Types of Loans
Federal Perkins Loan
Traditional undergraduate students only Perkins Loans are awarded to the interest rate is fixed at 5%; repayment begins 9 months after the student ceases to be at least half-time.
Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized)
Subsidized Stafford Loans are available for traditional undergraduate and IDEAL students with financial need. The interest rate is fixed at 4.66%. Repayment begins 6 months after the student ceases to be at least half-time. The government pays the interest on the Subsidized Stafford loan during in-school periods and during the 6-month grace period.
*Note: If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.
Direct Stafford Loan (Unsubsidized)
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available for traditional undergraduate and IDEAL students. The interest rate is fixed at 4.66%. Repayment begins 6 months after the student ceases to be at least half-time. Interest on the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan accrues from the day the loan is disbursed. Students may pay interest as they go, or capitalize their interest payments.
Direct Parent PLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students
Direct Parent PLUS Loan Information and Instructions
Direct Parent PLUS Loans are unsubsidized low-interest loans for parents of dependent students to help pay for the cost of the student’s education after high school. These loans are taken out by the parents, not the student. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. PLUS Loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance, minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. For additional information, please go to www.studentloans.gov.
Parent eligibility requirements for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan
You must be the student’s biological or adoptive parent or the student’s stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at the University of Bridgeport. For financial aid purposes, students are considered “dependent” if they are under 24, unmarried, and have no legal dependents at the time the FAFSA is submitted. (Exceptions are made for veterans, wards of court, and other special circumstances.) If a student is considered dependent, then the income and the assets of the parent have to be reported on the FAFSA.
Additional requirements to receive a PLUS loan
Parent PLUS Loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). In addition, parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.
Steps for applying for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan
To take out a PLUS Loan for the first time, the parent must complete a PLUS Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that a parent receives over multiple academic years, although a separate Loan request must be filed for each school year.
Step 1 – Go to www.studentloans.gov and sign into the secure website with a federal pin number. The Parent can obtain a federal pin number at www.pin.ed.gov.
Step 2 – Once you are logged in with your unique federal pin number, select the link REQUEST PLUS LOAN under the PLUS LOAN PROCESS navigation bar on the left side of the web page.
Step 3 – Under the SELECT THE LOAN TYPE header, double click on PARENT PLUS.
Step 4 – Enter your information (the parent’s information, not the student’s) on the PERSONAL INFORMATION tab. Click on CONTINUE at the bottom of the web page to proceed.
Step 5 – Enter Award Year and complete the STUDENT AND LOAN INFO tab. Click CONTINUE. Be sure to enter the loan data and select University of Bridgeport.
Step 6 – Thoroughly review your application for completion and accuracy. Click CONTINUE.
Step 7 – Click to agree to authorize a credit check and to submit the PLUS loan application. Click CONTINUE.
Step 8 – You will receive instant notification whether your application is approved or denied. If your application is approved, you must complete the Direct Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note immediately at www.studentloans.gov.
If you are not approved for the loan, you can try to add an endorser to your loan application at www.studentloans.gov or by calling the federal Direct Lending Service Center at 1-800-557-7394.
Direct Parent PLUS Loan FAQ’s
When can a parent begin applying for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan?
Parents may begin applying for Parent Plus loans 90 days before the semester starts.
How much can a parent borrow?
The annual limit on a Plus Loan is equal to the student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. For example, if the cost of attendance is $50,000 and the student receives $30,000 in other financial aid and awards, the student’s parent can request up to $20,000.
How does the parent get the loan money?
The Department of Education will send the loan funds to the University of Bridgeport. In most cases, the loan will be disbursed in at least two installments, and no installment will be more than half the loan amount. The University of Bridgeport will use the loan money first to pay the student’s tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, the parent will receive the amount as a check or other means, unless they authorize the amount to be released to the student or transferred into the student’s account at the school. Any remaining loan funds must be used for the student’s education expenses.
What’s the interest rate?
The interest rate is fixed at 7.21%. Interest is charged from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full.
Other than interest, is there a charge to get a PLUS Loan?
The parent will pay an origination fee of 4.292% of the loan amount, deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made.
When does the parent begin repaying the loan?
The repayment period begins when the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due 60 days after the final disbursement. However, for Direct PLUS Loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2008, the parent may defer repayment while the student on whose behalf the parent took out the loan is enrolled on at least a half-time basis, and for any additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
How does the parent pay back the loan?
The parent will repay the servicer listed on the disclosure statement provided when they received the loan. The loan servicer will provide regular updates on the status of the PLUS Loan, and any additional PLUS Loans that a parent receives. The loan servicer will also be listed in the parent’s account. The Direct PLUS LOAN program offers a number of repayment plans: standard, extended, graduated and income-based. These are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The terms differ between the repayment programs, but generally borrowers will have 10 to 25 years to repay a loan. For further information, please go to http://www.direct.ed.gov/RepayCalc/dlindex2.html.
What if a parent has trouble repaying the loan?
Under certain circumstances, a borrower can receive a deferment or forbearance to temporarily stop or lower the payments on a loan.
Can the parent’s PLUS Loan be transferred to the student so that if becomes the student’s responsibility to repay?
No. A PLUS Loan made to the parent cannot be transferred to the student. The parent is responsible for repaying the PLUS Loan.
Is a Parent Plus Loan available for the summer semester?
Private Alternative Loans
University of Bridgeport students are strongly encouraged to apply for all eligible financial assistance before considering a private alternative loan. A student should compare a variety of private student loans offered by banks and other education loan providers. Interest rates, conditions and eligibility requirements may vary between financial institutions and from person to person. You should apply for the alternative loan that best suits your individual needs.
Private alternative loans are commercial loans offered for undergraduate, IDEAL and graduate students whose financial aid does not cover the full cost of higher education. Depending on individual circumstances, a parent may also be able to borrow alternative loans to help pay for a child’s college expenses. All students who borrow with an alternative loan program must complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form (PDF) and submit this form to the lender in order for the alternative loan to be complete and disburse. In order to complete this form, you will need to reference our Tuition and Fees brochure.
A private loan may be an appropriate choice if:
- The difference between the cost of attendance and the total financial aid you have received leaves you with a balance and a PLUS Loan is not a viable option.
- You have reached your aggregate Federal Direct Stafford Loan limits.
- You are enrolled less than half-time.
- You are a dependent undergraduate student and your parents will not borrow (or have been denied) a Federal PLUS Loan.
- U.S. Government regulations make you ineligible for a federal loan. You may still qualify for a private loan because such programs are not bound by the same federal restrictions. For example, if you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), are in default of a federal loan, did not respond to verification requests, or are ineligible for federal loans for other reasons, you may be eligible for private loans instead.
- You are in arrears for a semester prior to the current semester. You may be able to receive a private loan for an earlier loan period.
It is strongly recommended that students borrow only the amount they absolutely require. Note that such loans are for educational purposes only, which means you must be a registered student and the amount you borrow cannot exceed the cost of attendance. There are no maximum income restrictions. Individual lenders will evaluate credit history and application fees are not refundable.
Private alternative loan programs differ from Federal Direct Loans in several important ways:
- Annual and total loan limits are higher for private alternative loans.
- Loans and interest rates are based on credit approval and approval is not guaranteed. Students must have good credit or access to a co-signer to qualify for private loans.
- Private loans are not federally guaranteed; therefore, they do not have the same deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits.
- The government will pay the interest on Federal Direct Subsidized Loans while the student is in school at least half-time. In addition, there is a grace period after graduation or falling below half-time before payments must commence.
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans require a credit check but the qualifying criteria are not as strict as for private loans and, if approved, the parent can choose not to begin repaying the loan until the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time.
- Students do not have to start paying back their Federal Direct Stafford Loans until they graduate or stop attending school at least half-time. If you obtain a private loan, you will most likely have to start making payments immediately.
For further information and comparisons of Private Alternative Loans, please click on this link.
Annual Loan Limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Traditional Undergraduate and IDEAL