Apply for a Federal Direct Loan

Welcome to the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Application Process

UIS participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program, in which borrowers obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education.


Interest Rates and Origination Fees

First Disbursed Subsidized Undergraduate
Unsubsidized
Graduate
Unsubsidized
PLUS
Interest Rates Between July 1 2019 and June 30, 2020 4.53% 4.53% 6.08% 7.08%
Interest Rates Between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 2.75% 2.75% 4.30% 5.30%
Origination Fees Between October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020 1.059% 1.059% 1.059% 4.236%
Origination Fees Between October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2021 1.057% 1.057% 1.057% 4.236%

**Loans first disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2019, have different loan fees.**


William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs


 

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

A Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded to undergraduate students to meet financial need after other resources are subtracted or to the annual maximum loan limit, whichever is lower. It is the U.S. Department of Education’s major form of self-help aid and is available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Apply for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

To apply for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, you must complete the FAFSA. To be eligible, you must be enrolled for at least six hours per semester. If you are eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, it will be included on your Financial Aid Electronic Offer Notification.

Accept/Reduce/Decline a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

You can accept or decline a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan on your electronic offer notification by selecting “Accept” or “Decline” in the drop-down box on the Offer Notification Accept/Decline Offers page. You can reduce your loan by selecting “Accept” in the drop-down box and entering a lower loan amount in the “Partial Accept” field. If you wish to request loan changes, you should use the “Request Changes” on the E-Notification Information Request page of your electronic offer notification.

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling are required for Federal Direct Loans before the loan funds will be disbursed. In most cases, you will only be required to complete one MPN and complete one entrance counseling session during your college career.


Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available for both undergraduate and graduate student and is not based on your financial need. It is available to you through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, if your Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) is greater than your financial aid and you have not reached your annual maximum loan limit through the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If the interest is allowed to accumulate, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid. The origination fee for the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans is 1.059% for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020.

Apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

To apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete the FAFSA. To be eligible, you must be enrolled for at least six hours per semester. If you are eligible for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, it will be included on your Financial Aid Electronic Offer Notification.

Accept/Reduce/Decline a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

You can accept or decline a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan on your electronic offer notification by selecting “Accept” or “Decline” in the dropdown box on the Offer Notification Accept/Decline Offers page. You can reduce your loan by selecting “Accept” in the dropdown box and entering a lower loan amount in the “Partial Accept” field. If you wish to request loan changes, you should use the “Request Changes” on the E-Notification Information Request page of your electronic offer notification.

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling are required for Federal Direct Loans before the loan funds will be disbursed. In most cases, you will only be required to complete one MPN and complete one entrance counseling session during your college career.


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (Federal Direct Parent PLUS) are federal loans that parents with good credit histories may borrow to help pay the educational expenses of an undergraduate student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester.

A parent may borrow up to the total of the Estimated Cost of Attendance less resources and all other financial aid received by the student. Interest is charged on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until it is paid in full.

Apply 

Starting for Fall of 2020 UIS will no longer require a paper PLUS application form be completed and turned into the Office of Financial Assistance.  Instead, parent and graduate borrowers will complete the PLUS Loan application online at studentloans.gov.

If a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is the only financial aid you desire, the student must still complete the FAFSA. Then, complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application online at studentaid.gov. If the parent borrower does not have an active Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file, he/she must complete one online.

Parent Eligibility

Parent borrowers must not have an adverse credit history.  Parents must submit to a credit check by the United States Department of Education to be eligible for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. You authorize the credit check when you sign the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Request Application. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Parent PLUS loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Parent PLUS loan if you do not repay it. Log in to apply.
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit historyLog in to apply.

With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for parent PLUS loan borrowers. For further guidance please contact the Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394 or email them at studentloansupport@ed.gov.

Students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan may be eligible for additional Unsubsidized Loan funds.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Processing / Receipt of Funds

The Direct Loan Processor will notify the parent borrower and the UIS Office of Financial Assistance of the result of the credit check. The borrower cannot be 90 days or more delinquent on the repayment of any debt or the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the last five years. If credit is approved, loan funds will be disbursed. The funds will be applied to tuition, fees, and other university charges.

Refunds

If the Federal Direct Parent PLUS disbursement generates a refund after University charges are paid, the refunded amount will go to the parent.


Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans

Grad PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate and professional students are eligible to borrow under the Direct Graduate PLUS loan program, pending a credit check approval by the U. S. Department of Education. To be eligible for a Graduate PLUS loan, students must be enrolled at least 5 hours during the fall and spring semesters; at least 3 hours during the summer semester.  The maximum a student can borrow is the cost of attendance less any other financial aid.  Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or fall below half-time enrollment.

Apply for a Grad PLUS Loan

To apply for a Grad PLUS loan you must complete the FAFSA. Additionally, you will need to complete the Online Graduate PLUS application, sign a Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), and complete Entrance Counseling. The Entrance Counseling requirement for a Grad PLUS Loan is different from that of a Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized/unsubsidized) but may be completed at the same time by completing the Combination – Stafford and PLUS loan option.

Eligibility

The graduate/professional student borrower must not have an adverse credit history. To be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan, you must submit to a credit check by the U.S. Department of Education. You authorize the credit check when you agree to the Financial Aid Electronic Offer Notification Terms and Conditions. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a grad PLUS loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the grad PLUS loan if you do not repay it. Log in to apply.
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit historyLog in to apply.

With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS loan borrowers. For further guidance please contact the Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394 or email them at studentloansupport@ed.gov.

Grad PLUS Loan Processing / Receipt of Funds

The Direct Loan Processor will notify you and UIS Office of Financial Assistance of the result of the credit check. You cannot be 90 days or more delinquent on the repayment of any debt or the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt during the last five years. If credit is approved, loan funds will be disbursed. The funds will be applied to tuition, fees, and other university charges.

Refunds

If a Grad PLUS disbursement generates a refund, the refunded amount will be deposited into your bank account. Authorizing direct deposit of refunds gives you the quickest access to your funds.


Repaying Your Loans

Once you graduate, leave school, or fall below half time enrollment, you will have to start repaying your loans.


How do I contact the Direct Loan Program?

  • Student Loan Support Center: The Student Loan Support Center may be reached by phone, 1-800-557-7394, or email, studentloansupport@ed.gov.
  • Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID:  An FSA ID is required in order to sign your Direct Loan MPN.  An FSA ID is a username and password that gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and can serve as your legal signature for the Direct Loans process.  An FSA ID can be created here: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm.
  • Master Promissory Note: A Federal Direct Loan MPN is required of all new and current borrowers.
  • Entrance Counseling: Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is required for all new and returning borrowers.
  • Direct Loan Account Information: Online account and billing information.