Student Loan Information Guide

The Office of Financial Aid recognizes that financing a Loyola education may involve deferring some of the costs through a fixed interest loan program. Your educational investment will require informed financial decisions about loans, and we are committed to helping you understand your federal loan eligibility and options. We have designed this guide to provide information about the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional students, offered through the U.S. Department of Education. More information can be found by visiting Federal Student Aid.

Types of Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

How do I apply for this loan and am I eligible?

Please note that students must meet federal eligibility requirements to qualify for this loan. Eligibility criteria for the federal student aid programs can be found by visiting Federal Student Aid . Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online at FAFSA.ed.gov using Loyola's federal school code (002016). By submitting the FAFSA, a student initiates the financial aid process.

Please read all of the following information about the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

How much can I borrow?

Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program each academic year.  You are responsible for the interest from the time the Unsubsidized Loan is disbursed until it's repaid in full. You can choose to pay the interest during periods of enrollment and the grace period or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and capitalize (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you will have to repay over the life of the loan.

What is the interest rate and what fees are charged for these loans?

Effective July 1, 2019, the current fixed interest rate is 6.08% for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. There is an origination fee of 1.059% of the loan amount that will be deducted proportionately at each disbursement.

When do I begin repaying the loan?

Repayment of Federal Direct Loans plus any accumulated interest begins six months (called the grace period) after you drop below half-time enrollment status (normally, this occurs when you graduate or if you leave school for some other reason).

Direct Plus Loan for Graduate and Professional Students

Graduate and Professional degree students are now eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their Cost of Attendance minus other estimated financial assistance. 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 Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program before applying for a Direct PLUS loan. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a financing option with flexible repayment options. However, you should do research first on the Department of Education website, to make sure it's the best fit for your needs. Click here to compare PLUS Loans with other types of federal loans.

Please read all of the following information about Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Please note that students must meet federal eligibility requirements to qualify for these loans and re-qualify each year.

How do I apply for this loan and am I eligible?

Please proceed to the U.S. Department of Education's website, StudentLoans.gov, to complete the three steps; 1) Apply for a PLUS Loan, 2) Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and 3) Entrance Counseling. You will need your FSA ID in order to log in to the website. Please make sure that you complete your application using your legal name and the same name used on your FAFSA.

You will also be required to pass a credit check for this loan, which is part of the Apply for a PLUS Loan step. If you don't pass the credit check, you might still be able to receive a loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse the loan. (An endorser promises to repay the loan if you fail to do so.) The online endorser process is preferred and it can also be completed at StudentLoans.gov.  The Department of Education requires PLUS Credit Counseling if you have adverse credit history and obtained an endorser or submitted an appeal.  The online PLUS Credit Counseling can also be completed at StudentLoans.gov

Returning borrowers offered a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan and/or if you wish to borrow additional funds, you must complete the "Apply for a PLUS Loan" on StudentLoans.gov after your loan has been added to your financial aid package. If you were required to use an endorser to qualify for the Graduate PLUS loan then you will also need to complete a new Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note. 

How much can I borrow?

The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to your Cost of Attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid you (the student) receive. Full-Time students' COA is $68,052, Part-Time students' COA is $56,698. 

What is the interest rate and fees for this loan?

Effective July 1, 2019, the interest rate for the Federal Direct PLUS loan is fixed at 7.08%. There is an origination fee of 4.236% of the loan amount that will be deducted proportionately at each disbursement.  Interest begins to accrue (accumulate) from the date of disbursement and continues to accrue and capitalize (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan) during any period of deferment or forbearance as well as during repayment. Remember, capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you will have to repay over the life of the loan.

When do I begin repaying the loan?

Repayment of your Federal Direct PLUS Loans plus all accumulated interest begins six months after you drop below half-time enrollment status (normally, this occurs when you graduate or if you leave school for some other reason).

Requirements for Federal Aid

According to federal regulations, a student must be degree-seeking to receive federal aid.     

A person must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program in order to receive FSA funds. A regular student is someone who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree. A student who completes the academic requirements for a program but does not yet have the degree is not eligible for further Title IV aid for that program (Federal Student Aid Handbook).

Since the College of Law Bulletin states “the requirement for the degree of Juris Doctor is 90 credit hours of work earned in the College of Law,” we may not allow a student to borrow funds over and above the required 90 hours. In the instance of a failure, withdrawal, or other extraordinary circumstance, please contact our office for information on appealing this regulation.

Graduate and Professional students must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 required credit hours in a degree-seeking program each semester. For the summer semester, a student enrolled in at least 3 hours may qualify for federal loans. To qualify for federal aid programs, a student must meet certain requirements.

Defaulted Loan Status 

When your FAFSA is first submitted, CPS verifies the status of any outstanding student loans you have borrowed.

If you have defaulted on any loans, we are required to collect documentation verifying that you have paid off your defaulted loan, or have made necessary arrangements to bring the loans out of default status. Please send a copy of your default clearance letter from your lender/servicer to the financial aid office upon request.

If you are in default and would like to clear the default, follow the instructions on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

Required Documents

MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN)

You must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legally binding agreement to repay your loan to the Department of Education. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that you receive over several years of study. It is very important that you understand the long-term commitment you are making by signing this note. We encourage you to record all amounts that you borrow and keep all your loan paperwork together so you can keep track of your cumulative borrowing. The loan will not disburse to Loyola until you complete the Master Promissory Note.

To complete a Master Promissory Note, please visit StudentLoans.gov .

Click the graduate/professional students tab.

  • choose Complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN)

***The Grad PLUS MPN is not the same MPN that you may have completed for your Unsubsidized Loan. It is exclusive to the Direct PLUS.***

To complete a Master Promissory Note for a Direct PLUS Loan,

  • choose Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN)

Documents will be forwarded to Loyola within 48 hours after completion.

ENTRANCE COUNSELING REQUIREMENT

Borrowing money is a serious legal obligation. We want all of our students to understand their rights and responsibilities under this program. First-time undergraduate and graduate borrowers at Loyola must also complete an “Entrance Interview” before receiving funds. 

To complete Loan Entrance Counseling, please visit StudentLoans.gov .

Click the graduate/professional students tab.

  • choose Complete Entrance Counseling

Documents will be forwarded to Loyola within 48 hours after completion.

PLUS Credit Counseling

What is PLUS Credit Counseling?

PLUS Credit Counseling will help students and parents understand the obligations associated with borrowing a PLUS loan and assist them in making careful decisions about taking on student loan debt.

PLUS Credit Counseling is required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed you that you have an adverse credit history and you have:

  • Obtained an endorser or

  • Documented extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education

PLUS Credit Counseling can be completed voluntarily at any time. If PLUS Credit Counseling is completed voluntarily and you are determined to have an adverse credit history by the U.S. Department of Education within 30 days of PLUS Credit Counseling completion, your PLUS Credit Counseling requirement will be considered to be fulfilled. 

To complete PLUS Credit Counseling, please visit StudentLoans.gov .

Click the graduate/professional students tab.

  • choose Complete PLUS Credit Counseling

Documents will be forwarded to Loyola within 48 hours after completion.

Borrowing Limits

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.
Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit
Not Applicable (all graduate and professional students are considered independent)
$20,500 (unsubsidized only)
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.
$138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

Contact Information for the Direct Loan Program

Direct Loan Website: StudentLoans.gov

Repaying your federal student loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data: https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/

Visit My Federal Student Aid to view information about all of the federal student loans you have received and to find contact information for the loan servicer or lender for your loans.

Direct Loan Consolidation Center:
1-800-557-7392 or www.studentloans.gov

Private Loans

Private loans can provide you  with another avenue for meeting remaining costs and covering your expected family contribution. Many banks and lending institutions offer student loans privately. The loan will be in the student's name, but most lenders also require a co-signer. Terms and interest rates vary, so borrowers should exercise due diligence and carefully evaluate each private loan offer.