General Information About Loans
An education loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Education loans come in three major categories: undergraduate student loans, parent loans for undergraduate students (PLUS), and graduate student loans.
Loan disbursements are credited to the student’s billing account beginning three business days prior to the first day of classes each semester. Any amount in excess of the bill may be refunded to the student or parent (in the case of PLUS loans) to be used for indirect expenses like off-campus housing or books.
When you are deciding how much to borrow, you should request the amount for fall and spring. The Department of Education charges an origination fee on federal student and parent loans. The fee reduces the amount disbursed; you should take this fee into account when deciding the amount of the loan. Loan funds are distributed in two equal disbursements, one for fall and spring. It does not pay all at one time for the full year. Summer loans are requested separately once students are enrolled for the summer terms (April).
Federal Interest Rates, Origination Fees, and Terms
Federal loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, parent PLUS, and graduate PLUS) interest rates and fees are “variable fixed”. “Variable fixed” means the interest rates and origination fees are fixed for the life of the loan for all loans originated (disbursed) in a set timeframe. The interest rate timeframe is July 1 – June 30. The origination fee timeframe is October 1 – September 30. The rate and origination fee for your loan will be on your annual disclosure statement you receive once the loan is created.
2020-2021 Interest Rates and Origination Fees
Undergraduate Subsidized/Unsubsidized Rate: 2.75% Origination Fee: 1.059%
Parent/Graduate PLUS Loan Rate: 5.3% Origination Fee: 4.236%
Graduate Unsubsidized Rate: 4.3% Origination Fee: 1.059%
Federal origination fees reduce the amount that is paid to the school so students and parents should take these fees into account when requesting a loan. Ex: If a parent requests a PLUS loan for $10,000, the school will receive $9574 of the loan; the borrower is responsible for repaying the full $10,000 and interest accrues on the full amount.
Where to Access Loan Information
Trailhead is your real-time resource for funding received at Mines. You can view your award in the Award Overview screen to see what loans you have been offered and disbursement status. On the Financial Aid tab, you can view your financial aid history.
You can access the status and terms of a current or previous federal loan(s) by logging into the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website. You will use your FSA ID and password; the same login information for the FAFSA. Alternative loans will not be reported on NSLDS.
Eligibility for federal loans requires a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Federal Perkins Loan program has ended. For questions about an existing Perkins Loan or repayment information, please contact the Mines Bursar’s Office email@example.com. UNISA, INC. is servicing repayment of Perkins Loans. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone is 800-875-8910.
Private or Alternative Loans
Private loans are available to all students regardless of financial aid eligibility. These loans are made through banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions and are subject to the lending institution’s terms. Many private lenders allow students to be the primary borrower with a creditworthy cosigner. We encourage you to consider first apply for Title IV aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) since the terms and conditions of federal student loans will be significantly better than those for private loans.
Private loan lenders set their own rates, fees, and terms based on borrower and/or cosigner credit worthiness. When you enter into an agreement with a private loan provider, you should review all loan disclosures for a complete understanding of your loan and repayment options.