Loans are borrowed funds that you must repay with interest.
- Federal: Federal loans have fixed interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms. For subsidized Stafford loans, the government will pay the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program.*
- Private: These loans are issued by a bank or credit union. Private student loans have variable interest rates and usually require a credit check.
Consider Financial Awareness Counseling to help you understand your financial aid. This will not satisfy the loan entrance counseling requirement.
*Other benefits include fixed interest rates, income-based repayment plans, loan forgiveness and deferment options, as well as deferment of loan payments when a student returns to school.
Students and Parents – Download and use the following step-by-step guides to assist in common loan procedures.
- Completing A Master Promissory Note
- Completing Counseling (Entrance/Exit or Plus Credit)
- Completing A Direct PLUS (parent & graduate) Loan
International students can find loan options through eduPASS. See if you qualify for international loans while studying in the U.S.
Graduate PLUS Loan: Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans can help graduate and law students pay for educational expenses. There is no annual limit but students cannot borrow in excess of their university set cost of attendance. Graduate PLUS loans require a credit check (a cosigner may be obtained). The federal government charges interest from the date the first disbursement is made but it can be deferred (along with the regular payment) while the student is enrolled at least half-time (5 credits).
- Learn more about the Graduate PLUS Loan
Stafford Loans: Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits per semester for undergraduates/5 credits for graduates and law students) to be eligible.
Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized): For a Subsidized Stafford loan the government will pay the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program. For An unsubsidized Stafford Loan the student is responsible for the interest payment while in school (payments can be deferred until after graduation). Amounts offered will vary based on grade level and the loans have annual and lifetime limits.
This is a Federal Direct Loan that parents of undergraduate students can apply for (students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits)). Parent PLUS loan applications are available online.
Private loans given through a bank vary considerably (some require payments while in school).
Vandal loans are funded from donations and an endowment. The loan has a 5% interest rate, a nine-month grace period, and a maximum 10-year repayment term. There are specific requirements to receive a Vandal Loan. Speak with your Financial Aid Counselor for more information.
Benjamin O. Braham Loan
- Benjamin O. Braham (BOB) loans assist students who are graduates of Kellogg High School, in Kellogg, Idaho. The loan has a 3% interest rate, a nine-month grace period, and a maximum 10-year repayment term.
- Student must be a graduate of Kellogg High School, Kellogg, Idaho.
- A full-time, undergraduate degree-seeking student who has not yet attained a bachelor’s degree.
- A U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Long-Term Institutional Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure
- BOB Loan Fund Entrance Interview
- BOB Loan Recipient Information Sheet
- Long-Term Institutional Loan Approval Disclosure
- Long-Term Institutional Loan Final Approval Disclosure
Emergency Short-term Loan Program
This program covers payments that may fall due before a resource is available. It is available to students at 7% simple interest. To be considered, students shall be:
- Enrolled during the semester in which the loan is requested
- Enrolled at least half-time (half-time enrollment is a minimum of 6 credit hours for undergraduates and 5 credit hours for graduates and law students)
- In good academic standing
This loan is subject to approval by the counseling staff and may be denied depending on the situation.
You must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan within 90 days. $600 is the typical maximum loan amount.
Managing Your Loans
If you would like to access your Direct Loan information, view your loan balance or payment history, change the date your payment is due, select a new repayment plan, change your address or download debit forms you will need to contact your loan servicer. Log into the National Student Loan Database System to find your Loan Servicer's contact information.
If you previously received a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford loan or a Graduate PLUS loan and are no longer enrolled at least half time (including withdrawing or graduating from the University of Idaho) you are required to complete Exit Counseling. Use your federal FSA ID to sign into StudentLoans.gov, click on the "Complete Counseling" option and select "Exit Counseling" to begin the process.
Exit Counseling will help you understand your payment options, provide you with loan servicer contact information, and provide the balance of your federally backed loans. Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have six months, called a grace period, before you must begin repayment of your Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loans.
Parents who have borrowed Parent PLUS loans have the option to defer payments on their PLUS loan as long as their student remains enrolled in at least half-time credits.
The Direct Loan Program offers a variety of repayment plans. You can select the one that is right for your financial circumstances and switch repayment plans at any time without penalty.
For more information on any repayment plans, please visit the repayment page on the Student Aid on the Web website.
In certain circumstances, your loans can be discharged or canceled. Select a link below for more information on the different cancellation options.
- Perkins Loans Discharge/Cancellation – Learn about the opportunities to have this loan deferred or cancelled.
- Perkins Cancellation for Teachers – Learn about opportunities for teachers to have this loan cancelled.
- Stafford Loans – Information for discharge and cancellation opportunities for Stafford loans can be found here.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program/Income Based Repayment Plan – Information on who may qualify for Public Service Forgiveness.
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the US Department of Education’s central database for student aid. Use this website to find out information (Loan History) on all Federal student loans borrowed. Loans included will be Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS, Federal Family Educational Loans, and Perkins loans. Private loans are not included.
The Federal FSA ID website. Use this to register for an FSA ID or if you need to retrieve a forgotten number.
This is the US Department of Education’s Federal Aid website. It contains extensive information about Grace Periods, Deferment, Forbearance, Consolidation, Cancellation, and defaulted loan guidance.
Who is your loan servicer?
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the place to go to for information concerning your federal student loans.
Here you can determine who your loan servicer is and how to contact them for information or updates. Once you are on the site, simply select either “Financial Aid Review” to see all of your fully disbursed federal loans or “Exit Counseling” to become familiar with your repayment options and responsibilities.
If you select “Financial Aid Review” you can “click” on the loan number listed next to each loan under the “Type of Loan” heading. This will provide detailed information on each of your disbursed loans. You can get the amount of your loans and full contact information for the servicer/guarantee agency for every federal student loan listed.
What actions can you take at StudentLoans.gov?
- Sign in to view student loan data.
- Select Complete Entrance Counseling from the menu. If you have not previously received a particular loan type, you must complete loan counseling (takes about 30 minutes). *Be sure to select Complete Entrance Counseling NOT Complete Financial Awareness Counseling. Entrance Counseling will walk you through the Direct Loan process and explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.
- Sign into StudentLoans.gov.
- Select Complete Master Promissory Note from the menu.
What Is A Master Promissory Note?
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. With U of I, you can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.
Parent borrowers must complete a MPN for each student, logging in with their own FSA ID. The entire MPN Process must be completed in a single session (takes about 30 minutes).
- Sign into StudentLoans.gov
- Select Request a Direct PLUS Loan from the menu
- Pick the appropriate PLUS loan - Grad PLUS for applying graduate students or Parent PLUS for applying parents of dependent undergraduates.
Before you can receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). The Direct PLUS Loan MPN explains all of the terms and conditions of and constitutes your legally binding agreement to repay all loans you receive under the Direct PLUS Loan MPV. If you have not previously completed a Direct PLUS Loan MPN , you may do so on this after you complete the Direct PLUS Loan Request.
The Direct PLUS Loan Request gives you the option of authorizing the school to use your loan funds to satisfy other educationally related charges after tuition and fees, and room and board have been paid. You are not required to provide this authorization.
If you are a parent borrower, the Direct PLUS Loan Request also allows you to:
- Designate whether the school pays any credit balance to the student or to you.
- Request a deferment while the student is in school.
- Request an additional deferment for 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if the borrower becomes delinquent. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.
- Using your FSA ID, sign into StudentLoans.gov.
- You’ll also need a positive credit history and your Loan Reference Number.
- Select Endorse a Direct PLUS Loan from the menu.
- The first item requested is the Loan Reference Number. The original borrower was sent an email from the Department of Education the same day they were informed that the PLUS loan was denied. The Loan Reference Number is provided in the email.
- If the original borrower can’t locate this email, they can click on StudentLoans.gov, click on “My Profile” to obtain the loan reference number. Once the number is entered, click “submit” which will take you to the endorser form. Complete all steps prior to exiting the site.
- If accepted, a record will be sent to the school indicating a successful endorsement. If there is a current Master Promissory Note completed, then the application process is complete. The Department of Education and/or the student's school will notify the borrower of the final status of the loan.
- The entire process must be completed in a single session (takes approximately 30 minutes).