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.
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 financial aid award letter or electronic notification, log in to the myElmhurst Portal and click on the Self Service icon to accept or decline your Federal loans. If you would like to borrow a smaller amount than you were offered, please complete the Financial Aid Action Form and return it to Student Financial Services via our Etrieve document upload tool.
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(s). Your MPN is valid for up to 10 years, and you may receive more than one loan with each MPN. A completed MPN is a requirement for disbursement of your loan.
Entrance counseling ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. You’ll learn what a loan is, how interest works, your options for repayment, and how to avoid delinquency and default.
A completed Entrance Counseling is a requirement for disbursement of your loan.
You must complete exit counseling when you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure you understand your student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment.
Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA)
The Department of Education recommends students complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement each year they accept a new federal student loan. If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan.
If you have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you are eligible to borrow.
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.