Students and others who apply for loans must always be aware that they are taking on a financial responsibility and have promised to pay the money back with interest.
Federal Direct Student Loans
The interest rates on these loans are fixed. Eligibility is based on your FAFSA. You may qualify for either a subsidized or an unsubsidized loan, or a combination of both. Students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits or more) to be eligible for federal loans.
Your financial aid counselor can answer questions about the following loan programs:
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
These loans are based on financial need. No interest accrues and no payments are required until the student either drops below half-time enrollment status, leaves the school or graduates. The interest is paid while the student is in school at least half time. There is a six-month grace period before payments begin or interest accrues. There is no penalty for pre-payment of the loan.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
These loans are not based on financial need. They also offer low interest and extended repayment, but interest accrues while the student is in school. Students may elect to pay the interest due (quarterly) or have the interest capitalized back onto the loan principal. No principal payments are required while the student remains enrolled at least half time.
Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
These loans are for parents of dependent students. The student must be enrolled at least half time, and the amount the parent can borrow is tied to the amount of financial aid the student is receiving. Repayment begins within 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan for the academic year. Parents repay both principal and interest while the student is in school.
SUNY Oneonta automatically packages PLUS in aid packages and lets parents decide whether and how much to borrow based on their eligibility. The parent's credit history is considered by Federal Direct Loans before approving the loan. In the event a parent does not qualify for this loan, the student may become eligible for additional aid through the Federal Unsubsidized Loan.
Private educational loans
Students seeking additional payment options may explore a private educational loan, available from various banks. Each loan has separate application, interest and repayment terms. It is important that students and borrowers read the terms carefully before borrowing.
SUNY Oneonta does not have a preferred Private Educational Loan lender list. We recommend you use the web to research which lender is suitable for you and your needs.
We strongly recommend students use their federal loan eligibility before applying for additional loans.
What you should know about Private Educational Loans:
- Use a reputable lender with the most competitive rates
- Generally a credit worthy co-signer is required
- When you have selected a lender, you may complete the loan application online; requesting to borrow the amount you need for the academic year (Cost of Attendance minus your federal and state aid)
- Once approved SUNY Oneonta will be notified
- Within a few days you will see your Private Educational Loan added to your Financial Aid Award package
Disclosures and Procedures
First-time borrowers (on or after July1, 2013) are subject to a provision to the Direct Loan statutory requirements limiting a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower’s educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans.
Students and parents who borrow in the Federal Direct Loan program(s) complete an Electronic Master Promissory Note (e-MPN), which remains in effect throughout the student's college career (with exceptions). This procedure eliminates the need to complete subsequent promissory notes each award year. Previous Federal Direct Loan borrowers who negotiated an e-MPN do not need to complete a new one.
Students who graduate from high school at the age of 17 ARE able to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for federal student loans. This is one of the few exceptions to the Defense of Infancy laws.
If you borrow Federal Direct Student Loans or Federal Perkins Loans during your attendance at SUNY Oneonta and stop attending or dropped below 6 credits (for example, you are less than half time, transferring, withdrawing or graduating), you must complete a Federal Loan Exit Interview or a Federal Perkins Exit Interview (information will be sent to you from SUNY Loan Service Center). A hold will be placed on your records that will prevent the release of grades, academic transcripts and your diploma until you complete this requirement.
Revenue Sharing Prohibition: Colleges are prohibited from receiving anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for any advantage sought by the lending institution. Lenders can no longer pay to get on a school's preferred lender list.
Gift and Trip Prohibition: College employees are prohibited from taking anything of more than nominal value from any lending institution. This includes a prohibition on trips for financial aid officers and other college officials paid for by lenders.
Advisory Board Compensation Rules: College employees are prohibited from receiving anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution, or providing consulting services.
Preferred Lender Guidelines: College preferred lender lists must be based solely on the best interests of the students or parents who may use the list without regard to financial interests of the college.
Preferred Lender Disclosure: On all preferred lender lists, the college must clearly and fully disclose the criteria and process used to select preferred lenders. Students must also be told that they have the right and ability to select the lender of their choice regardless of the preferred lender list.
Loan Resale Disclosure: No lender may appear on a preferred lender list if the lender has an agreement to sell its loans to another lender without disclosing this fact. In addition, no lender may bargain to be a preferred lender with respect to a certain type of loan by providing benefits to a college as to another type of loan.
Call-Center prohibition: Colleges must ensure that employees of lenders never identify themselves to students as employees of the colleges. No employee of a lender may ever work in or provide staffing to a college financial aid office.