Whether or not to borrow Federal Direct Loan(s) and how much to borrow are among the most important decisions you will make while attending Purdue University North Central (PNC). The PNC Financial Aid Office encourages you to make an informed decision about accepting a student loan. It’s important to understand that a loan is a legal obligation that you will be responsible for repaying with interest. Before deciding to accept your Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Perkins Loan use the available Financial Aid Calculators to help you understand how much you can afford to borrow and to estimate your student loan payments. There are also calculators to assist you with developing a budget, reconciling your bank account records and learning the value of saving. Make smart borrowing choices by doing the following:
- Keep track of your loan borrowing history (the total amount of federal student loans you have borrowed) by using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Use the U.S. Department of Education’s Repayment Estimator to calculate your monthly loan payments.
- Use the Department of Education’s Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT). This online interactive resource will provide students with information about the student’s federal student loan debt. The Financial Aid Office strongly encourages all loan borrowers to use FACT.
- Research starting salaries in your field. Talk to Career Development or graduates in your field of study to get an idea of how much you are likely to earn after graduation.
- Use the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to estimate salaries for different careers or research employment.
- View the list of Indiana’s Hot 50 Jobs of the Future.
- Understand the terms of your loan; when you sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), you are agreeing to repay the loan even if you don’t complete your education, are not able to get a job after you complete the program or are unsatisfied with the education you received. Understanding Repayment
- Keep in touch with your loan servicer. Notify your loan servicer when you graduate, withdraw from school, drop below half-time enrollment, transfer to another school or change your name, address or Social Security Number.
First Time Borrowers
If you are a first time borrower at PNC, you will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling before your loan(s) are disbursed (paid to your account). You can complete both your MPN and Loan Entrance Counseling at StudentLoans.gov. You will sign in with your federal Personal Identification Number (PIN); this is the same PIN you use to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
First year, first time borrowers will also have their first loan disbursement (for Federal Direct Stafford Loans) delayed by 30 days. This is a requirement by U.S. Department of Education.
You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours for an undergraduate student) in order to receive a Federal Direct Loan (Stafford Loans, Perkins Loan and PLUS Loans).
Your Federal Direct Loans will usually be disbursed in two equal payments, ten days before the start of the semester. If you attend in the fall and spring, you will receive one disbursement in the fall and one disbursement in the spring. If you attend only in the fall or only in the spring semester, you will receive half of your loan ten days before the semester start date and the remaining half of your loan at the calendar midpoint of the semester. Typically the calendar midpoint occurs in October for the fall semester and March for the spring semester.
Interest Rates and Loan Fees
The current interest rates depend upon the type of loan, whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student and when the loan was first disbursed (paid to your account).
Federal Direct Stafford loans interest rates and loan fees.
Federal PLUS loans interest rates and loan fees.
Accepting or Declining Your Loans
Once you receive your financial aid award package, you may be offered Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford loans, Federal Perkins loan, or Federal PLUS (Parent loans). You may accept or decline the Stafford loans (your parent will accept the PLUS loan by going to StudentLoans.gov and completing the Parent PLUS application and MPN). If you choose to accept your loan(s), keep in mind that you can accept a partial amount of the loan.
If you are offered both Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and only want to accept one loan, you must accept the full amount of Subsidized Loan offered to you before accepting your Unsubsidized Loan. The Subsidized Loan should always be accepted first.
If you plan to enroll during the summer term, you may want to reserve a portion of your loans. You will automatically be considered for summer loans if you are enrolled at least half-time, have loan eligibility remaining and meet all other awarding requirements.
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans Time Limitation
A law affecting Subsidized Stafford Loan eligibility took effect July 1, 2013 for students who are first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013. The law restricts the period of time for which a borrower may receive Subsidized Stafford loans to 150 percent of the published length of the borrower’s current educational program. Learn more about the Subsidized Loans Time Limitation
Loan Exit Counseling
Loan Exit Counseling is required for all students that have graduated, withdrawn, or at some point enrolled in less than 6 credit hours (half-time). Exit Counseling provides information to students on your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. You will also learn useful tips to help you manage your loans and prevent loan delinquency or loan default. You can complete your Exit Counseling session and get information on managing repayment at StudentLoans.gov. If you decide to withdraw from PNC and you have received Federal or State financial aid, including loans, it is very important to let the Financial Aid Office know.
Additional information about different types of Federal Loans
Get step by step directions for accepting loans, completing your MPN, completing Loan Entrance Counseling and other things by clicking on Tutorials.