FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS
Marygrove College participates in the Direct Loan Program. There are two basic types of federal student loans: Subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Subsidized loans are awarded to students based on financial need. The interest is paid by the government until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Unsubsidized loans are awarded to students regardless of need. The student is responsible for the interest while enrolled and any unpaid interest is capitalized to the loan once the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
Both loan programs are guaranteed by the federal government. There is also a limit on the amount a student can borrow. Students must do Entrance Loan Counselling and sign a Direct Loan Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the loan will disburse to the student’s account.
Limits are placed on student borrowing based on a number of factors including grade level, financial need, independent/ dependent student status, cost of attendance (COA) and remaining aggregate loan limits. Dependent, undergraduate student annual loan limits are as follows:
- Freshmen (0-31 credits): $ 5,500 subsidized and unsubsidized combined
- Sophomores (32-63 credits): $6,500 subsidized and unsubsidized combined
- Juniors and Seniors (64+ credits): $7,500 subsidized and unsubsidized combined
Graduate students, independent students, and students whose parents are denied the PLUS Loan are eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan in the amounts listed per academic year:
- Freshmen and Sophomores: $4,000
- Juniors and Seniors: $5,000
- Graduate students: $20,500
FEDERAL PARENT LOANS
Federal Parent Loan (PLUS) loans are available to parents of dependent student to assist with educational related expenses. These are unsubsidized loans with a low fixed interest rate of 8.5%.
The parent may borrow up to the full cost of attendance less any other financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans) the student is receiving. Approved parents must sign a Master Promissory Note.
Parents begin making payments on this loan 45 days after the loan fully disburses and interest begins accruing as soon as the loan disburses.
The student must be enrolled half-time and be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for the parent to be eligible for the loan. Custodial and non-custodial parents may apply at http://studentloans.gov .
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR PLUS LOANS
Q. Who is responsible for repayment of PLUS Loans?
A. PLUS Loans are the parent’s responsibility.
Q. What are the benefits of choosing PLUS Loans instead of alternative loans?
A. PLUS Loans offer a fixed interest rate that is tax deductible. Alternative loans often have high variable interest rates that are not tax deductible. Also, alternative loans are considered consumer debt and impact your credit report very differently from PLUS Loans...even if you are the co-signer.
Q. What if I have poor credit?
A. The lender looks at a variety of information to determine credit-worthiness for PLUS loans including credit history, work history and income. Parents are sometimes surprised to see that they have been approved for the loan. Parents who have defaulted on PLUS or student loans or have an active bankruptcy may not be approved.
Q. If I am denied the PLUS what are my options?
A. If a parent is the denied the PLUS, the student will be offered an additional unsubsidized loan for up to $4000 (freshmen/sophomores) or $5000 (juniors/seniors). The parent may also contact the lender to determine if anything can be done to get the PLUS approved.
Q. What if I lose my job and can no longer afford to make payments on my PLUS loan?
A. PLUS loans offer generous forbearance and repayment options. If you are having trouble making your payments contact the lender for information regarding these options.
Federal Grad PLUS loans are available to graduate students. This is a federally guaranteed unsubsidized loan. The loan is offered at a fixed rate of 8.5%. There is a credit check but no co-signer is required. Graduate students may apply and complete Grad PLUS Entrance Loan Counselling at http://studentloans.gov.
Alternative Loans are private educational signature loans available through private lenders, such as your bank or credit union. Students apply for alternative loans through private lenders and are approved or denied based on the lender’s eligibility criteria.
These are NOT federally guaranteed and interest rates and terms vary from lender to lender. In general, the interest accrues as soon as the loan disburses and varies quarterly. There is no cap on the interest rate and it is generally tied to the LIBOR or Prime rate.
Marygrove College will certify alternative loans for any lender up to the cost of attendance less any other aid received.
It is important to remember that these are NOT federally guaranteed student or parent loans and should ONLY be requested after all other options have been exhausted. If you must apply for an alternative loan, it is recommended that you borrow only what you absolutely need to complete your education.
When choosing a private lender, some key questions to consider:
- What is the minimum enrolment level?
- Must I be making satisfactory academic progress?
- What is the interest rate?
- How does the interest rate vary?
- Is interest tied to the LIBOR or Prime rate?
- When must I begin making payments?
- What are the terms of repayment?
- Are there any forgiveness or forbearance terms?
- Is a co-signer required?
- Can the co-signer be released?