Even if you do not qualify for a grant or scholarship, nearly every student completing a FAFSA and meeting financial aid requirements is eligible for some form of Federal student loan. Federal student loans offer fixed interest rates that are usually lower than private loans and almost always lower than a credit card. Federal loans also have flexible repayment plans and deferment options if you are having trouble making payments. The Office of Financial Aid 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. Make smart borrowing choices by doing the following:
- Keep track of your borrowing history 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 provides students with information about their federal student loan debt.
- Read the Department of Education’s Be a Responsible Borrower for ways to graduate with less debt.
- Research starting salaries in your field. Talk to the Career Center 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.
- 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.
- Read the Plain Language Disclosure for Direct Loans which provides additional information on your loan.
- 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.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are loans for students.
Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The Department of Education pays the interest on a subsidized loan
- while you are in school at least half-time
- for the first six months after you leave school
- during a period of deferment
Always accept the full amount of subsidized loan offered to you before accepting your unsubsidized loan.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; financial need is not required.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) is for the parent of a dependent student. The amount offered is typically the cost of attendance minus all other aid and resources. A parent may borrow less than the amount offered if desired.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS is for graduate and professional degree students.
Federal Perkins Loans are no longer available Purdue Northwest. If you had a Perkins loan in the past at Purdue Northwest, your Perkins loan is serviced by Educational Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI).
- ECSI borrower information
- The ECSI customer service number is (888) 549-3274