Loans

Loans

Student loans are an option to help pay for your educational costs. The first step in getting federal student aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The loans that have been offered to you will be in your Student Center in Connect Carolina. To assist in your borrowing decisions, you can also use the cumulative borrowing page in Student Center to keep track of previous loans you have borrowed. You should consider your financial needs and make well-considered decisions about student debt. Please budget carefully and borrow only what you need to be successful.

Loan Guide

Federal Direct
Unsubsidized Loans
Federal Direct
Graduate PLUS Loans
Private Education Loans
Credit requirement: None, but student must meet eligibility requirements as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Credit requirement: Good credit history or no credit history (no delinquent accounts or bankruptcy on credit report)Credit requirement: Lenders may require students to have a particular credit score to be approved without a co-borrower
Interest accrues from disbursementInterest accrues from disbursementInterest accrues from disbursement
Interest rate: 4.30% fixed*Interest rate: 5.30% fixed*Interest rate: Fixed or variable and is normally based on either the Prime Rate or LIBOR.
Origination fee: 1.057%**Origination fee: 4.228%***Origination fee:
Varies
Annual maximum: $20,500****Annual maximum: Financial aid budget minus Direct Unsubsidized loan, fellowship, scholarships, grants, etc.Annual maximum: Financial aid budget minus Direct Unsubsidized loan, fellowship, scholarships etc.
Grace period:
6 months
Grace period:
6 months
Grace period:
6-9 months
Repayment period: 10 years standard, but up to 25 years if total Direct Loan debt is more than $30,000Repayment period: 10 years standard,
but up to 25
years if total
Direct Loan debt is more than $30,000
Repayment period: Up to 25 years, depending on the lender
Income-driven repayment options: yesIncome-driven repayment options: yesIncome-driven repayment options:
no
Possible loan forgiveness or cancellation:
yes
Possible loan forgiveness or cancellation:
yes
Possible loan forgiveness or cancellation:
no
*The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan and applies to loans disbursed after July 1, 2020 and before July 1, 2021.
**The origination fee is part of the principal loan amount and is deducted from the disbursed amount and applies to loans disbursed after October 1, 2020 and before September 30, 2021. Interest would accrue on a principal loan amount of $20,500 which yields a disbursed amount of $20,284.
***The origination fee is part of the principal loan amount and is deducted from the disbursed amount and applies to loans disbursed after October 1, 2020 and before September 30, 2021. Interest would accrue on a principal loan amount of $50,000 which yields a disbursed amount of $47,886.
****DDS, PharmD, and certain Public Heath degrees are eligible for higher annual loan limits based on the Heath Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) guidelines. Loan eligibility will automatically be displayed on the initial aid offer.
You should choose the loan that best suits your situation. Factors to consider include:
  • Availability of fixed rate private loan and how this rate compares to the PLUS rate
  • Amount of loan debt
  • Timeline for repayment and repayment options
  • Base variable interest rate (Prime + 2% is very good for the current quarter, but the Prime Rate will not always be as low as it is currently)
  • Your credit score and, if applicable, your co-signer’s credit score (better credit often means better loan terms)

 

Federal Unsubsidized Loans are available to help cover the educational cost of attendance. Interest will begin to accrue once you receive it and throughout the life of the loan. Interest rates vary depending on when the loan is disbursed. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for the most up-to-date interest rates and fees.

Once you decide to borrow money, you will have the option to accept, decline or adjust offered loan amounts. To receive your loans, you will need to complete loan requirements, such as loan entrance counseling and signing of a master promissory note. If you need to complete loan requirements, they will appear on your To-Do list in the Student Center of Connect Carolina after you have accepted one or more loans.

Accepting, Declining or Adjusting Loans

Complete Entrance Counseling/Master Promissory Notes

  • Federal PLUS Loans are available to help cover any remaining aid eligibility in the educational cost of attendance budget after all other sources of aid have been exhausted. PLUS loans are credit-based and require an online application and credit check. You can obtain a co-signer, if needed.
  • Interest begins to accrue when you receive it and throughout the life of the loan. Interest rates may vary depending on when the loan is disbursed. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for the most up-to-date interest rates and fees.

Accepting or Adjusting Graduate PLUS Loans

  • Federal Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) are available if you enroll in the Doctor of Dentistry (DDS) or Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.
  • Federal Loans for Disadvantaged Dental Students (LDS) are available if you enroll in the Doctor of Dentistry (DDS) program.
  • For both HPSL and LDS, you must demonstrate financial need. Parental income and asset information is required to determine financial need regardless of your age, dependency, or marital status.
  • The Office of Scholarships & Student Aid will provide you with instructions and application materials to help determine eligibility. Applying for HPSL or LDS is optional.
  • HPSL and LDS loans carry a 5% fixed interest rate, which is paid by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half-time in the DDS or PharmD program. Repayment doesn’t begin until 12 months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status, whichever comes first.

Accepting or Adjusting HPSL or LDS Loans

The federal HPSL and LDS loans will be automatically included in your financial aid offer once you are determined eligible. You can view the accepted award on your Connect Carolina Student Services Center.

To reduce or decline the award, please look under Student Financials for the Accept/Reduce/Decline awards hyperlink.

Complete Entrance Counseling/Promissory Note

Repayment of HPSL and LDS Loans

The University Cashier’s Office handles the promissory notes for the HPSL and LDS loans. Please visit their website for a complete step-by-step guide.

Private student loans are credit-based non-federal student loans.

Although you may choose to borrow private loans, each student must choose the loan that best suits their individual situation. You can research private education loan lenders to determine if a private loan is best for you.

Factors to consider when choosing a private loan

Amount of loan debt
Timeline for repayment. Is it possible for you to repay the loan quicker than the standard 10-year repayment period?
Best interest rate. Keep in mind that the Prime Rate will not always be as low as it is currently.
Your credit score and, if applicable, a co-signer’s credit score. Better credit often means better loan terms, such as borrower protections.

repayment information

Borrowed loans require repayment once you complete your education. Carefully consider your anticipated future annual income before making borrowing decisions. You can use the Loan Payment Calculator to estimate monthly payments. Our goal is for you to only borrow what you need to be successful.

Borrower rights and responsibilities are disclosed through completion of the federally required Entrance Loan Counseling (before loan funding is disbursed) and Exit Loan Counseling (when enrollment falls below half-time).

Federal loan exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loans. If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you: drop below half-time enrollment, graduate or leave school. You can complete federal loan exit counseling here.

Federal Loan Repayment

Information about loan limits, loan fees, and repayment plans can be found on the Federal Student Aid Website.

Loan Type Repayment Information
Subsidized Loan Begins six months after your last term of enrollment or if your enrollment falls below half-time (whichever comes first).
Unsubsidized Loan Begins six months after your last term of enrollment or if your enrollment falls below half-time (whichever comes first).
Parent PLUS Loan Begins 30 days after loan disbursement. Borrowers can request a deferment with their loan servicer to postpone payments.

University Loan Repayment

Institutional Loans are repaid to ECSI. Additional information about repayment and interest rates can be found on the ECSI website.

Loan Type Repayment Information
UNC Loan Begins six months after your last term of enrollment or if your enrollment falls below half-time (whichever comes first).
Institutional/Long Term University Loans Begins nine months after your last term of enrollment or if your enrollment falls below half-time (whichever comes first).
Health Professions Loan and Loan for Disadvantaged Students (DDS and PharmD only)Begins twelve months after your last term of enrollment or if your enrollment falls below half-time (whichever comes first).

Private Loan Repayment

Private student loans are non-federal; credit based student loans granted from a lender such as a bank, student loan company, or other private organization. Check directly with your private loan lender for repayment terms and conditions.

understanding Exit counseling

Federal loan exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loans. For subsidized and unsubsidized loans, you must complete exit counseling each time you: drop below half-time enrollment, graduate or leave school.

Exit counseling explains your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower and provides:

  • Your outstanding loan balance
  • An estimated monthly payment amount
  • An explanation of the various repayment plans
  • Pros and cons of loan consolidation
  • Information regarding loan forgiveness, deferments, and forbearance

The type(s) of loan exit counseling you are required to complete depends upon which federal educational loan(s) you have borrowed.

You can check out the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide here.

Complete Exit Counseling

Questions?

We are happy to help! Send us a message with your loans questions.

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