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Explore the different types of loans available. Student loans from the federal government and other sources can help you finance your Elmhurst University education.

Elmhurst awards low-interest student loans from funds provided through federal programs. Some students also borrow from private lenders, but we encourage you to start with federal loans to maximize your low-interest borrowing.


Types of Loans

Direct Stafford Loans are low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education to help eligible students cover the cost of higher education.

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:

  • Subsidized loans are based on need. Interest and principal payments are deferred until six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.
  • Unsubsidized loans are not based on need. Principal payments are deferred until six months after you leave school, but interest continues to accrue.

The maximum you may borrow as a first-year student is $5,500. Interest rates are determined annually by the federal government.

This federal program allows parents of dependent students to borrow any amount up to the cost of education minus any aid the student is eligible to receive.

To be considered, the parent must complete a PLUS Loan Application online and complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

The interest rate on PLUS loans may vary; check the Federal Student Aid web pages for details.

If you need additional funding beyond your eligibility for scholarships and/or federal loans, you might consider taking out an alternative loan from a bank or other private lender. Alternative loans, sometimes called private loans, are often more expensive and have less favorable terms than federal student loans. They’re also credit-based and cannot be consolidated with your federal student loans. You should exhaust all federal loan options before applying for an alternative loan.

If you are choosing an alternative loan, you should compare the terms offered by different programs in order to choose the best fit for your situation. You can learn about and compare loan terms from multiple lenders using the ELMSelect Tool, which provides information for the loan programs most frequently used by Elmhurst University students.

Please note that you are not limited to lenders listed in the ELMSelect tool; you can borrow from any lender of your choosing. When deciding on an alternative loan, please consider the following: interest rates, fees, repayment options, monthly payments, and deferments. Please contact SFS for assistance with this process.

Student Responsibilities for Loans

After you receive your loan award, accept the loan by signing your paper notice or by logging in to Self-Service on the myElmhurst Portal. If you want to borrow a smaller amount, contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

Master Promissory Note

New student borrowers of federal loans are required to complete a Master Promissory Note at A Master Promissory Notes is valid for ten years.

Entrance and Exit Counseling

Before the loan can be credited to your account, you will have to complete Entrance Counseling at When you graduate or drop below half time enrollment, you’ll need to complete exit counseling online.

Student Loan Repayment

Direct Loan repayment begins six months after graduation or six months after your enrollment falls below half time. You will be able to choose from several repayment plans, and you will make your payments to your direct loan servicer.

For details, see How to Repay Your Loans on the federal government’s website. Another helpful resource is 12 Steps to Manage Loan Debt.

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