The Direct Loan Program has low interest loans that undergraduates, graduates and parents of dependent students may obtain from the Department of Education. This program includes the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal PLUS Loan. These loan programs were created by Congress to help all eligible students and parents, with and without financial need, pay for the student’s educational expenses.
Biological or adoptive parents of a dependent undergraduate student may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan to help meet the student’s cost of attendance not covered by other financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required and parents must complete a parent PLUS Loan application at StudentLoans.gov.
The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan program allows graduate and professional students to borrow at a lower fixed interest rate after the unsubsidized loan eligibility has been exhausted. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan can be used to pay for the total cost of attendance minus any financial aid you’ve been awarded. The Graduate PLUS Loan is largely dependent on the borrower’s credit rating and history. Graduate students must complete a Grad PLUS Loan application at StudentLoans.gov.
Federal Direct PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.31% effective July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. Interest is charged from the date of disbursement until the loan is paid in full.
Alternative loans are private educational loans in the student’s name that help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete. Eligibility for private student loans often depends on your credit score. Lenders offer fixed and adjustable rates as well multiple repayment options. You may choose any lender of your choice. For your convenience, we offer FASTChoice alternative loan tool to help counsel and compare different lenders available.
The Federal Perkins Loan is a “need based,” revolving loan fund utilizing both federal and institutional funds. This award is a loan and must be repaid by the borrower. The interest rate is 5.0%, with interest and principal repayments deferred until 9 months after the student graduates or ceases at least half-time enrollment. Funding for the Perkins Loan is limited.