Info for Parents Counselors

Federal Direct Loan

Puget Sound participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan program. Under this program the federal government serves as the lender. The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and (for most types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan. View an interest rate chart.

There are two types of Federal Direct loans.

  • Subsidized Direct loans are need-based loans. The government pays the interest on these loans while you are enrolled at least half-time.
  • Unsubsidized Direct loans are not need-based loans. The interest begins accumulating as soon as the funds are disbursed on your behalf. Interest may be paid on a monthly basis or capitalized so that payments do not need to be made while you are enrolled. Capitalization results in the interest being added to the principal creating a higher loan to repay after graduation.

How to Apply

Your Financial Aid Award Notice specifies the amount of your Direct Loan eligibility. You may reduce or decline the offered amount by sending an email message to

First Time Borrowers
If you are a first-time borrower, you must complete an online loan entrance counseling session and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before you can receive your loan funds.

Disbursement of Funds

The annual loan amount you borrow for the year is divided equally between fall semester and spring semester. A fee, that is a percentage of the loan amount, will be subtracted proportionately from each disbursement. A chart of the fees for Direct Loans based on disbursement date is availible. Direct loans are received by the university through Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and are credited to your student account automatically. We will notify you when funds are received and credited to your student account.


Repayment begins six months after graduation or when dropping below half-time enrollment. You can expect to hear from your lender/lenders about 30-45 days before the first payment is due. If you don't hear from your lender, it is your responsibility to contact them.

Subsidized Direct Loans for Graduate Students

The Budget Control Act of 2011 included changes to several aid programs, including the Direct Loan program for graduate students. Effective July 1, 2012, graduate students will be limited to borrowing through the Unsubsidized Direct Loan program, and the Subsidized Direct Loan program will no longer be available. Annual and aggregate loan limits remain unchanged. Under the Unsubsidized Direct program, loans begin accruing interest as soon as the funds are disbursed. Interest may be paid on a monthly basis or capitalized so that payments do not need to be made while enrolled. This change effects loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012.  Any previous Subsidized Direct loan held by the student will not be affected.


Track Your Student Loans

If you have questions about what loans you have, repayment or about your loan servicer, visit  Under Manage Loans, you can click on View My Account to log in.

You will need your Federal Student Aid ID to login. If you have forgotten your FSA ID, you can have it sent to you by clicking the Forgot My Username link.

You never have to pay for help with your student loans. Your loan servicer provides free help with your questions or concerns about your loan.