Unlike grants and scholarships, loans must be repaid with interest. Borrow conservatively, and never borrow more than you can afford to repay, even if you are eligible to borrow more. Help yourself as much as possible; the more you can pay toward your school bill, the less loan debt you may have to incur.

Apply for all nonloan sources of aid before applying for loans. Remember, student loans cannot be canceled because you didn’t like the education you received, didn’t finish your degree, or didn’t get a job.

There are two major sources of loans: the federal government and private lenders. Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education. Private Alternative Loans are available through various banks and lending institutions.

Loan Disbursements – Loan funds are sent to the school and are credited to the student’s account. Funds are usually sent in two installments: half for the fall semester and half for the spring semester.

Loan Servicers – The U.S. Department of Education assigns Direct Stafford Loans and Direct PLUS Loans to a loan servicer. The loan servicer is your main point of contact regarding billing and other loan servicing functions. Most loan servicers have a toll free customer service number; keep this number handy. Private lenders will also sometimes use a loan servicer.

Manage Your Loans – Keep copies of all your loan documents. Keep your loan holder or servicer informed of any change in information, such as address or phone number. If you encounter any difficulty making payments, contact your servicer or loan holder. If you have questions or concerns, ask for help.

Please click on the links below to learn more about each loan program.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Lenders
Alternative Loans

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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