General Information About Loans
An education loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Education loans come in three major categories: student loans (Stafford and Perkins), parent loans (PLUS), and private student loans (also called alternative student loans).
Loan disbursements are credited to the student's billing account beginning three business days prior to the first day of classes each semester.
When you are deciding how much to borrow, you should request the amount for the full year. Loan funds are distributed in two equal disbursements - one for each semester of enrollment.
Eligibility for Federal loans is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
CSM participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program. Your lender for Stafford and PLUS loans will be the U.S. Department of Education, which sets the interest rate and fees charged for all federal loan programs. Federal loan terms 2012-13.
Direct Stafford loans are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education.
PLUS loans are available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time. The PLUS loan is a non-need, credit-based loan, meaning that the borrower must be able to pass a credit check.
A Federal Perkins loan is a low-interest loan for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Funds are limited and are offered on a first come, first serve basis.
To access information on the status of a current or previous federal loan log in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website. Your PIN is the same as your FAFSA PIN. Optional/Alternative and CSM loans will not be reported on NSLDS.
Optional or Alternative Loans
Private loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal loans or who need assistance beyond their financial aid award. These loans are made through banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions and are subject to the lending institution's terms. However, these loans typically have higher annual and maximum loan limits. We encourage you to first apply for Title IV aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) since the terms and conditions of federal student loans will be significantly better than those for private loans.