Understanding loans is not for the faint of heart...
We are here to help!
There are a lot of details to keep up with when it comes to getting students loans! We don't want you to worry - that's why we have a team of experts ready to help you and your family through the entire process.
Before you get started, there's a few things you should know. Use this as your loan glossary. Maybe even bookmark this page, we aren't going any where!
First thing - File your FAFSA.
Prior to any federal Direct Student Loan or Parent Plus Loan being certified by Tennessee Wesleyan University, the applicant must complete the financial aid application process, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Federal Direct Loan Program is a federal loan program which allows the student to borrow long-term, low-interest loans directly from The Department of Education. The loans are available to students attending school and enrolled at least half-time (6 hours).
The Federal Direct Loan Program is intended solely to aid students pursuing a degree in higher education. Borrowers should borrow only the amount they feel is necessary to pay for their educational costs. Keeping the amount of a loan at a minimum will ease repayment.
Students who borrow a need-based Federal Direct Loan will not be charged interest on the loan while in school or in deferment. This type of Federal Direct Loan is referred to as "subsidized." Loan limits per academic year are as follows:
Freshman (0-27 hours earned) $5500
Sophomore (28-59 hours earned) $6500
Junior & Senior (60+ hours earned) $7500
Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or falls below half-time enrollment.
Retrieve your student loan information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan Program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.
Don't be confused by the different types of loans. You have different options between federal loans and private loans.
These loans are specifically for eligible undergraduate students (only) who have a financial need to help cover the cost of college. Your financial need is determined after you fill out your FAFSA.
The Federal Direct PLUS loan is a non-need-based parent loan for dependent students with a variable interest rate not to exceed 10 percent. Credit checks are conducted by the lender to determine loan approval.
Parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to the cost of education minus financial aid per year for each child who is enrolled at least half time and is a dependent student.
Graduate students and working adult students are also eligible for the Direct PLUS loan.
An "unsubsidized" Federal Direct Loan can be borrowed by students who are not eligible for a need-based Federal Direct Loan. When borrowing the "Unsubsidized" Federal Direct Loan, students will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
Private loans should be considered as a last resort when financing your college education. We strongly encourage you to borrow from the Federal Student Loan program before considering Private Loans. Additionally, graduate students are encouraged to apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan before applying for Private Loans. Generally, you will receive a better interest rate on Federal Student Loans than with Private Loans. However, if you need additional funding beyond your Federal Student Loan eligibility, Private Loans may help you cover unmet educational expenses.
Private Loans are made by banks and other financial institutions and are subject to their terms. Eligibility for these loans requires a credit check, and students are often required to have a co-signer to qualify. Tennessee Wesleyan does not endorse or recommend any specific Private Loan product. In determining which Private Loan is best for your needs, we recommend you research and compare loan interest rates, fees, repayment options, and eligibility requirements. If your private loan requires a Self-Certification form, please come by our office and we will be happy to assist you with its completion.
That's a lot of information! If you'd rather talk all this through with a person, we are a quick phone call away. Call the Student Financial Services team and they will answer any questions you may have. (423) 746-5209
Just a few more steps and you'll be ready for those students loans.
You must complete your Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling as well as the Master Promissory Note for either Federal Direct Stafford Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. Both the Entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note are required for loan disbursement.
Federal regulations require all student loan borrowers to participate in Direct Stafford Exit Loan Counseling whenever you drop below half-time enrollment status, withdraw, or graduate. To complete the online student loan exit counseling, visit the federal student aid webpage.