study, are not satisfied with the education they received, or are having financial difficulty. Please see Loan Issues for more information.

Please note that you (student or parent borrower) enter into an agreement when you borrower a Federal Direct Loan.  Your enrollment and eligibility information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by authorized agencies, loan servicers and institutions.

Please review Bloomsburg University's Student Lending Code of Conduct.

Federal Direct Student Loan

There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.  The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized student loan during in-school status, authorized deferment periods, and the grace period. The student is responsible for paying the interest on an unsubsidized student loan during all periods. If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. More information regarding this may be found at studentloans.gov.

Application:  The student may apply online.  The student will complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Master Promissory Note Application (MPN).  A borrower using the MPN will usually need only to sign a promissory note once, at the time they first borrow.  They may borrow additional loans, based on the same note, during the same year or subsequent years.

Deadline:  Federal Direct Student Loan applications must be certified by the Office of Financial Aid by the last day of the semester. In order for a student loan to be disbursed, the student must accept the loan, complete the master promissory note (MPN), and complete entrance counseling before the last day of enrollment for the term in which the loan is processed. The student must be enrolled at least half-time at the time of disbursement.

Eligibility:  Credit worthiness is not required for this loan.  General eligibility requirements must be satisfied by the student to receive Federal Direct Student Loan assistance. In addition the student must be enrolled on at a least half-time basis (undergraduate - 6 credits, graduate/doctoral 5 credits) in the semester for which the loan is for.

Loan Limits per Academic Year:  Please refer to the following chart for the maximum amount the student may borrow in Federal Direct Student Loan per academic year.  Please note, for periods of study shorter than an academic year, the amounts the student can borrow will be less than those listed.  In addition, loan amounts may be less if the student receives other financial aid that is used to cover a portion of their cost of education.   Dependent students will be automatically certified for the maximum amount allowed based upon grade level, cost of education, and other financial aid received.  Dependent students, whose parent has been denied the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, must complete a request form in order for the additional unsubsidized loan to be processed. 

Maximum Academic Year Loan Limits
for Federal Direct Student Loan
Undergraduate Level - Dependent Students
(Except Students Whose Parents Were Denied PLUS)
*Base
**Additional
1st Year (Freshmen - 0 to 29 credits)
$3,500
$2,000
2nd Year (Sophomore - 30 to 59 credits)
$4,500
$2,000
3rd Year (Junior - 60 to 89 credits)
$5,500
$2,000
4th Year (Senior - 90+ credits)
$5,500
$2,000
5th Year (Teacher Certification & Deficiencies for Graduate Admissions)
$5,500
$0
Undergraduate Level - Independent Students and Dependent Students Whose Parents Were Denied PLUS
*Base 
**Additional
1st Year (Freshmen - 0 to 29 credits)
$3,500
$6,000
2nd Year (Sophomore - 30 to 59 credits)
$4,500
$6,000
3rd Year (Junior - 60 to 89 credits)
$5,500
$7,000
4th Year (Senior - 90+ credits)
$5,500
$7,000
5th Year (Teacher Certification & Deficiencies for Graduate Admissions)
$5,500
$7,000

*Base amount may be either subsidized or unsubsidized as determined by student's eligibility on the FAFSA.

**Additional amount will be unsubsidized.

Graduate/Doctoral Level
Each Year: $20,500 the loan amount will be entirely unsubsidized.

 

Aggregate Loan Limits:  Please refer to the following chart for the maximum amount the student may borrow in Federal Direct Student Loan for their entire academic career. Please note that these amounts include any funds that may have also been borrowed through the Federal Stafford Loan program. 

Aggregate Loan Limits for Federal Direct Student Loan
(Effective July 1, 2008)
Dependent Undergraduate
Independent Undergraduate or Dependent Undergraduate with PLUS Denial
 
Graduate/Doctoral
$31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500 - No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate/doctoral aggregate limit includes loans received for undergraduate study.

 

Interest Rate/Fees:  Rates will vary depending upon when the loan was first disbursed. Get current rate information.

Loan Reductions/Cancellations:  The student may request the Federal Direct Student Loan be reduced or canceled.  Get more information to reduce/cancel loan. 

Repayment:  Federal Direct Student Loan repayment begins when the student graduates, withdraws, or enrolls less than half-time (less than six credits) and has used the allowable grace period - usually six consecutive months.  The length of repayment is between 10 and 25 years, depending on the amount borrowed and the type of repayment plan selected.  The student may also pay the balance of the loan, plus any interest due, early and without a penalty.  For repayment examples, please see https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/repaymentEstimator.action.

Loan Counseling:  Federal regulations require that first time Federal Direct Student Loan recipients must complete entrance counseling requirements before receiving their loan funds.  Federal regulations also require a student to complete exit counseling prior to graduation or at the time a student either drops to less-than half-time enrollment (Undergraduate less than six credits - Graduate/Doctoral less than five credits) or withdraws from Bloomsburg University.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Undergraduate)

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who want to borrow funds to help pay for educational costs.

Application:  Parents may apply online.  Parent borrowers applying for the loan will complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note Application (PLUS MPN).  A parent borrower using the PLUS MPN will usually need only to sign a promissory note once for each student, at the time they first borrow.  To request additional funding in the same or subsequent years, the parent borrower may do this online 

Deadline:  Federal Direct PLUS Loan applications must be certified by the Office of Financial Aid by the last day of the semester.  In order for the loan to be disbursed, the parent borrower must complete all steps of the PLUS Application Process at least one day prior to the end of semester.  The student must be enrolled at least half-time at the time of disbursement.

Eligibility: Credit worthiness is required for this loan.  General eligibility requirements must be satisfied by the student to receive Federal Direct PLUS Loan assistance. In addition the student must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in the semester for which the loan is for. 

Parent borrowers must be the dependent student's biological parent or adoptive parent.  A stepparent is also eligible to borrow a PLUS loan only if their income and assets were used on the dependent student's Free Application for Federal Aid.  A legal guardian is not considered an eligible borrower.  Both parents may receive a PLUS loan as long as the total aid package does not exceed the student's cost of attendance.   In addition the borrower must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen, not in default on a federal student loan, not owe a refund on any federal student aid program, and is credit worthy.  A parent is not eligible for a PLUS loan if the federal government holds a judgment lien on their property, they are incarcerated, or they are in default or have a over payment of federal aid.

Loan Limits per Academic Year:  The maximum parents may borrow in Federal Direct PLUS Loan per academic year is the difference between cost of education minus other financial aid received.

Aggregate Loan Limits:  There is no aggregate limit.

Interest Rate/Fees:  Rates vary depending upon when the loan was first disbursed.  Get current rate information.

Loan Reductions/Cancellations:  Parents may request the Federal Direct PLUS Loan be reduced or canceled.  The request must be in writing from the parent borrower, not the student.  Please include parent borrower's name, the student's name, the student's Bloomsburg University ID Number, and the amount you want the loan reduced to.  If the request is made prior to disbursement of funds, please send the request to the Office of Financial Aid.  Once disbursement of funds has been made, parents have 30 days to request the Bursar Office to return funds.

Repayment:  Beginning July 1, 2008, parents may choose to defer payments on a PLUS loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.  Accruing interest may either be paid by the parent borrower monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly.  A parent may take between 10 and 25 years to repay the loan, depending upon the amount owed and the type of repayment plan selected.  Parents may also pay the balance of the loan, plus any interest due, early and without a penalty.

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan (Graduate/Doctoral)

The Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan is available to graduate and doctoral students who have exhausted their Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility in an academic year.

Application: The student may apply online.  The student will complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note Application (PLUS MPN).  A borrower using the PLUS MPN will usually need only to sign a promissory note once, at the time they first borrow.  To request additional funding in the same or subsequent years, the student borrower may do this online

Deadline:  Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan applications must be certified by the Office of Financial Aid by the last day of the semester.  In order for the loan to be disbursed, the student must complete all steps of the GradPLUS Process at least one day prior to the end of the semester.  The student must be enrolled at least half-time at the time of disbursement.

Eligibility:  Credit worthiness is required for this loan.  General eligibility requirements must be satisfied by the student to receive Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan assistance.  In addition the student must be enrolled at least half-time (five credits per semester) in a degree graduate/doctoral program.  The student must first exhaust Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility.

Loan Limits per Academic Year:  The maximum the student may borrow in Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan per academic year is the difference between cost of education minus other financial aid received.

Aggregate Loan Limits:  There is no aggregate limit.

Interest Rate/Fees:  Rates vary depending upon when the loan was first disbursed.  Get current rate information.

Loan Reductions/Cancellations:  The student may request the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan be reduced or canceled.  The request must be in writing from the student, not the parent.  Please include your name, your Bloomsburg University ID Number, and the amount you want the loan reduced to.  If the request is made prior to disbursement of funds, please send the request to the Office of Financial Aid.  Once disbursement of funds has been made, students have 30 days to request the Bursar Office to return funds.

Repayment:  Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan repayment for both the principal and the interest generally begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.  There is no grace period for these loans.  This means interest starts to accrue as soon as the first disbursement is made.  The student may qualify for an in-school deferment as long as they are enrolled at least on a half-time (six credits per semester) basis.  A student may take between 10 to 25 years to repay the loan, depending upon the amount borrowed and the type of repayment plan selected.  Students may also pay the balance of the loan, plus any interest due, early and without a penalty.

Loan Counseling:  Federal regulations require that first time Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan recipients must complete entrance counseling requirements before receiving their loan funds.  Federal regulations also require a student to complete exit counseling prior to graduation or at the time a student either drops to less-than half-time enrollment (less than six credits) or withdraws from Bloomsburg University.

State Loans

Please check with your state's Higher Education Agency to see if any special loan programs are available to you.

Private Educational Alternative Loans

While Bloomsburg University does not encourage excessive borrowing, we realize that not all students can meet their educational expenses with traditional sources of financial aid.  Private Educational Alternative Loans are available through many lenders.  We encourage student borrowers to carefully investigate these loan programs.  Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to pursuing Private Educational Alternative Loans.  Students should first exhaust all other sources of funding including Federal Direct Student Loan, additional Federal Direct Student Unsubsidized Loan based upon Parent PLUS DenialFederal Direct PLUS Loan (undergraduate only), and Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan(graduate/doctoral only) before borrowing a Private Educational Alternative Loan.

If the student borrower has an insufficient credit history and/or proof of income, a co-signer will be required.  (Although a graduate/doctoral student may have sufficient credit to obtain a Private Educational Alternative Loan on their own, ask the lender if the fee(s)/interest rate would be reduced on a graduate/doctoral level loan if there were a co-signer.)

Lenders may charge a fee on a Private Educational Alternative Loan.  Many times the fee is based on the credit history of the co-signer.

Private Educational Alternative Loans do not have a cap on the interest you will be charged.  Interest rates may be adjusted monthly or quarterly, depending on the loan product you choose.

Do not borrow excessively.  The Private Educational Alternative Loan you are applying for, as well as your Federal Direct Student Loan, will go into repayment typically six months after you graduate or drop to less-than half-time enrollment (less than six credits).  Grace periods on Private Educational Alternative Loans vary by lender.  Remember you will also have other expenses (rent, car payments, insurance, and utilities) after graduation.  Do not overwhelm yourself with debt burden.

We recommend that if you have utilized a Private Educational Alternative Loan in the past, you remain with that lender.  This will help limit the number of repayment obligations you will incur.

We suggest that you contact individual lenders to obtain as much information on the loan product prior to making a decision on which loan you will apply for.  If you have "special circumstances" (not making satisfactory progress, less-than-half time enrollment, non-degree student, or past due balance) pick a loan product that will lend for your specific circumstance(s).

Information you may want to obtain and compare when deciding which loan is best for you is:

  • How will the interest rate be determined and how frequently is the interest rate adjusted?
  • How often will interest be capitalized (added to the principle of the loan)?  The more frequently interest is capitalized, the more it will cost you.
  • Will you be charged a fee?  How is the fee determined?  Would the fee be reduced with a co-signer?  Are there any additional fees at the time of repayment?
  • Is there a penalty for early repayment?
  • Does this loan have a grace period after enrollment ceases?  When will repayment start?  How long do you have to repay the loan?  Does the lender offer any repayment incentives or repayment options?
  • How many payments must be made prior to a co-signer being released from obligation?
  • Are deferments of principle/interest available for continuing education or any other reason?
  • Is there a maximum/minimum amount allowed in an academic year?  (Most lenders will limit the amount of a Private Educational Alternative Loan to the cost of education minus any other aid.  This may, in some cases, require the Office of Financial Aid to reduce the amount that you have requested even though you have been credit approved for a higher loan amount.)
  • Will your loan be serviced by the original lender for the life of the loan?

After reviewing the information on the various Private Educational Alternative Loans, complete only one application.  Applying for several loans will slow down the process and could adversely affect your credit rating.  Return the loan application directly to the lender, not to the Office of Financial Aid.