We recognize that students may need to rely on a variety of resources to assist them in paying for their educational expenses. We hope the information found on the website will allow for a better understanding of the educational loan options.
As you consider the educational loans available from each program, be sure to keep in mind that some loans are more expensive than others. Generally, federal Stafford loans should be used first as they provide the best terms, conditions, benefits, have a fixed interest rate, and do not require a credit check. Alternative loans both federal and private should generally be used once other options have been exhausted as they may have higher interest rates, less favorable terms and conditions and often have more strict qualifying credit criteria.
When reviewing your loan options, pay particular attention to the interest rate, fees, and repayment terms and incentives for each loan before making your decision.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
- Private Alternative Loan Programs
- Loan Consolidation
The Federal government provides educational loans to Graduate students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or eligible non-citizens and have not defaulted on a federal student loan. Graduate students who are matriculated in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half-time (5-8 credits) for each semester in which seeking assistance may apply.
The Federal Stafford Direct Unsubsidized loan is the primary type of loan available and offered to each student who completes a FAFSA and meets the eligiblity requirements.
Federal Loan Disbursement Fees charged for 2013-2014 are as follows:
|Program||Fees prior to 7/1/2013||Fees after 7/1/2013|
|Unsubsidized Stafford Loan||1.0%||1.051%|
|Graduate PLUS Loan||4.0%||4.204%|
Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan:
- Maximum loan amount per award year/period is $20,500 (determination of eligibilty based on the cost of attendance which includes enrollment and housing plans.
- Effective July 1, 2013 the interest rate is fixed at 5.41% for the 2013-14 academic year. Interest rates are determined each year and set in June of the upcoming academic year. Once set the interest rate is locked in for the life of the loan.
- The federal government does not pay the interest on the borrower's behalf at any time.
- The borrower is responsible for all interest that accrues and can choose to either pay the interest while in school or add any deferred interest to the principal balance of the loan "capitalization". When interest is capitalized, the principal balance will be increased by the amount of unpaid interest.
- Loan fees are deducted from loan proceeds prior to the disbursement of funds and borrowers are responsible for repayment of all such fees.
Apply for the Federal Direct Stafford loan now if you are a first-time borrower to the Direct Loan program.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are available for credit-worthy students, who are U.S. citizens, not in default on a prior student loan and who don't owe a refund on a federal grant. Should a student be denied a PLUS loan due to adverse credit history, the federal government will mail a packet outlining the process for obtaining a credit-worthy endorser.
Students wishing to apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS loan will submit their information directly to the Graduate Financial Aid office to request a credit check be performed. The University does not participate with the online credit check process performed at www.studentloans.gov.
Rates and Fees
- The interest rate on a Federal Direct PLUS Loan is fixed at 6.41% for the 2013-14 academic year (7/1/2013 to 6/30/2014)
- A fee will be deducted at the time of disbursement
- Loans first disbursed prior to July 1, 2013, are charged a 4.0% (.96) fee
- Loans first disbursed after July 1, 2013, are charged a 4.204% (.95796) fee
- Loan fees are taken out of the loan proceeds therefore, it is important to add these fees "on top of your loan" when applying in order to calculate the actual net proceeds received.
In order to apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS loan, you MUST complete the following THREE steps BEFORE we can certify and disburse your loan:
- Download and complete a Quinnipiac University Graduate PLUS Loan Request Sheet (Adobe PDF) - This form is REQUIRED for ALL Graduate PLUS Loan applicants and must be completed BEFORE we can process your loan.
a. Once our office has received the Loan Request we will submit your information to the Department of Education, who will proces the credit check.
b. In order to determine your requested Graduate PLUS loan amount, simply take the amount you wish to borrow and divide it by the disbursement fee (.96 or .95796). For example, if you need to pay $10,000 for the year, the amount you will need to borrow is $10,257 ($10,000/.95796=$10,439). The government will deduct 4.204% from this amount ($10,439) and you will receive $10,000 (4.204% off the top of $10,439=$439 leaving a net amount received of $10,000).
- Complete a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan MPN (Master Promissory Note) - This form is the actual loan application, it is required by the federal government and is a legal binding contract outlining all of the terms and conditions of your Federal PLUS Loan.
- Complete the Required Entrance Loan Counseling for Graduate PLUS Loan Borrowers - This online counseling (quiz) is required by the federal government for borrowers to understand their rights and responsibilities when taking out a Graduate PLUS loan.
We recognize that students may need to rely on a variety of resources to assist them in paying for their educational expenses. One type of loan to consider is a private alternative loan. These loans are available to students when federal loans are not enough to cover the cost of attendance or for students that do not qualify for any federal loans.
We strongly encourage students to exhaust their Federal Stafford Direct loan options prior to considering these loans due to the higher rates, fees, terms and conditions that usually accompany private loans.
- The interest rates are typically variable and may be tied to the prime, LIBOR or treasury bill rate.
- Borrower eligibility, co-signer requirements, interest rates, maximum loan levels and repayment options vary according to the program.
- These loans are generally based on an individual's credit score/history.
- These types of loans may also assist students who are enrolled less than half-time (less than 5 credits), pursuing a certificate program or international students.
Before applying for a loan, be sure to research the loan product(s) to ensure you are getting the most competitive rates, fees and terms available. As you research available loans, be sure to review the websites or ask the lenders how your needs and the terms of the loans meet your individual situation. Listed below are some items to consider:
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
- Does the loan have a maximum (capped) variable interest rate?
- Can you receive a better interest rate if you have someone co-sign the loan?
- Are payments required to be made while in-school?
- Can the loan be used if only taking 3 credits (less than 1/2 time)?
- Is the loan used if not making Satisfactory Academic Progress?
- Can I use this loan as an international student?
Ultimately, choosing a loan and lender is completely up to you. Most lenders after being credit approved will send the information about your loan directly to the University. Remember, applying for a loan is a process and it could take several weeks to complete the process and have the funds sent to the school.
To better assist you with your search, we have provided a historical list of the loan products/lenders our Graduate students have elected to use over the past three years (this list reflect only those lenders still lending).
|-CHESLA Loan Program
-Citibank CitiAssist Loan
-Citizens TruFit Loan
-Discover Graduate Student Loan
-Discover Health Professional Loan
-Discover MBA Student Loan
-MEFA Graduate Loan
-NJ Class Graduate Loan
|-RISLA Student Loan
-Sallie Mae Signature Loan
-Sallie Mae SmartOption Loan
-UnionFederal Private Student Loan
-Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan
-Wells Fargo Graduate Loan
-Wells Fargo MedCap Loan
We are happy to provide you with information on the lenders our students have elected in the past several years and any information we may have on a particular lender. Please contact our office if you have additional questions.
Consolidating student loans is similar to refinancing, which allows a student to combine their federal loans (not private loans) into one big loan, usually extending the repayment period beyond the 10 year maximum. Depending on the loan amount, the new loan terms can go from 12-30 years. Although a student's minimum monthly payment can be significantly reduced, it is important to note that in most cases, this will result in additional interest being paid over the life of the loan.
Things to consider when deciding to consolidate:
-- Can reduce monthly payment and extend repayment period for students with large loan balances
-- Consolidation loans come with a fixed rate of interest, while older loans may have a variable rate.
-- You will lose interest rate subsidies for Perkins and Subsidized Stafford loans
-- You will lose your grace period on your loans because consolidation loans enter repayment immediately
-- You will lose any back-end benefits offered by your lender on your federal loans including interest rate reductions and rebates
For additional information on consolidation loans, we strongly urge you to visit http://www.finaid.org/loans/consolidation.phtml which is one of the most comprehensive sites on the web. To see if loan consolidation makes sense for you, please visit the finaid.org loan consolidation calculator at http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanconsolidation.phtml. This useful tool provides a side by side comparison of standard repayment versus consolidated repayment in order to help you determine if loan consolidation is a better option for you. Loan consolidation applications are available through the Federal Direct Loan website at: https://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/AppEntry/apply-online/appindex.jsp.
Q. Which loan should I borrow?
We always recommend you borrow the Federal Stafford first, Graduate PLUS loans second and all other private/alternative loans as a last resort.
Q. How much can I borrow?
Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 in the Stafford loan, based on your enrollment and Cost of Attendance. Graduate PLUS loan borrowers can apply for amounts up to the difference between the cost of attendance less all aid offered.
Q. Should I borrow a loan to cover my costs for the year or should I borrow separately each semester?
All borrowers should secure funds annually (based on how they have been awarded) and not on a semester by semester basis. Borrowing annually minimizes application time, processing time and assures that funds will be available for both semesters. It also avoids multiple credit reports which can often have an adverse effect on your credit score.
Q. What are the interest rates and fees on loans?
Rates and fees vary between loan programs and all students and parents are encouraged to visit our Loans page for details.
Q. I was denied a Graduate PLUS loan. What are my options?
Students who are denied a GradPLUS may elect to try and resolve the denial or seek an endorser (similar to a co-signer).
- To resolve a denial students work directly with the Department of Education regarding the credit override and can contact Application Services directly at 800-557-7394.
- A Direct PLUS Loan borrower with an adverse credit history may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if he/she obtains an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. If seeking this option, an endorser would complete the Endorser Addendum and MPN.
- For further detail visit, https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/faqs.action and review the "Credit Check" area.
Q. I have questions about loans and don't know who to contact.
Don't ever be afraid to call, e-mail, or visit our office. We're here to help.