Student loans may be a source of funding for your college education. There are a variety of student loan options for you to consider. The biggest difference between loans and other forms of funding is that you are required to pay loans back, which many times includes interest.
Federal Direct Loan
The Federal Direct Loan is a low interest loan made to eligible undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time. With Direct Loans you:
- Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact-the Direct Loan Servicing Center—for everything related to the repayment of your loans.
- Have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Direct Loans on the Web at: www.studentloans.gov.
- Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.
- Have many deferment or cancellation options.
Direct Loan - Subsidized
This loan is available to undergraduate students only (beginning Fall 2012) with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
Direct Loan - Unsubsidized
This loan is an alternative funding source for students who need additional funding to meet the cost of education. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
Direct Loan Interest Rates
Loans first disbursed between July 1, 1998, and June 30, 2006 have variable rates. Contact your loan holder for the current rate.
Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, have fixed rates.
- Undergraduate Subsidized: 3.4%, effective 7/1/12 without Congressional Action
- Undergraduate Unsubsidized: 6.8%
- Graduate/Professional Unsubsidized*: 6.8%
- *Effective beginning with Fall 2012 loans, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to received subsidized Direct Loans. Please click here for more information.
Direct Loan Fees and Rebates (subsidized & unsubsidized)
Origination Fee: 1.0%
Up-Front Interest Rebate*: 0.5%
*Please Note that the Up-Front Interest Rebate will be added back to the loan principal if the borrower does not make twelve (12) on-time monthly payments after the loan enters repayment. This rebate as been eliminated effective 7/1/12, click here for more information.
Federal Direct Loan for Graduate Students (GradPLUS)
This loan, borrowed directly from the federal government, is an alternative funding source for graduate/professional students who need additional funding to meet the cost of education. Financial need is not required to be eligible to borrow a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan.
- Applicants for these loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program before applying for a GradPLUS loan.
- The GradPLUS loan borrower (or the cosigner if required) must not have an adverse credit history.
- Graduate/Professional students who are enrolled at least half-time may borrow up to the cost of education minus other aid.
- Repayment of the GradPLUS loan begins on the date of the last disbursement. Under certain circumstances, deferment and forbearance options may be available. Interest continues to accrue and must be paid during periods of deferment or forbearance.
Direct GradPLUS Interest Rate and Fees
Direct GradPLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. Borrowers are charged a 4.0% origination fee with an up-front interest rebate* of 1.5%. The entire fee goes to the government to help reduce the cost of the loans.
*Please Note that the Up-Front Interest Rebate will be added back to the loan principal if the borrower does not make 12 on-time monthly payments after the loan enters repayment. This rebate has been eliminated effective 7/1/12, click here for more information.
Some of the benefits of a Direct GradPLUS loan:
- The interest may be tax deductible.
- The GradPLUS loan may be repaid any time without penalty.
- GradPLUS loans can be consolidated with Stafford Loans, Direct Loans and other eligible federal education loans into one convenient, longer-term fixed-rate loan.
- Loan payments may be deferred while enrolled in school and reduced or deferred in times of economic hardship, if not in default.
Minnesota Student Education Loan Fund (SELF)
The SELF Loan is a long-term, low-interest educational loan primarily for Minnesota students who need assistance paying for education beyond high school. A co-signer is required. There is no minimum income threshold or requirement to demonstrate financial need. There are no application, origination, guarantee or other processing fees deducted from the loan.
Students who may be eligible for federal or state grants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to document and verify your family's financial information as well as to determine whether you qualify for more desirable forms of financial aid.
If you will not be submitting a FAFSA, you must complete the SELF Loan FAFSA Refusal Addendum in addition to the SELF Loan Application:
2012 - 2013 Forms:
Students enrolled in a bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate or graduate program are eligible for up to $10,000 per year with a cumulative maximum of $50,000 for undergraduate loans and $70,000 for undergraduate and graduate loans. Students in other programs are eligible for up to $7,500 per year with a cumulative maximum of $37,500. The minimum loan amount is $500.
The actual amount you are allowed to borrow is determined by the college based on the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
The fixed rate SELF V loan has an interest rate of 7.25 percent. The interest rate will not change over the life of the loan.
The variable rate SELF V loan has an interest rate that changes every quarter.
There are no grace periods or deferment options. SELF Loans cannot be included in a federal loan consolidation. Payments of interest are required even while in school. You must begin quarterly payments (interest only) within 90 days after disbursement, and quarterly interest payments continue as long as you are properly enrolled at the school and have not entered a required repayment period.
Private Education Loans
Private Education Loans are available to students or parents as an option if the aid that the student has been awarded does not cover all of the student's educational expenses and the student has exhausted their eligibility for the Federal loan programs.
Private Education Loans are not based on financial need, although most lenders will evaluate the applicant's (and/or co-signer's) credit-worthiness.
Currently all private education loans are processed using a separate application, which can be obtained from the participating lender or online at the lender's website.
The application should be completed by the student borrower and/or co-signer and submitted on-line directly to the lender.
Please note: If you do not have a current FAFSA on file, a FAFSA Refusal Addendum must be completed in addition to the loan application:
Canadian Higher Education Loan Fund
This loan is for Canadian citizens and is open to undergraduate and graduate students. The minimum loan is $2000 USD and the interest rate is variable.
For information and application: call 1-888-296-4332 or visit www.iefc.com.
Global SLC International Student Loan
This loan is for international students from India (other countries of origin in the future) enrolled in a U.S. college. You are not required to have a U.S. Citizen as a co-signer, but must have a co-signer in India. The interest rate is variable.
Funds may cover tuition, books, room and board, and other education-related expenses. The maximum annual loan amount is $50,000 USD and maximum lifetime amount is $200,000 USD. Annual amounts are limited by the school's determination of a student's "cost of attendance." This cost of attendance is based on average amounts for tuition/fees, books and living expenses. Individual student unusual expenses may also be considered.
Funds will be disbursed to the school in U.S. dollars and credited by the school to your account at the school and used only to pay your education-related expenses as certified by the school during the certification process. The school's normal "refund policy" may be used in cases where there are funds remaining after school defined "debits" have been paid.
For more information and application: www.globalslc.com.
Students who borrow private or institutional educational loans are required to complete the Private Loan Self-Certification Form for each loan requested before loans can be disbursed. Your forms will be sent to you by your lender. Learn more
Loan Counseling Information
All of the federal student loan programs require that a student complete an Entrance Loan Counseling Session before funds may be released.
Students are also required to complete an Exit Loan Counseling Session if they drop below half-time enrollment, withdraw, or before the end of their last term of enrollment at UND.
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Student Access site is available for students to view their loan and grant records and obtain balance and loan holder.
Loan Consolidation Information
The U.S. Department of Education's Guide to Defaulted Student Loans provides information for borrowers whose Stafford, PLUS, Perkins and/or Direct Loans are in default status.This site also provides information regarding consolidation of these loan programs.