MCTC participates in the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Program. Students who file a FAFSA are considered for federal student loans. These loans have fixed interest rates that are usually lower than private student loans.
If you are awarded a Subsidized Stafford Loan, you can borrow up to $3,500 the first year. There is no interest charged while you are in school. If you are awarded an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, you can borrow up to $6,000 the first year. Interest is charged while you are in school.
You do not need to pay back a Stafford loan until you leave college. You then must repay the loan, any fees and interest. You have to pay it back regardless of your future earnings and whether or not you complete your degree or program. Before you take out a loan, make sure you’ll be able to afford the monthly payment.
A PLUS loan would be taken by your parents. Repayment begins while you are in school.
Key facts about direct student loans
- You have to submit a FAFSA.
- If your award letter says you have qualified for a student loan, you have to take additional steps before you have the loan.
- You must pay back the loan after you leave college.
- The loan process will take approximately 3 weeks.
- You choose whether or not to accept all or part of the loan.
- Apply for the loan after you register for six or more credits, following the process below.
To be eligible for a federal direct student loan, you have to:
- Be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program.
- Register for and complete at least six credits a semester.
- Be a U.S. citizen or immigrant.
The U.S. Department of Education bases the loan amount on the cost of your education, your financial need and how many years you have been in college.
You will apply for and manage your loan on this website. The website also has detailed information about federal student loans.
Log on with your Federal PIN (same one used to electronically sign your FAFSA). Apply for a federal pin or request a duplicate PIN.
Applying for a Stafford loan
You will apply for and manage your loan at studentloans.gov.
- Submit a FAFSA.
- Find out whether you are being offered a federal student loan in your award letter from MCTC.
- Complete Entrance Counseling online, unless you have done so for a previous loan.
- Sign a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note online, unless you have done so for a previous loan.
- Request the amount you would like to borrow via e-Services. Be sure to request your loan for the entire year if you will be attending MCTC Spring Semester.
- Every loan has two disbursements. Loan amounts for which you qualified but did not borrow can be borrowed for the following summer term.
- Stafford Loans are submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders and institutions.
All steps must be complete by the following dates:
- Fall 2013: December 6, 2013 (if you will not be attending MCTC after Fall 2013)
- Spring 2014: May 2, 2014
- Summer 2014: July 11, 2014
Repaying your loan
- On government student loans, you do not have to make payments while you are in school at least half-time.
- The normal repayment time of Stafford loans is 10 years and the minimum monthly payment is $50.
- After you graduate, leave school or drop below half time, you will have a 6-month grace period before the first payment is due.
- Interest on an unsubsidized loan is added to the principle balance of the loan when you graduate. You can avoid this by choosing to pay the interest while you are in school.
- If you are returning to school and have been repaying loans, you could be eligible for a deferment, which means you don’t have to make payments while in school again.
Direct PLUS loan
Your award letter may include qualification for a PLUS loan from the U.S. Department of Education. A PLUS loan is taken out by the parents of a dependent student. The interest rate is variable but not more than 9 percent. The first repayment is due within 60 days; there is no grace period while you are in school. More about PLUS loans.
Private student loans
Commercial banks and lenders have student loan programs as well. Their student loans often do not have to be repaid while in school, but the interest rates and policies are usually not fixed (so may go up over time) are often not as favorable. Compare rates, fees and policies before borrowing. Private loans do not require a FAFSA.