Info for Parents Counselors

Loans

Puget Sound campus with RainierFEDERAL STUDENT LOANS

Puget Sound participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan program. Under this program the federal government serves as the lender.

There are two types of Federal Direct Student loans.

  1. Subsidized loans are need-based loans. The government pays the interest on these loans while you are enrolled at least half time. Click here for the most current interest rate figures.
  2. Unsubsidized loans are not need-based loans. The interest begins accumulating as soon as the funds are disbursed on your behalf. Some students may wish to make interest-only payments while enrolled in order to reduce the amount of capitalized interest. Capitalization results in the interest being added to the principal creating a higher loan to repay after graduation. Click here for the most current interest rate figures.

 

 FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN LIMITS

Dependent Student Annual Loan Limit
Freshman $5,500
Sophomore $6,500
Junior or Senior $7,500
Cumulative Loan Limit $31,000
   
Independent Student Annual Loan Limit
Freshman $9,500
Sophomore $10,500
Junior or Senior $12,500
Cumulative Loan Limit $57,500
   
Graduate Student $20,500
Cumulative Loan Limit
(includes undergraduate borrowing)
$138,500

HOW TO APPLY

Your Financial Aid Award Notice specifies the amount of your Federal Direct Loan eligibility. If you are a first-time borrower, you must complete an online 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 will be subtracted from each disbursement to cover the loan origination fee. Click here to see the current loan fee percentages. Federal Direct loans are received 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

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

 

PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS

Puget Sound encourages students to pursue federal student loans and grants prior to applying for private educational loans. Private loans are designed to meet educational costs not covered by other forms of financial aid. Information on private loan options is available here.

Unlike federal loans, interest rates, grace periods, repayment options, and fees for private educational loans are determined by the lender and can vary considerably from lender to lender. Private loans are based on an individual’s credit history and creditworthiness. You are strongly encouraged to review your credit report prior to applying and to apply with a creditworthy co-signer. You may receive a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

 

FEDERAL PLUS LOANS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate students may borrow a Direct PLUS Loan for any year that they are enrolled at least half time. Under the Federal Direct Student Loan program, the federal government serves as the lender and the interest rate is fixed. Fees are subtracted from each disbursement to cover the loan origination fee. Click here for the most current information on interest rates and origination fees.

The Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan which allows graduate students to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid awarded. Cost of attendance includes the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board billed by the university, plus a standard calculation for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.

Applications for the Direct PLUS Loan are processed online through the U.S. Department of Education student loan website. Detailed information on applying for the PLUS Loan is available here.

Repayment

Graduate students are automatically granted a deferral on monthly PLUS Loan payments. Payments are deferred until six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time, although interest continues to accrue. Graduate PLUS borrowers have the option to begin repayment 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. The standard repayment period is 10 years. You can expect to hear from your servicer about 30-45 days before the first payment is due. If you don’t hear from your servicer, it is your responsibility to contact them.