Sinclair Community College offers the Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Parent Plus Loan through the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Loans made through this program are referred to as Direct Loans. Eligible students and parents are borrowing directly from the federal government. Student and Parent loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and mortgages. You must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours each term in a program leading to a degree or certificate to qualify for a loan. For additional information, such as Borrower Rights and Responsibilities, please visit the federal student loan website or come in to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office to speak with a representative.
What are Federal Direct loans?
There are two types of Direct Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Students will have between 10 and 25 years to repay, depending on amount owed and type of repayment plan selected.
- This loan is available to students who demonstrate financial need.
- For a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest: while you are in school for at least 6 credit hours, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as the grace period) and during a period of deferment (postponement of loan repayment).
- The amount of your subsidized loan cannot exceed financial need or the annual loan limit set by the federal government, whichever is the lesser amount.
- This loan does not require students to demonstrate financial need.
- The federal government does not pay the interest on an unsubsidized loan.
- The amount is determined by the following equation:
Unsubsidized Loan Calculation
The unsubsidized loan award is calculated using the following formula:
Cost of Attendance
minus Federal Pell Grant, if eligible
minus Susidized Loan, if eligible
minus any other financial aid received by the student
= Amount of unsubsidized loan (up to the annual limit)
How do I apply for a Federal Direct loan?
You apply for a Direct loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once Sinclair receives the results of your FAFSA application and any additional documents that we may request, we will complete your financial aid file and offer any Direct loans for which you may qualify up to $5,500 for a first-year student and $6,500 for a second-year student. This will be a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, with the maximum subsidized eligibility being awarded first. You will need to accept your loans through Web Advisor. You will also need to complete the electronic Multi-Year Master Promissory Note and online Entrance Counseling Session if they are not already on file in our office. If you are not sure if you have completed these documents, please review the My Documents screen on Web Advisor.
What are the annual loan limits?
A first year student is defined as a student that has received less than 30 credit hours of completed or equated transfer hours.
A second year student is defined as a student that has received 30 or more credit hours of completed or equated transfer hours.
The maximum annual loan limits are as follows:
|Year||Dependent Student||Independent Student|
|First Year||$5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Second Year||$6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Maximum Total Debt from Direct Loans When You Graduate||$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$57,500—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
NOTE: The amounts shown in the chart are the maximum for one academic year. However, the amount offered may be less depending on the other financial aid that you receive during the same academic year.
What are the current interest rates on Federal Direct loans?
The interest rates for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are shown in the chart below.
|Loan Type||Borrower Type||Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/13 and before 7/1/14||Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/14 and before 7/1/15|
|Direct Subsidized Loans||Undergraduate||3.86%||4.66%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Undergraduate||3.86%||4.66%|
NEW** 150% Loan Limits for Subsidized Loans
There are now limits on eligibility for undergraduates borrowing subsidized loans for the first time on or after July 1, 2013. Subsidized loans can be borrowed for up to 150% of the published length of the program of study. For a 2-year associate degree program, the maximum period of subsidized loan eligibility is 3 years. Read for more information on the Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility Limit 150% limit information.
What are Federal Direct Plus loans?
Parents can obtain a Plus loan to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. To qualify, the parent borrower must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid:
- Parent must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Parent must not be in default on a federal student loan.
- Parent must not owe a refund on a federal educational grant (i.e. Pell Grant).
- For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013, and before July 1, 2014, the interest rate is 6.41%.
For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014, and before July 1, 2015, the interest rate is 7.21%.
These are fixed interest rates for the life of the loan.
- The parent borrower is responsible for paying all the interest.
- The parent borrower will have between 10 and 25 years to repay the loan, depending on the amount owed and the repayment plan selected. (Exception: The Income Contingent Repayment Plan is not an option for the Plus Loan.)
- The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history. (Parents with adverse credit may still be considered for the Plus loan by documenting existing extenuating circumstances or by obtaining a co-signer.)
- There is a loan fee on all Direct PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed, as shown in the chart below.
|Loan Fees for Direct PLUS Loans|
|First Disbursement Date||Loan Fee|
|On or after Dec. 1, 2013, and before Oct. 1, 2014||4.288%|
|On or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015||4.292%|
- Federal Direct Plus Loans first disbursed prior to Dec. 1, 2013, have different loan fees.
Direct Plus Loan Calculation
The amount will be determined by the following equation:
Cost of Attendance
minus Any other financial aid you receive
= Amount of Direct Plus loan
How do I apply for a Federal Direct Plus Loan?
You apply for a Federal Direct Plus Loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once Sinclair receives the results of your FAFSA application and any additional documents that we may request, we will complete your financial aid file and offer a Direct Plus loan, if you qualify. You will need to accept the loan through Web Advisor and then have your parent complete the Parent Loan Application available on our website. We are required to determine if the parent qualifies for the Direct Plus loan through a credit check process. If the parent borrower is approved, we will notify your parent to complete the electronic Parent Promissory Note. If the parent borrower is denied the loan, the student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan. Students must attend a loan counseling session to qualify for the additional unsubsidized loan. Students will need to accept the unsubsidized loan through Web Advisor before the funds will be available for tuition, fees, books and/or living expenses.
How will I receive the loan money?
Once we have received notification from the Direct Loan Servicing Center that you completed the promissory notes and entrance counseling session, we will update your account with these documents. It may take as long as 72 hours for us to receive notification after you have completed the documents online. The loan money will be directly applied to your student account as long as you meet the general eligibility requirements for federal financial aid and you are enrolled for at least six credit hours. Loan money will pay for tuition and fees. If you authorize the loan to pay toward books, the loan money will also allow for book charges. If there is any remaining loan money after these charges are paid, a refund check will be generated by the Bursars office and mailed to the address on file with Registration & Student Records.
**If you are new to Sinclair and new to student loan program, your first disbursement will not be applied to your student account until the 31st day of the term. Sinclair will provide temporary funds to help provisionally pay tuition, fees and, if authorized, books. When we receive the federal loan money, the temporary funds will be removed, and any remaining loan money will be refunded to you. If you withdraw from all of your classes before the 31st day or are enrolled in less than 6 credit hours for which you established attendance at the time the loan is scheduled to disburse, the loan disbursement will be canceled, and you will owe Sinclair for any temporary funds that were used.
Can I increase or reduce the loan amount offered?
Independent students with little to no grant eligibility may qualify for additional loans. To see if you qualify, you must attend a loan counseling session. Dates and times of the sessions will be posted on our Calendar of Events page.
Yes. You can reduce the amount offered to a minimum of $200. If you want to reduce the loan, please complete the Change of Award form and return it to our office. Please keep in mind that you will still need to accept the loan through Web Advisor, but you can wait until the amount is reduced.
Can I cancel my loan?
You can cancel any pending disbursements that have not already paid toward tuition, fees, books and/or living expenses. Any loan money that has already paid these expenses cannot be canceled. If you receive a refund check, you can return it to the Bursars office to have the money returned to the federal government to reduce your loan debt. You cannot have the loan canceled because you didn't like the education, didn't get a job in your field of study or because you're having financial difficulty.
What is the Exit Counseling Session?
The exit counseling session should be completed before you leave school to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. We will send you notification about completing the exit counseling session. You will also receive information about repayment and notification of the date your loan repayment begins (usually six months after you graduate, completely withdraw, or drop below six credit hours). This information may come from Sinclair or from the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
What is deferment?
A deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required, and interest does not accrue on subsidized loans. To qualify for a deferment, you must meet specific eligibility requirements determined by the Direct Loan Servicing Center. The most common deferment is an In-School Deferment, which is based on enrollment for at least six credit hours at an eligible institution. To see if you may qualify for other deferments, you can go to the federal student loans website or call the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 800/999-8219 or go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
What is loan consolidation?
Student and parent borrowers can combine (consolidate) multiple federal student loans with various repayment options into one loan, making a single monthly payment. To learn more about consolidation loans, please go to the federal student loans website or call your loan servicer.
Do I have repayment options?
After your grace period is over, you will be required to repay your student loans. Yes, there are several repayment options offered by the Direct Loan Servicing Center:
- Standard Repayment—fixed amount over a period not to exceed 10 years
- Graduated Repayment—a low payment amount initially but gradually increases generally every two years
- Extended Repayment—fixed or graduated payments over a period not to exceed 25 years
- Income Contingent Repayment—a monthly amount based on how much money you make, how much you owe and your family size. This plan is not available to parent borrowers.
For more information about these plans or to see if you qualify, please contact your loan servicer. You can locate your servicer by logging in to the National Student Loan database at www.nslds.ed.gov.