Loans

There are several types of loans available to Bluffton students, both federal loans and private student loans.

Students may qualify for one or more of the loans discussed below unless the student is in default on a previous student loan or has borrowed the maximum amount allowed. Undergraduate students must have a minimum of six credit hours per semester to be eligible for loans. Students must also complete the FAFSA to determine what type of loans and the amount they may be eligible to receive.


William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs

All first-time direct loan borrowers at Bluffton must complete both Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at Studentaid.gov before loans can be disbursed to their account.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

  • Need based loan
  • No interest while a student is registered for at least six credit hours or during a six month grace period after a student graduates or drops below six hours
  • 2.75% effective July 1, 2020: Variable-fixed interest rate for the life of the loan
    • Interest rates are recalculated each July 1 for new loans disbursed that year. The rate is based on the 10-year Treasury note index plus 2.05%, capped at 8.25%.
  • Repayment on the principal begins six months after completing program of study or dropping below six credit hours
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
    • while you are in school at least half-time
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
  • More information about federal direct loans, including income-based repayment options 

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans           

  • Non-need based loan
  • Interest begins as soon as the loan is disbursed
  • Students may choose to make interest only payments while in school or choose to have the interest capitalized
  • 2.75% effective July 1, 2020: Variable-fixed interest rate for the life of the loan
    • Interest rates are recalculated each July 1 for new loans disbursed that year. The rate is based on the 10-year Treasury note index plus 2.05%, capped at 8.25%.
  • Repayment on the principal begins six months after completing program of study or dropping below six credit hours

  • More information about federal direct loans, including income-based repayment options   

All first-time Direct Loan borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentaid.gov

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

  • Parents of dependent students can apply for this loan
  • 5.30% effective July 1, 2020: Variable-fixed interest rate for the life of the loan
    • Interest rates are recalculated each July 1 for new loans disbursed that year. The rate is based on the 10-year Treasury note index plus 4.60%, capped at 10.5%.
  • 4.236% loan origination fee (fee will be adjusted for loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020)
  • Parent PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student.  The parent must pass a credit check to qualify for a PLUS loan.
  • Repayment on the principal and interest begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed
  • Deferment is optional and can be arranged by contacting the loan servicer.
  • If a Parent Plus loan or an estimated Parent PLUS loan is included on the award letter, there are additional steps that need to be taken in order to secure that loan. 

One parent must complete both the application and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentaid.gov.

Origination fees

The table below reflects the origination fee percentages based on the first disbursement date for Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Direct PLUS Loan awards.

For any loan disbursement for a loan where the first disbursement is/will be... The origination fee percentage for Direct Subsidied Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans is ... The origination fee percentage for Direct PLUS Loans is ...
On or after Oct. 1, 2018, and before Oct. 1, 2019 1.062 4.248
On or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020 1.059 4.236

Questions? Contact Applicant Services for PLUS Loan Borrowers at 1-800-557-7394 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

PRIVATE education loan options for students and parents

  • Private student education loans provide students an option for funding their education. To be considered for approval, the student must have a creditworthy cosigner.

  • Private parent loans are private education loans that parents, family members, or other creditworthy individuals may borrow to assist undergraduate and graduate students who are attending school full time, half time or less than half time.  The student cannot be the borrower or the cosigner.

    To apply for a private education loan, please click on FASTChoice for lender information and selection.

 

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