Loans have become an essential component in financing students' educational expenses. Loans must be repaid and therefore should be used wisely. If you accept a loan, you are responsible for repaying the loan plus interest. Remember that the more you borrow, the higher the monthly repayment will be, so only take as much loan money as you will need.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
Eligibility for the Subsidized Loan is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The Subsidized Loan does not accrue interest until a student graduates or drops below half time enrollment.
Graduate students are not eligible for this type of loan.
Federal Direct Subsidized loans are available for up to 150% of the published length of the program of study. For a 4-year bachelor's degree program, the maximum period of subsidized loan eligibility is 6 years.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Unlike the Subsidized Loan, financial need is not a requirement for the Unsubsidized Loan. The interest on the Unsubsidized Loan begins immediately upon disbursement and will continue to accrue throughout the life of the loan. Students can pay the interest quarterly or allow the interest to add to the principal.
FEDERAL PARENT PLUS LOAN
Parents wishing to assist with educational expenses have the option to apply for the Federal Parent PLUS Loan. This loan is most often used when other federal and state aid is not enough to cover full educational expenses. The Parent PLUS loan is not based on Federal Need, but the student must have a FAFSA on file. The parent is the borrower for this loan, which means the parent will be responsible for repayment.
To qualify, the borrower must pass a basic credit check. If the parent is denied based on credit, the student will be offered an additional unsubsidized loan up to $5000 annually depending on remaining costs and year in school.
The PLUS loan is at a higher interest rate than student loans, so we STRONGLY encourage the parent to request an actual loan amount on the application, and not click maximum. The “maximum” loan amount will be WELL ABOVE what is needed to cover tuition and fees and will increase parent debt at a high interest rate.
Parents wishing to utilize the Federal Parent PLUS loan must complete the credit check (labeled as Request a PLUS) and Master Promissory Note (MPN) on StudentLoans.gov
PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS
After you have explore all federal loan options, you may consider a Private Educational Loan. Unlike federal loan programs, private educational loans are not regulated by the government. The borrower is generally the student, but some private educational parent loans are available. If the student is the borrower, it is very likely to require a co-signer when there is limited student credit history.
Each lender has its own application, credit, and co-signer requirements. Interest rates may be fixed or variable, and will be based on credit of the student (and co-signer if required). New federal regulations require private loan borrowers to complete a Loan Self-Certification Form as part of the application process. UW-Parkside will work with any lending institution.
FASTChoice is an online tool that helps you determine what loan may be best for you by providing detailed information for various lenders and products, as well as the terms and benefits offered. You are NOT limited to lenders included in this list and are encouraged to seek out whatever student loan option best fits your needs.