Federal Direct Stafford Loans
The federal government offers eligible students Federal Direct Stafford Loans through the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate students may apply for up to $20,500 per academic year. Interest on unsubsidized loans begins on disbursement. Students may borrow up to a combined aggregate maximum of $138,500 for both undergraduate and graduate loans through this program.
The interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, is 7.05%.
For all loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2023, the loan origination fees are as follows: 1.057% for Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans
The federal government offers eligible students Federal Direct PLUS Loans through the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate students may apply for a loan amount up to the cost of education less any other financial aid per academic year. The interest accrues while the student is in school and during grace periods and eligible deferment periods. There is no aggregate maximum on this loan.
The interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, is 8.05%.
For all loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2023, the loan origination fees are as follows: 4.228% for Direct PLUS Loans.
Your credit report will be pulled and reviewed by the Department of Education when you apply for the Direct PLUS loan. To qualify for Direct PLUS Loan, your credit report cannot reflect an adverse credit history.
You are considered to have an adverse credit history if:
- One or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent or that have been placed in collections or charged off (written off) within the past two years.
- Debt discharged in bankruptcy during the past 5 years.
- Evidence of a default, foreclosure, tax lien, repossession, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt during the past 5 years.
There are two ways that you may still be able to qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan.
- By obtaining an endorser (similar to a cosigner) who does not have an adverse credit history.
- You have the option of trying to qualify by documenting to the Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.
Visit www.studentaid.gov for more information about the ways you can qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan.
Return of Title IV Federal Funds
If a student withdraws from all classes prior to completing more than 60% of an enrollment period, their eligibility for aid will be recalculated based on the percent of the period completed (this calculation considers the number of calendar days the student was scheduled to complete, minus any days on approved LOA or breaks of more than five consecutive days). Funds will be returned (in accordance with federal regulations regarding return of federal funds) in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (to lender)
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan (to lender)
The refund to each fund listed above shall not be in excess of the amount disbursed during the award period from that fund.
- Institutional Scholarships
Southwestern will offer any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds within 30 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew and will return any unearned Title IV funds it is responsible for returning within 45 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew.
Private Student Loans
Lenders have several loan programs for students who are unable to finance the entire cost of their education with traditional forms of financial aid. These loans are not guaranteed nor subsidized by the federal or state government. Private loans are not based on need, but other financial aid is taken into consideration when determining maximum amounts for which a student is eligible. Student loans, including those from private lenders, may never exceed total cost of education for an academic year through any combination of financial assistance. To obtain the most complete, current information on terms and conditions, the lenders should be contacted directly.
Most private loan lenders use credit scoring (the most widely used method is FICO, formerly known as Fair Isaac Company) as a means to determine the amount of risk they are assuming on a borrower level. Using this risk model, creditors receive a "credit score" for each borrower. That score is then used to determine if the borrower is too risky, and therefore requires either a higher guarantee fee, a co-signer or a denial of credit.
Even though lenders will not release the student's score to them, there are some preemptive steps students can take. Students should review a copy of their credit report for erroneous information and reduce outstanding debt as much as possible. In addition, students should not apply for additional credit, as inquiries hurt the credit score. Visit the FICO website for more assistance.
Short-Term Loan Advance
Southwestern offers short-term, interest-free loans to students who demonstrate emergency need. These loans are targeted for emergencies, not regular expected bills (such as rent), which may come up from time to time. These loans may not be used for tuition payments and the loan must be repaid during the current semester. Students are not able to receive loan advances prior to the beginning of the semester.
Short-Term Load Advance Programs
Bing Crosby Emergency Loan Fund
This fund was established by the trustees of the Bing Crosby Youth Fund to provide emergency loans to enrolled students.
Marilyn Garland Emergency Loan Fund
Established by members of the Southwestern community in memory of Mrs. Marilyn Garland (deceased wife of Professor Norman Garland) who died in 1982, this fund provides emergency loans of up to $1,000.