Direct Loans: Offered by the federal government or a third-party lender, Stafford Loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized.
- Subsidized loans The Department of Education pays the interest:
- While you are enrolled at least half time
- First six months after you leave school (grace period)
- During a period of deferment
- Unsubsidized loans You are responsible for paying interest on this loan during all periods. Students may choose to pay interest while attending school so that it doesn’t increase the principal balance.
The interest rate for undergraduate students whose subsidized or unsubsidized Direct Loan is disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 through July 1, 2024 is fixed at 5.50%. Any loan with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2023 has a loan fee of 1.057%.
In order to be eligible to receive a loan, you must also be enrolled in at least six credits each semester. In addition, each of the loan programs listed above, have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment on a loan (for example if a student drops below six credits (half-time) due to withdrawing from one or more courses). If you withdraw and are enrolled in less than six credits, your grace period will begin.
Circumstances that may change your grace period include the following:
- Active duty military—If you are called to active military duty for more than 30 days before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you return from active duty.
- Returning to school before the end of your loan’s grace period—If you re-enroll in school at least half-time before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you stop attending school or drop below half-time enrollment (other conditions apply).
- Loan consolidation—If you consolidate your loans during your grace period, you will give up the remainder of your grace period and begin repayment after your Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed (paid out). Your first bill will be due approximately two months after the Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed.
How do I get these loans?
After completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, you will be offered loans in your financial aid package to accept or decline.
Steps to apply for federal direct loans:
- Go to Pine Technical & Community College’s E-Services.
- Log-in with your StarID and password.
- Select Financial Aid in the left-hand column.
- Select Loans.
- Instructions will direct you to complete Entrance Counseling, Master Promissory Note, and requesting of loan funds.
If you need additional assistance completing the loan process, please see How To Request a Student Loan.