SFA participates exclusively in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, in which borrowers obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education. We have listed frequently asked questions below:
Direct Loan FAQs:
Direct Loans are the same as Stafford and PLUS loans. They are called “Direct” because the student and/or parent are borrowing directly from the U.S. Department of Education.
When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you are applying for all of the aid programs for which you may be eligible, including Direct Loans.
If a Direct Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) has been offered to you as part of your aid package, it will appear on your Financial Aid Award Letter. You can accept or decline these loans just as you would any other aid program assistance offered to you. Additionally, if you are accepting all or part of the loan, you are required to complete and Esign a Master Promissory Note.
If you are a first time borrower, you will be required to complete an Entrance Interview and a Master Promissory Note.
If you have not completed your FAFSA you can do so now at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Yes. In addition to interest, the Department of Education takes a loan fee of 2% of the principal amount of each Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Direct Loan that you borrow. The loan fee for PLUS loans is 4%. This fee reduces the cost of making these low-interest loans and is deducted before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay. For example, if you borrow a $5,500 Direct loan, you will receive $5,390 after the loan fee is taken by the Department of Education.
Yes. If you have multiple federal education loans, you can consolidate them into a single Direct Consolidation Loan. This may simplify repayment if you are currently making separate loan payments to different loan holders, as you'll only have one monthly payment to make. There may be tradeoffs, however, so you'll want to learn about the advantages and possible disadvantages of consolidation before you consolidate.
For more information on Direct Loans go to www.StudentLoans.gov
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan - A need based loan where the federal government pays the interest while the student is in school and during the grace period before repayment begins. You must be enrolled at least 6 hours per semester to receive these funds.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan - Non-need based loan. You, the borrower, are responsible for the interest on the loans as soon as the funds are disbursed. The interest is accruing while the student is in school. You must be enrolled at least 6 hours per semester to receive these funds.
Federal Perkins Loan - A low-interest loan offered to both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need, who maintain a 2.5 GPA. This loan also has cancellation options based on after-graduation employment. Award amounts for eligible undergraduate students range from $300 - $4000 per year. Award amounts for eligible graduate students range from $300 - $6000 per year.
Federal Parent PLUS Loan - Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least 6 hours each semester. Your parents' credit history is checked to determine eligibility for this loan.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan - Available to graduate students who are enrolled at least 6 hours each semester.
B-on-Time Loan - A state loan that provides eligible Texas students a no-interest loan to attend colleges and universities in Texas. Certain eligibility requirements must be met. Priority will be given to students who are eligible for Texas Grant, but are not receiving a Texas Grant due to a shortage of funding in that program.
College Access Loan (CAL) - A non-need based state loan provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Students may apply for this loan if they are: a Texas resident, enrolled at least half time (6 hours each term), meet all financial aid requirements, and can secure this loan based on borrower’s credit or a credit worthy co-signer. This loan is NOT automatically offered by the SFA Financial Aid office and a separate application is required. Students should exhaust all other forms of eligibility for grants and Federal Direct loans before applying for this loan. For additional information and to apply for the College Access Loan please visit www.hhloans.com.
Alternative Loans - Loans that are offered by banks or lending institutions to assist students or parents in bridging the gap between college costs and traditional funding sources. These loans are private supplemental loans, and are not guaranteed by the federal government. Terms and conditions of these loans can vary according to specific lender.
Emergency Short-Term Loans for Tuition and Fees - Stephen F Austin State University sets aside funds each semester for student who have a temporary need for money to help with tuition and fees. Please make sure that if you need to add classes that you do so before applying for the Short-Term Loan. Short-Term loans are billed through the student's account for half tuition & fees. A service fee of 1.25% will be charged to your student account. Any payments crediting your student account after the Short-term loan is disbursed will be used to repay this loan only after all other student account charges have been paid. If the aid does not pay the loan in full, then repayment is due within 60 days of the 1st class day for Fall/Spring semesters and within 70 days of the 1st class day for Summer. For more information on qualifying and applying for short-term loans, click here.
Book Loans - Stephen F. Austin State University sets aside funds each semester for students who have a temporary need for money to take care of expenses (i.e. tuition/fees and books). Book Loans are only available during registration. The amounts of the Book Loans are $500 Fall and Spring and $600 for the Summer. A service fee of 1.25% will be charged to your student account. Any payments crediting your student account after the Book Loan is disbursed will be used to repay this loan only after all other student account charges have been paid. If the aid does not pay the loan in full, then repayment is due within 60 days of the 1st class day for Fall/Spring semesters and within 70 days of the 1st class day for Summer. For more information on qualifying and applying for book loans, click here.