As a first-time loan borrower, there are a number of disclosures from the Department of Education that you need to be aware of.
- A loan is money you borrow and you must pay it back, including the interest that could accrue on the loan.
- Interest is a loan expense charged for the use of borrowed money. It is paid by you (the borrower) to the lender. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan.
- With Direct Unsubsidized Loans, your interest begins accruing the day the loan is disbursed.
- Before your loan can be disbursed, you must complete a Master Promissory Note. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
- You must repay the full amount of the loan regardless of whether or not you complete your program, are able to find employment upon completion of your degree, or are otherwise dissatisfied with or do not receive the educational services you purchased from a school. All student loans must be repaid.
- Your repayment plan is extremely important. You have the option to choose a plan that fits best. If you don't choose a plan, you'll be placed on the Standard Repayment Plan which will typically have your loans paid off in 10 years.
- If you don't make your loan payments, you may become delinquent. A loan is delinquent when loan payments are not received by the due date. If you are delinquent for a long enough period of time, you risk going into defaulted loan status. This is when you fail to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. This can lead to loss of eligibility to receive other forms of student aid and or serious legal consequences.
- Federal student loans are capped at a maximum amount per year as well as a lifetime loan limit. A loan typically lasts for one academic year (September-May) but can be as short as one term.
- A program of study abroad approved for credit by the home school may be considered enrollment in the home school for purposes of applying for federal student financial aid.
- Federal student loans do not influence how much or how little institutional funds you may be awarded, but may influence future loan borrowing.
- If you have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or have received federal student aid, you can use the MyStudentData Download button at FAFSA on the Web or at StudentAid.gov to retrieve your data from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The MyStudentData Download function was developed as part of the Education Data Initiative, which is designed to make your education-related data available, machine-readable, and accessible to you while protecting your personal privacy. On StudentAid.gov, you can use the function to download loan, grant, enrollment, and overpayment information. In both cases, your information is placed into a user-friendly, machine-readable, plain-text file.
For more information about your rights as a borrower or terms and conditions of your loan, please contact Cyndi Myers, the Financial Aid Officer at 215-572-3815 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.