There are several types of loans that will help finance your education, including low-interest federal government loans and loans from private foundations or banks.
Federal Direct Loan
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, rather than a bank or other financial institution.
Who qualifies for a Direct Loan?
Most students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be awarded a student federal direct loan. A federal direct PLUS loan is also available to parents of dependent students.
A federal direct graduate PLUS loan is available to graduate and professional students to assist with college expenses.
Application requirements for Direct Loans
Federal regulations require that all first-time borrowers complete a direct loan entry counseling and a direct loan master promissory note online at studentloans.gov before receiving funds. Current students who have previously borrowed through the Federal Family Education Loan Program will only have to complete a master promissory note. In addition, upon graduation or dropping below half time status (6 hours), borrowers are to complete a direct loan exit counseling online at studentloans.gov to review the terms and total indebtedness of their loans before repayment is scheduled to begin. In addition, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) can provide students with a Financial Review of Federal funds awarded and disbursed throughout their college career. The information can be viewed online at www.nslds.ed.gov.
Private (Alternative) Student Loans
Students have the option to borrow private loans directly from lenders (banks) to help finance the cost of their education. There are many options available so it is important to do some preliminary research and to know that all loans are not equal. Pay special attention to interest rates, fees, credit scoring, and co-signing requirements. But first, before you look at private loans, make sure that you have exhausted all possibilities for federal and state financial aid programs. Exploring your options now may save you time and money in the future.
Student Administrative Services will work with any lender and servicing agency to process a private/alternative education loan for our students. Please be advised that these loans may be more expensive than federal student loans. The terms and conditions of alternative loans vary from lender to lender and we encourage all borrowers to review and evaluate each program.
A co-signer with a strong credit history will increase a student’s chances of being approved for a private/alternative loan and will help you secure the best interest rate. If you are an undergraduate who is planning to ask a parent to serve as a co-signer, you should also consider the parent loan options to ensure that, as a family, you are getting the best rates available to you.
To insure timely processing of your loan, please monitor your application once submitted. Each lender’s process may vary, but each step must be completed before a disbursement is made to the University.
FastChoice provides detailed information for various lenders, allowing you to accurately compare rates and terms side-by-side among their lenders and with other lenders you may be considering. The list that FastChoice provides is created from lenders MSJ students have borrowed from in the past. It does not include all lenders making private loans. We strongly suggest looking at all of your options before making a final decision. Be sure to check the bank, savings and loan, or credit union where you or your parents have accounts.
Mount St. Joseph University does not recommend, promote, or endorse any lender. We will help you process a loan from any lender that you choose.