Loans Are Money Students Or Parents May Borrow To Assist In Paying For College Costs.
The Federal Financial Aid program is the largest lender of student loans. There are private/alternative lenders to consider as well. Student loan repayment usually begins after education is finished. It is helpful to look at loans as an investment in the future.
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are are non credit based federal loans available to degree-seeking graduate students enrolled at least half-time.
Half-time is defined as 3 credit hours per semester for graduate and doctoral students. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.
Frequently asked questions
What is the interest rate for the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
The interest rate for the 2020-2021 Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is fixed at 4.3% for the life of the loan. Interest on Unsubsidized Stafford Loans will begin to accrue immediately from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students are permitted the option of paying the interest each quarter or deferring interest payments until they enter repayment. If the student allows the interest to accrue while they are in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.
Are there any fees associated with the loan?
Yes, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans carry an origination fee, currently the fee is 1.059%. The origination fee is deducted from the loan amount prior to its disbursal to the university.
What is the federal maximum amount a graduate student can borrow each year?
The federal maximum graduate students can borrow each academic year is $20,500. However, the total loan amount students can borrow could be limited by the costs of their program. Pharmacy students may borrow up to $33,000 each academic year.
When do students pay back these loans?
After students graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, they will have six months before they must begin repayment of their loans. This period of time is called a grace period. Students are granted one grace period. Students may have longer than six months if they are on active duty in the military.
Depending upon the cost of their academic program, graduate or doctoral students may need additional loan funds beyond the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
For these students, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan may be an available option.
In order to be eligible for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year of their program. A Graduate PLUS loan borrower must not have an adverse credit history, which is determined by a credit check. If necessary, students may obtain an endorser. Students may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance for the period of enrollment, minus other estimated financial assistance such as a Stafford Loan.
Frequently Asked Questions
“What is the interest rate for Federal Graduate PLUS Loans? “
The interest rate for the 2020-2021 Graduate PLUS Loan is fixed at 5.3% for the life of the loan.
“Are there any fees?“
Yes, Graduate PLUS Loans carry an origination fee of 4.228%. The origination fee is deducted from the loan amount prior to its disbursal to the university.
When do students begin repaying a Graduate PLUS Loan?
Payment is deferred as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time. Similar to an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, the Graduate PLUS Loan does accrue interest while the loan is in deferment. This interest can either be paid or be capitalized. Repayment begins immediately upon graduation or less than half-time enrollment. Unlike the Federal Stafford Loan, Graduate PLUS Loans do not have a grace period. However, students are eligible for a six month post-enrollment deferment after the student drops below half-time.
Alternative/private student loans are outside funds borrowed from a bank or lending institution and not part of the Federal Student Aid Program. Accordingly, it is not necessary to file a FAFSA or other federal forms in order to receive these loans. Many students and parents opt for these loans when they are looking for more flexible repayment options than those available with federal loans, such as placing the loan in the student’s name. Though these are non-federal loans, most lenders will require the Office of Financial Aid to certify the student’s enrollment and eligibility. Accordingly, we will not certify a private loan which exceeds our estimate for the student’s educational expenses. Federal financial aid regulations also require Shenandoah University to include private educational loans as part of a student’s financial aid package. As a result, a private loan may reduce the amount a student or parent could receive in other forms of financial aid, regardless if Shenandoah University certified the loan or not. Conversely, the amount Shenandoah University could certify for a private loan could be limited by the other aid the student is receiving. Some things to keep in mind when considering a private loan:
Borrower/Cosigner Responsibility: In borrowing a private loan, the student is often responsible for repayment; as opposed to the Parent PLUS Loan, where it is the parent’s responsibility to repay the loan. However, lenders of private loans will often require a parent or another party to cosign the loan for their student, making that individual responsible for repayment if the student defaults on the loan. Cosigning also means the loan will appear on the cosigner’s credit history in addition to the student’s
Interest Rate: The interest rates on private loans are typically based on the current prime/LIBOR rates and are variable. Often the lender will base the interest rate upon the credit score and history of the borrower or cosigner.
Looking for a Private Lender? FastChoice provides information about private loans in an easy-to-understand format to help students determine which private student loan best meets their needs – FastChoice