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Undergraduate Loans FAQ

How do I apply for a federal student loan?

To apply for a federal student loan, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Based on the results of your FAFSA, the financial aid office will send you a financial aid offer, which may include federal student loans.

What additional steps must I take to receive my loan?

If your financial aid package includes federal student loans, you will have the option to decline or accept all or a part of the loans.

If it is your first time receiving a Direct Loan, you will be required to

You may complete both the entrance counseling and the MPN at studentloans.gov

Am I eligible for a Direct Subsidized Loan or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

To receive either type of loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time. You must also be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree or a teaching credential. Direct Subsidized Loans are available only to undergraduate students who have financial need. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to both undergraduates and graduate or professional degree students. You are not required to show financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

What’s the difference between Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans?

In short, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • The Office of Financial aid will determine the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you’re in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

*Note: If you received a Direct Subsidized Loan that was first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • The Office of Financial Aid determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Is there a time limit on how long I can receive loans?

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 time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS 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. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Your maximum eligibility period is generally based on the published length of your current program. You can usually find the published length of any program of study in the school catalog.

For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years).

Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.

Certain types of enrollment may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans when the U.S. Department of Education usually would have paid it. These enrollment patterns are described below.

Do I become responsible for paying the interest that accrues on my Direct Subsidized Loans because . . . Yes No
 I am no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans and I stay enrolled in my current program? X
I am no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans, did not graduate from my prior program, and am enrolled in an undergraduate program that is the same length or shorter than my prior program? X
I transferred into the shorter program and lost eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans because I have received Direct Subsidized Loans for a period that equals or exceeds my new, lower maximum eligibility period, which is based on the length of the new program? X
I was no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans, did not graduate from my prior program, and am enrolled in an undergraduate program that is longer than my prior program? X
I lose eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans and immediately withdraw from my program? X
I graduated from my prior program prior to or upon meeting the 150 percent limit, and enroll in an undergraduate program that is the same length or shorter than my prior program? X
I enroll in a graduate or professional program? X
I enroll in preparatory coursework that I am required to complete to enroll in a graduate or professional program? X
I enroll in a teacher certification program (where my school does not award an academic credential)? X

How much can I borrow?

The financial aid office will determine the loan type(s), if any, and the actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year.  However, there are limits on the amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate study (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit. These limits vary depending on

  • what year you are in school and
  • whether you are a dependent or independent student.

If you are a dependent student whose parents are ineligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, you may be able to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds.

The following chart shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Year Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third-Year and Beyond  Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $7,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Notes:

  • The aggregate loan limits include any Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans you may have previously received under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of legislation that took effect July 1, 2010, no further loans are being made under the FFEL Program.

If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.

What are the current interest rates?

The interest rates for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are shown in the chart below.

Loan Type Borrower Type Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/16 and before 7/1/17
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate 4.45%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate 4.45%

The interest rates shown above are fixed rates for the life of the loan.

Got other questions about interest?

Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?

Yes, there is a loan fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed, as shown in the chart below.

Loan Fees for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
First Disbursement Date Loan Fee
On or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016 1.068%
On or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017 1.069%

Loans first disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2015, have different loan fees.

How will I receive my loan?

The school will first apply your loan funds to your school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any additional loan funds remain, they will be returned to you. All loan funds must be used for your education expenses. Learn more about the process of receiving federal student aid.

Am I eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan?

To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must

  • be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school;
  • not have an adverse credit history; and
  • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. If you are borrowing on behalf of your child, your child must also meet these requirements.

How will I receive my loan?

The University of La Verne will first apply loan funds to the school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, they will be given to you to help pay other education expenses. Get more information about receiving aid.

When do I begin repaying my federal student loan?

You don’t have to begin repaying most federal student loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment.

Your loan servicer or lender must provide you with a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. Keep in mind that your loan may have a grace period.

What’s a grace period?

The grace period is a set period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you must begin repayment on your loan. The grace period gives you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan. Not all federal student loans have a grace period. Note that for most loans, interest will accrue during your grace period.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized   Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans have a six-month grace period before payments are due.

Can my grace period change?

Circumstances that may change your grace period include the following:

  • Active duty military- if you are called to active military duty for more than 30 days before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you return from active duty.
  • Returning to school before the end of your loans grace period – If you re-enroll in school at least half-time before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you stop attending school or drop below half-time enrollment (other conditions apply).
  • Loan consolidation – If you consolidate your loans during your grace period, you will give up the remainder of your grace period, and begin repayment after your Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed (paid out). Your first bill will be due approximately two months after the Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed.

How much will I need to pay?

Your bill will tell you how much to pay. your payment (usually made monthly) depends on:

  • the type of loan you received,
  • how much money you borrowed,
  • the interest rate on your loan,
  • the repayment plan you choose.

What types of loan repayment plans are available?

There are several repayment options available that are designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers. Some repayment plans are not available to parent PLUS borrowers. Your loan servicer can help you understand which repayment options are available to you. Generally, you’ll have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Learn about your repayment options.

What if I have trouble repaying my loan?

If you are unable to make your scheduled loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. Your servicer can help you understand your options for keeping your loan in good standing. For example, you may wish to change your repayment plan to lower your monthly payment or request a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop or lower the payments on your loan. Learn more about deferment or forbearance options.

Can I cancel a loan if I decide that I don’t need it or if I need less than the amount offered?

Yes. Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying the office of financial aid. After your loan is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of the loan within certain time frames. Your promissory note and additional information you receive from the office of financial aid will explain the procedures and time frames for canceling your loan.

Can my loan ever be forgiven (canceled) or discharged?

Under certain conditions, you may be eligible to have all or part of your loan forgiven (canceled) or discharged. Find out about loan forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge.

Where can I find information about the student loans I’ve received?

Visit My Federal Student Aid to view information about all of the federal student loans and other financial aid you have received and to get contact information for your loan servicer.

What financial aid is available for transfer students?

Merit-based grants are provided by the University and are available in amounts up to $14,000 per year based off of the student’s admission GPA; need-based grants are also granted and are based of the. All applicants seeking need-based aid must file a FAFSA.