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These are low-interest, need-based and non-need based loans provided by the federal government to help eligible students with school related expenses. You must be enrolled in six eligible credits to qualify for a student loan. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time status (six credits).
Annual loan limits are regulated by the government and are as follows:
|Class Standing||Credits Earned||Base Eligibility||Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility|
|Freshman||0-29 credits||$3,500||$6,000 ($2,000 Dependent Students)|
|Sophomore||30 or more credits||$4,500||$6,000 ($2,000 Dependent Students)|
Aggregate loan amounts are set by the federal government. Undergraduate levels are as follows:
|Dependent Students||$31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)|
|Independent Students||$57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)|
(These aggregates are based on a four-year degree. Community college students should not exceed half of these levels.)
Attention New Borrowers in 2013: Important Changes to Direct Loan Program!
The U.S. Department of Education has instituted borrowing limits for Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans for borrowers whose first loan is disbursed after July 1, 2013. This provision limits a first-time borrower's eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower's educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150% limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans.
More information is included in the federal announcement
See Also: U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid FAQ
The Department of Education maintains a record of your loans on the NSLDS website. You can access this information with your personal data and your FAFSA PIN.
Fees for Federal Direct Stafford Loans for the 2013-2014 academic year are set at 1.051% until December 1, 2013. Loans disbursed after that date will have a 1.072% fee cost. The interest rate for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for 2013-2014 is a fixed rate of 3.86%. Interest rates are currently variable fixed and will be adjusted annually, but fixed for each academic year for the life of that year's loans. The interest rate caps at 8.25%. Estimate your student loan payment.
Loan processing continues throughout the academic year, but ceases two weeks prior to the end of each semester. The processing time for a loan can be up to 15 business days, so please allow for that. You can check for a disbursement by selecting "Account Activity" from the drop-down box in the Finances section of your Student Center. Remember that this is money that you have to repay, so it is best to be conservative in your borrowing.
Loans are disbursed in two equal payments, usually one in the fall and one in the spring. When loans are disbursed, the Financial Aid Office deposits the funds into your TMCC student account. Any outstanding tuition and fees are paid and then Accounting Services issues the remaining funds to you by either mailing a check or by direct deposit to your personal account if you have set this up. Federal regulations allow for a 10 day period for this process to be completed but 3-7 business days is the norm. Disbursement begins 10 days prior to the first day of class but continues throughout the year on a weekly basis.
Loans for just one semester will also be disbursed in two equal payments, one 10 days prior to the start of the semester and the second midway through the semester. Freshman first time borrowers have a mandatory 30 day delay on the first disbursement of their loans. Classes will be held for those students and they should begin attendance as usual. Additionally, $200 Emergency Book Loans will be available for those students, should they need help with book costs. Applications will first be accepted the Wednesday before classes start with the earliest checks available the first Monday of classes. Apply in the Financial Aid Office.
The federal government requires that student borrowers complete exit counseling in their final semester of school. Online counseling is available.
The PLUS is a non-need loan for the parent of a dependent student. Approval is based upon creditworthiness.
The Direct PLUS loan origination fee for the 2013-2014 academic year is 4.204% until December 1, 2013. Loans disbursed after that date will have a 4.288% fee cost. The interest rate for the 2013-2014 academic year is fixed at 6.41%. Interest rates are currently variable fixed and will be adjusted annually, but fixed for each academic year for the life of that year's loans. The interest rate caps at 10.50%.
Repayment on a PLUS loan generally begins 60 days after the second disbursement of the loan, but the borrower may qualify to defer payments. Parents must complete the PLUS (Parent) Loan Request and submit this to the TMCC Financial Aid Office. Additionally, they must apply online at https://studentloans.gov.
Proof of denial of a parent loan will allow a dependent student to apply for additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan funding.
Any TMCC student who is enrolled at least half-time (six credits) whose fees have been paid or deferred, and has a bona fide emergency during the school term, related to educational expenses, may apply for a loan of a maximum of $200. This loan must be repaid within 30 days and requires a $1.00 processing fee.
Students may receive no more than one loan per semester. A late repayment on an emergency loan will make the student ineligible for subsequent e-loans.
See Also: View additional videos about loans.
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