How many enrollment credits do I need to receive a Federal Direct Loan?
You must be registered for a minimum of six aid eligible credits by the census date each term to be eligible to receive a Federal loan.
To borrow a Federal Direct Student Loan, the student must have a FAFSA on file with HCC, take at least six aid eligible credits that lead toward an eligible degree or certificate program, and make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). A student who is in default on a previous federal student loan or owes a refund on a federal grant is not eligible to receive federal financial aid, including federal student loans.
A student loan is awarded as a subsidized, unsubsidized, or combination of both based on the following: cost of attendance (enrollment and residency status apply), expected family contribution (this is the results of the FAFSA), and other financial aid resources received. Eligibility is also determined by the dependency status established on the FAFSA.
A subsidized loan is a federal student loan for students with financial need as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while the student is in school at least half-time and during deferment periods.
An unsubsidized loan is not based on financial need. With an unsubsidized loan, the student is responsible for the interest on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full. Interest payments may be made while in school or can be deferred and capitalized when repayment begins. This means that the interest that accrues is added to the principle loan balance. Interest then begins accruing on the new principal loan balance.
A student loan requires a serious long-term commitment and it must be repaid. Therefore you should only borrow what you can reasonably afford to repay. Steps to determining the amount to borrow include looking at HCC costs as well as considering the total financial aid your expect to receive. More importantly, you should consider your current debt and future borrowing needs. You can view your previous federal loan history at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You will need your Federal Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access your information. For more information about how much to borrow, click here.
HCC has the right to deny any loan request based on such factors as unwillingness to repay, borrowing history, and academic progression.
Interest is the expense of borrowing money which is calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed. The current interest rate for a Federal Direct subsidized loan disbursed after July 1, 2012 is fixed at 3.4% and a Federal Direct unsubsidized loan disbursed after July 1, 2012 is fixed at 6.8%. The interest rate for a Federal Direct PLUS loan disbursed after July 1, 2012 is fixed at 7.9%.
An origination fee is a fee paid by the borrower to the lender to cover administrative fees for the loan. The loan amount credited to the student account will be the principle amount borrowed minus an origination fee of 1% for Federal Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The origination fee for Federal Direct PLUS is 4%.
In general, loan disbursements are made at least five weeks after the semester start date or two weeks after certification of the loan, whichever is later. The student will continue to receive a bill from the college until the loan disburses in full to the student's account and all remaining balances are paid. These estimated disbursement dates may change if additional information is received from the Department of Education. If you are enrolled in a late starting or fast track class, the loan disbursement and any refund amount due may be delayed.
Your loan disbursement will be credited to your student account. If your account results in a credit balance, a refund will be made to the option you selected with Higher One. Questions related to Higher One should be directed to the Finance Office at 443-518-1862.
The calculation to determine student loan eligibility is based on your enrollment status at the time you submitted your HCC loan application. Financial Aid Services must adjust your loan if you receive additional awards or if you make any adjustments to your enrollment (including dropping, adding, withdrawing, and non-attendance). You must be actively enrolled at least half-time (enrolled and attending six or more aid eligible credits) to receive loan funds. If it is determined that you are below six credits at the time of disbursement, your loan funds will be returned to the Department of Education for cancellation.
Additionally, if faculty documentation indicates that you were not actively enrolled for six credits at the time of your loan disbursement, you will be responsible to repay any ineligible loan proceeds that were disbursed to your student account.
Repayment begins on the day immediately following a six-month grace period. The six-month grace period begins when you graduate, withdraw from school, or drop below the required six credits. To see more about repayment and repayment plans, please click here.
A Federal Direct Student Loan is in the student's name. If a parent wishes to borrow a loan on behalf of their dependent student, they must borrow a Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan. Unlike Federal Direct Student Loans, PLUS loans are based on credit eligibility. If the parent's credit is denied and the parent borrow is unable to secure an endorser, the student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized student loan. For more information on PLUS loans, click here.
Once you go into repayment, you can either make individual payments to each lender or consolidate all of your loans with the Department of Education. You can check www.nslds.ed.gov to see your current servicers for Direct and FFELP loans. For more information on loan consolidation, click here.
The main difference between the two types of loans is where the funds come from. The lender for Direct Loans is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution.
If you borrowed a loan from another school in the fall you will need to let your prior school know to cancel your remaining loan. You will need to add HCC's school code (008175) to your FAFSA and follow the "Apply for a Loan" steps. Click here to access this.
If you are transferring to another school during the academic year, the loan is not transferred to the new school. You will need to cancel your remaining loans at HCC and apply for a loan at your new school. In addition, you will need to contact your loan servicer and request an "in-school deferment" so your loan(s) do not go into repayment.
Yes, each academic year you must apply for a loan by following the required "Apply for a Loan" steps. This includes filling out the correct year FAFSA in addition to completing the required loan paperwork.