North Central Michigan College is a Federal Direct Stafford Loan participant. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, instead of a bank or other financial institution. The interest rate and financial aid loan fees are set by the U.S. Department of Education. More information on the Federal Direct Student Loans can be found at StudentLoans.gov.
General Requirements and Regulations
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed in order to be a recipient of a financial aid loan.
- All students applying for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan and parents applying for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
- All students must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum of six credit hours per semester for undergraduate student) to qualify for a Federal Stafford financial aid loan or to have their parents qualify for a Federal PLUS loan.
- Students must attend classes and maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to be eligible for their loans.
- Even if a student withdraws from class before the semester ends, they are still required to pay back their loans.
- Stafford Loans enter repayment six months after graduation or after student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. The repayment period typically lasts around ten years. Flexible payment plans are available.
Rights and Responsibilities
It is vital that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities in the loan process.
Once you thoroughly understand your rights and responsibilities with regard to repaying your loans, you will greatly diminish delays or problems you may encounter.
Your rights and responsibilities include the following:
- Regardless of whether you completed your academic program, or if your expectations were not met by your program, you must pay your loans.
- If you are the recipient of multiple loans from multiple lenders, it is your responsibility to notify your school of this.
- You must use money received from student loans for strictly academic expenses.
- You must notify your lender, in writing, of:
A. Name or address change
B. Failure to enroll at least half-time
C. Failure to enroll for the loan period certified
D. Failure to enroll at North Central Michigan College
E. Withdrawal from school or reduction of attendance to less-than-half-time
F. Transfer between establishments of higher education
- If you are eligible, you have a right to defer your financial aid repayments, which suspends principal and interest payments for a certain period of time. Deferments can be requested for a number of reasons, including returning to school on at least a half-time basis.
- You have the right to consider the loan repayment alternative for which you qualify, as you enter the repayment process. This includes loan consolidation alternatives.
Repaying Your Financial Aid Loan
You are required to begin repaying your Federal Direct Stafford Loan six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time attendance. Borrowers generally have 10 years to repay these loans. Under a level repayment plan your monthly payment would be at least $50. For example, the monthly payment on a $7,500 Stafford loan with an interest rate of 6.8 percent would be $86.31 under a 10-year repayment plan.
- Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repayment, you can change repayment plans any time. There are repayment options that allow you to gradually increase your payments over time or tie the size of your monthly payment to your income. Morei information on these plans can be found at www.studentloans.gov.
- You can investigate consolidating all of your education loans so you have one monthly payment. This program also generally allows you to extend the repayment period beyond 10 years.
- If you experience economic hardship or other circumstances that limit your ability to repay your loan, you might qualify for a deferment or forbearance. Deferment allows you to postpone repayments for certain approved reasons for as long as you are enrolled at least half-time in a postsecondary school, graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program (if you have disabilities). Deferments of up to three years are also available if you are unemployed. Forbearance can delay or reduce your monthly payments. Usually, however, you must still pay the interest on your loan during the forbearance period.
Please Note: If you fail to repay your loan, you will be considered in default. If this occurs, your credit rating will be damaged and you may not be able to borrow in the future to pay for a car or home or even to continue your education. Your wages may be garnished and your federal and state income taxes may be withheld; your loan may be sent to a collection agency and you will be liable for collection fees.
Understanding Your Loan Choices
There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
Subsidized: If a student meets certain financial need requirements, the federal government will pay the loan's interest while the student attends school at least half-time or during times when the student qualifies for an authorized deferment.
Unsubsidized: Students that do not meet the financial need criteria for a subsidized loan may qualify for an unsubsidized student loan. The student is responsible to pay the interest on the loan while they are in school or they can choose to have the interest added to their principal balance.
Loan amounts and maximums are set by the government. All students must meet eligibility requirements. Loan limit information for students attending a two year community college is provided below.
Loan Limits as of 7/1/08
|Dependent Students||Base Amount||Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount|
|Dependent Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow a PLUS Loan||Base Amount||Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount|
|Independent Students||Base Amount||Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount|
Lifetime Loan Limits
Dependent undergraduates -- $31,000
Independent undergraduates -- $57,500
Student Loan Application Process
All students who want to obtain a student loan are required to complete a North Central Student Loan Request Form.
If you are a first time borrower with North Central Michigan College you will need to complete loan entrance counseling. A link to entrance counseling is below. You will be required to sign onto entrance counseling with the same FSA ID and Password used to submit your FAFSA.
Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the U.S. Department of Education. Again, you will need to sign on using the same FSA ID and Password from when you submitted your FAFSA.
Parent Loan Application Process (PLUS)
The interest rate and loan fees are set by the U.S. Department of Education. Repayment options for the Parent PLUS Loans are 1) payments begin 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or 2) six months after the student ceases to be a half-time or more student, even if they do not graduate or complete their program of study.
If you are a credit-worthy parent of a dependent student, Federal Direct PLUS Loans may be available to you. The parents hold responsibility for accrued interest on the loans from the disbursement date until the loan is fully paid off. As a reminder, all loan fees and interest rates are determined by the U.S. Department of Education.
All parents who apply for a PLUS loan are required to complete a North Central Michigan College Parent PLUS Loan Request Form.
Please print it, fill it out completely, and forward to Financial Aid at the address or fax listed at the bottom of the form.
Complete the Direct Plus Application Process by clicking the link below. Once again, you will need to sign on using the same FSA ID and Password used to sign your student's FAFSA.