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Loans

Loans are borrowed funds that must be repaid. By accepting a loan, the student is agreeing to the terms of borrowing and making a commitment to repay the funds borrowed. Students are encouraged to only borrow what is needed. Should a student want to lower the loan amount and borrow less than what is awarded, the student should submit a Revision Request Form.

Federal Direct Loan (FDL) recipients must maintain enrollment and attendance of at least six (6) credit hours during a semester in order to be eligible to borrow loan funds. In addition, the student must accept their loan award as well as complete the required Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note.

The average annual loan for a student who borrows at HFC is $5,481. If the student attends two years, on average the student borrower will have borrowed approximately $10,962.

Using $10,962, for example, one can assume the loans are borrowed at a 3.76% interest rate. When the student begins repaying, based on a Standard Repayment Plan, he or she can expect to pay approximately $110 per month for 10 years. The higher the loan debt, the higher the monthly payment will be. NOTE: This example is based strictly on using the borrowed amount of $10,962 and does not include any interest that was accrued while in school.

Students are encouraged to utilize a repayment calculator to estimate what their loan payment might be based on the amount they are intending to borrow.

Students are also encouraged to minimize the amount of loans needed by utilizing grants, scholarships, and work-study whenever possible. HFC Financial Aid will include the Federal Pell Grant as part of the financial aid award if the student is otherwise eligible. In addition, there may be state grants or scholarships for which the student is eligible. While some state grants are listed on our website, a complete list of state scholarships and grants can be found at MI Student Aid (for Michigan residents). If you are not a resident of Michigan, you may locate information about what grants or scholarships are offered from your state on the State Higher Education Agencies list.

As a condition of participating in the FDL program, HFC is required to provide borrower [student and/or parent(s)] demographic and federal loan specific information to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). NSLDS information is accessible to guaranty agencies, loan servicers, lenders and schools who are authorized professional users of the system. This information is also available to students through the NSLDS student website.

William D. Ford Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan (SLOAN)

Federal Direct Loan (FDL) recipients must maintain enrollment and attendance of at least six (6) credit hours during a semester in order to be eligible to borrow loan funds.

The Subsidized Direct Loan is a need-based loan. Freshman loan borrowers may borrow up to $3,500 per year for the first year of study, depending on their level of financial need. Students may borrow up to $4,500 per year after completing 31 credit hours, depending on their level of financial need.

The interest rate for subsidized loans with first disbursement dates between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 is a fixed 3.76% APR. A student will not be charged any interest (nor will interest accrue) while the student is enrolled at least half-time or during authorized periods of deferment. A deferment is a period of time when a student is not required to make loan payments. The federal government “subsidizes” the interest during these periods. Repayment generally begins when the student is no longer enrolled in college on at least a half-time basis.

If you are requesting a loan for a prior semester, you must be currently enrolled, and you must have successfully completed a minimum of 6 credit hours with an earned letter grade of either an "A," a "B," a "C," a "D," or an "S" in the prior semester. No loan proceeds can be accessed or applied to a student’s account later than 180 days after the close of a semester or when a loan record was not originated prior to the student ceasing to be enrolled.

Just prior to the completion of their studies, students must complete an Exit Interview.

The 150 Percent Direct Subsidized Loan Limit

Federal Regulations place a time limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan (DSL) eligibility for first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013. The regulation puts a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a student can receive DSLs. In general, a student may not receive DSLs for more than 150% of the published length of their program of study. For more details, visit www.studentloans.gov.

William D. Ford Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan (ULOAN)

Federal Direct Loan (FDL) recipients must maintain enrollment and attendance of at least six (6) credit hours during a semester in order to be eligible to borrow loan funds.

A ULOAN is NOT awarded on the basis of financial need. However, to apply for a ULOAN, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have the results released to HFC.

The interest rate for unsubsidized loans with first disbursement dates between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 is a fixed 3.76% APR. A student will be charged interest on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it’s paid in full. If the student allows the interest to accrue (accumulate) while they are in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan. Further, additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

First-year students (those who have completed less than 31 credit hours) may receive up to $3,500 per year in combined subsidized and unsubsidized loans. They may receive up to $4,500 per year after they complete 31 credit hours. In addition, dependent students may apply for an additional $2,000 and independent students for an additional $6,000 in unsubsidized loan funds per school year. All unsubsidized loan amounts are restricted to no more than the student’s cost of attendance, less the amount of other financial aid the student is expected to receive.

In virtually all other respects, the unsubsidized loan program functions like the subsidized program discussed in the prior section of this publication.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) borrowers are parent(s) of dependent students. This loan has a fixed interest rate, currently 6.31%, which is adjusted each year. Parent(s) must begin making payments no later than 60 days after the loan has been disbursed. Parent(s) may borrow up to the cost of attendance (COA) less the amount of financial aid the student is expected to receive.

Students do not have to have financial need in order for their parent(s) to qualify for this loan. Students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the parent(s) must complete a PLUS Loan Request Form and Consent to Obtain Credit (which can be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid).

Alternative Loans

HFC does not encourage students to borrow more than what is absolutely necessary during an academic year. On a regular basis, students should be monitoring their total indebtedness and how that translates to a monthly payment once repayment begins.

If you are thinking about attending college, think Federal Aid First. Federal loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources.

However, there are times when the Federal Direct Loan Program requirements and annual/aggregate limits do not allow students to borrow enough funding to meet the COA. In these instances, students may want to consider alternative loans as an option to meet their needs.

Alternative loans are offered by banks or other lending institutions to assist students and/or parents in bridging the gap between college costs and traditional funding sources. The terms and conditions of these loans can vary depending on specific lender guidelines. We strongly recommend that students research alternative loan programs carefully before beginning the application process to ensure that they understand the eligibility requirements, interest rates, loan fees, grace/repayment periods and terms, as well as any borrower benefits. Students may research alternative loan opportunities online by performing a general search via their web browser. HFC will only certify an alternative loan for students who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program and are making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Entrance Counseling

First-year undergraduates and first-time FDL borrowers must complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling on the U.S. Department of Education's StudentLoans.gov website under the "Complete Counseling" link. This interactive counseling session and quiz helps students develop budgets for managing educational expenses and also understand their loan responsibilities.

**Students must complete Entrance Counseling before loan funds can be disbursed to their account.

New borrowers or prospective students are encouraged to take the demo Entrance Counseling to gain a better understanding of federal student loans.

More detailed information regarding the Federal Direct Loan Program can be found in Entrance Counseling Guide published by the U.S. Department of Education.

NOTE: Entrance Counseling is NOT the same as the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool on the same site. Taking a demo counseling session will NOT fulfill the requirement.

Exit Counseling

Direct Loan Exit Counseling is required for FDL borrowers who are graduating, transferring to another college, leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment. This counseling session helps borrowers understand their rights and responsibilities in repayment and helps them choose a repayment plan. You must use your Department of Education PIN to access this counseling session. To complete the Exit Counseling session, go to the StudentLoans.gov website. Click the "Complete Counseling" link and follow the link to "Exit Counseling" to begin.

Current borrowers are encouraged to take the demo Exit Counseling to gain a better understanding regarding federal student loans and the repayment of those loans.

NOTE: Exit Counseling is NOT the same as the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool on the same site. Taking a demo counseling session will NOT fulfill your requirement.

More detailed information regarding the Federal Direct Loan Program can be found in the Exit Counseling Guide published by the U.S. Department of Education.