After you have assessed your award package, if you would like to proceed with the loan(s) listed, we require further information from you.
If applying for Direct Loans, please apply for an FSA ID. Your FSA ID serves as your electronic signature on the web. Make sure to keep the FSA ID in a place where you will remember. They will be used each time you sign in to fill out the application and to sign other documents. For step by step instructions please read How to Create an FSA ID. The FSA ID has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN.
Please follow the steps below for your type of loan:
The Federal Direct Loan program provides low-interest loans to students enrolled at least half-time. Note the difference between Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans:
- Subsidized: The government pays the interest while the student is in school. Interest begins to accrue during the grace period.
- Unsubsidized: Interest accrues during the in-school and grace periods.
Please follow the authorization instructions below for the loans listed on your award package.
Important: All students must complete Step One. If you are a new borrower at St. Kate’s please complete Steps Two and Three as well.
- Step One: Authorize the amount you'd like to borrow online, through the student page (in the "Student Self Service" section), select My Financial Aid, then "Award Information."
- Select the appropriate academic year from the drop down list.
- Click the Accept Award Offer tab. Decide how much of your Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan you want to borrow for the full year, and follow the instructions.
- Note: If you need to change the amount you have accepted please contact the Financial Aid Office.
- Step Two: Complete the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). This is your written contract between you; the borrower; and the lender. Go to the Direct Loan website. Click the "Log In" button on the top right corner and sign in using your FSA ID Username or E-mail Address and FSA ID Password. Select “Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)”, then “MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans”
- Step Three: Complete Loan Entrance Counseling, which is also available online at the Direct Loan website. Select “Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance, Financial Awareness, Exit)” then select “Entrance Counseling (Required)”
Maximum Eligibility Period
Beginning July 1, 2013, there will be a limit on the maximum period of time that a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. Essentially, you will not be eligible to receive the Direct Subsidized Loan for more than 150% of the published length of your program of study. For more information, go to the Federal Student Aid website.
Receiving Your Loan
The Direct Loan Program will send a loan disclosure statement when your loan has been processed. Save this statement to compare to your online bill later. It will show the total amount of your loan, the disbursement amounts and the estimated disbursement dates. This is an estimation of when the funds will be transferred, NOT the date the funds may be released to you. Our office also receives this information so we may schedule disbursement. Disbursements are issued through the Student Accounts office.
The Federal Direct Loan program provides low-interest loans to parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate students enrolled at least half-time.
Direct PLUS Instructions
Complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN), which is the written contract between you; the borrower; and the lender. This can be completed online at the Direct Loan website. Click the "Log In" button on the top right corner and sign in using your FSA ID Username or E-mail Address and FSA ID Password. Select "Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan” and complete application. (Note: This process requires a credit check.) Once you have completed the application process and have been approved, and if you are a new borrower, you will be prompted to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN).
For Graduate PLUS Loan Borrowers Only:
If you are a new borrower, complete the Loan Entrance Counseling, which is also available online at the Direct Loan website. Click the "Log In" button on the top right corner and sign in using your FSA ID Username or E-mail Address and FSA ID Password. Select "Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance, Financial Awareness, Exit)" then select "Entrance Counseling (Required)"
Receiving Your Loan
The Direct Loan Program will send a loan disclosure statement when your loan has been processed. Save this statement to compare to your online bill later. It will show the total amount of your loan, the disbursement amounts and the estimated disbursement dates. This is an estimate for when the funds will be transferred, NOT the date the funds may be released to you.
Any PLUS Loan borrower with adverse credit may be denied the PLUS Loan. If your credit is denied, you will receive notification from the direct loan servicer. You can:
- Seek a credit status override. Contact the Direct Loan service at 1-800-557-7394 and Equifax (their credit bureau) at 1-800-685-5000.
- Request a review. If you have extenuating circumstances, provide documentation to the Direct Loan service.
- Add an Endorser: Have a third party endorser co-sign the PLUS Loan application. Contact the Direct Loan service at 1-800-557-7394.
- Choose not to pursue the denied PLUS Loan. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss options.
If you choose to appeal your denial or add an endorser to your loan you will be required to complete ‘PLUS Credit Counseling’ before your loan can be disbursed to your student(s) account. You will be prompted to complete the PLUS Credit Counseling session during the loan application process on the studentloans.gov website.
Graduate Students: This PLUS Credit Counseling requirement is in addition to the Loan Entrance Counseling requirement. If you are a first time borrower and you are denied the PLUS Loan and wish to appeal or get an endorser you will have to complete both PLUS Counseling and Loan Entrance Counseling.
Nursing Loans are for students with financial need who are majoring in the nursing field
The Nursing loan is awarded through the Financial Aid Office. St. Catherine University is the lender for the loan, which is funded by the federal government. Once you complete the online process to accept your loan, complete entrance counseling and the promissory note, the loan funds are applied directly to your student account.
Interest and Repayment
- Interest does not accrue on the Nursing Loan while you are enrolled at least half-time.
- Interest rates are fixed at 5 percent and begin at the time of repayment, which typically begins 9 months after you graduate, withdraw or reduce your credit load to below half-time.
- If you change your major or are dismissed from the nursing program, your 9-month grace period begins immediately.
- After your grace period ends, you will need to start making monthly loan payments.
- If you are unable to make payments on your Nursing Loan or are still a student, you can apply for a forbearance and interest does continue to accrue. If your request for forbearance is accepted, it may be granted for a period of 12 months at which time you will need to request a new forbearance if you are still unable to make payments.
Please Note: You must receive an email from Sign My Loan before you can complete the following information.
2017-18 borrowers: If you have been awarded a Nursing Loan for the 2017-18 academic year, you will receive an email from Sign My Loan. Once you have received this email, you need to complete an electronic promissory note at signmyloan.com. Please note you can no longer use a FAFSA PIN, nor can you use the new FSA ID to sign for your loan. You will need to select, “Create Online Account”.
For questions on your Perkins or Nursing Loan or on University Accounting Services, contact the Office of Student Accounts.
About Alternative Student Loans
To research alternative loan options or apply with our preferred lenders, visit our FastChoice Alternative Student Loan website.
Alternative private education loans are offered by commercial lenders. These loans are made to students and parents and may have fixed or variable interest rates and accrue interest from the time the loan funds are disbursed. These are credit based loans and may require a cosigner. Terms and conditions vary by lender.
St. Catherine University recommends that all eligible degree seeking students apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhaust all eligible grant, scholarship, and direct loan program options before considering an alternative education loan.
To assist you in selecting a lender, St Catherine University participates in a Preferred Lender Arrangement with FastChoice and has provided a list of lenders that have met the University's criteria as a preferred lender. All preferred lenders must meet the following expectations:
- Have proven stability, reputation and longevity in the student lending business.
- Offer competitive pricing, rates, fees, or other terms and conditions and flexible repayment options.
- Provide quality customer service.
- Offer debt management tools and financial literacy information to borrowers.
- Provide quality loan servicing and default prevention to borrowers.
Please note: Borrowers are free to choose any lender for their alternative education loan needs. St Catherine University will accept and certify alternative education loan applications submitted by any lender per the borrowers’ request.
Evaluating an Alternative Student Loan
Make sure to choose a loan program that is a good fit for you. You should carefully evaluate:
- Loan type:
- Fixed rate: The interest rate remains the same over the life of the loan
- Variable rate: The interest rate changes based on pre-defined criteria
- How much the loan will cost over time
- Repayment options and incentives
Eligibility for alternative loans is based on your educational cost of attendance. Enrollment requirements and satisfactory academic progress requirements vary from lender to lender. Some lenders also offer a 'look-back' feature that allows students to apply for loan funds to cover a past-due balance at the school. If you have questions about your eligibility for alternative loans, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Once you apply for an alternative loan, it will be approved or denied by the lender based on your credit worthiness and/or the credit worthiness of your cosigner. Guidelines for credit worthiness are established by the lender and it is at the lender's discretion that your loan will be approved or denied
Note: Due to recent federal regulations please allow about 30 days from the date of application for the alternative education loan to be processed.
All of the information provided on the Alternative Student Loan page is reviewed annually to ensure that the benefits lenders offer continue to adhere to our criteria. Any loan options that no longer meet our criteria are removed, and new options are added. At least three lenders will be presented at all times.
Please note that loan counseling may be an additional requirement for your loan as you complete the instructions for your loan. If you have questions about your award package or need to borrow more loan funds than you see listed on your award letter, contact our office. You may be eligible for alternative loan options.