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Student Loans

Student loans can be a great resource for you and your family as you pay for your UTRGV education. Federal loans have closely regulated, low interest rates; loans from states or private lenders have varying rates and terms. Some loans may be forgiven or cancelled under some circumstances. However, most loans will have to be repaid, by you, after you leave UTRGV.

Before You Borrow

Before you borrow any money, you should first accept all offered financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Borrowing should be your last source of funding. That means you need to first complete your FAFSA to be offered other forms of financial aid. Also, the loans you will be eligible for are based on your FAFSA.

Start out knowing that if you drop below half-time status or leave school before you earn your degree, you will begin repaying your loan(s) right then. Also, be sure to read about your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower before you borrow. Plan your repayment options and the steps you will take to keep from defaulting, because defaulting may keep you from getting a job, a mortgage, or even keeping any professional licensure you have.

Below, you will find information on federal loans and links to information about loans from other sources.

Loan Types

If you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UTRGV, these loan types may be available to you:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent Loans (PLUS)
  • Federal Perkins Loan

If you are pursuing a graduate degree at UTRGV, these loan types may be available to you:

  • Federal Graduate Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GradPLUS)
  • Federal Perkins Loans

If you’re not seeking a degree, you do not qualify for federal or state loan funds.

Federal Loans for UTRGV Students

The U.S. Department of Education lends money to help students earn their degrees. The department loans the money directly to the student or parent, so most of these programs are called “Direct Loans.” Each type of loan has associated fees and interest rates. In addition, the federal government sets limits on how much you can borrow each year and in total.

Direct Subsidized Loan

The Direct Subsidized Loan is a need-based loan. You must have financial need as determined by your FAFSA results to qualify for a Direct Subsidized Loan. The federal government will pay the interest on the loan while you are in school (at least half time) and during any deferment period. You begin repaying (both principle and interest) when you stop attending school on at least a half time basis. You have a six month grace period between leaving school and your first loan payment.

Eligibility

  • Show financial need (complete your FAFSA)
  • Enroll at least half time
  • Undergraduate students: 6 credit hours
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Do not borrow more than the annual or lifetime student loan limits

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

You do NOT have to demonstrate financial need to qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. However, interest begins to accrue on the loan as soon as the first disbursement is made—that is, while you are in school. You can either pay the interest while attending school, or have the interest added to the balance of their loan. You begin repayment when you earn your degree or stop attending school on at least a half time basis. You have a six month grace period between leaving school and your first loan payment.

Eligibility

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Enroll at least half time
  • Undergraduate students: 6 credit hours
  • Graduate students: 6 credit hours
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Do not borrow more than the annual or lifetime student loan limits

Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)

The Direct Parent Loan is for parents of dependent, undergraduate students. Interest accrues while you are in school. Your parent(s) will begin repaying the loan 60 days after the second disbursement, although they might choose deferment options while you are in school, enrolled at least half time.

Eligibility

  • Complete your FAFSA
  • Enroll at least half time
  • Undergraduate students: 6 credit hours
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Your parent must pass a credit check
  • If your parent is denied the PLUS Loan based on the credit check, you may apply for additional unsubsidized loan funds
  • Your parent cannot borrow more than the cost of attendance (less all other financial aid)

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GRADPLUS)

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is for graduate and professional students. Interest begins to accrue once the first disbursement is made. If you are denied the GradPLUS Loan based on credit, you are NOT eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funds. After the second disbursement, you will have a 60-day grace period until your first payment is due. You may be able to defer or delay repayment while you are attending school at least half time.

Eligibility

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Enrolled at least half time
  • Graduate students: 6 credit hours
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Pass a credit check
  • Don’t borrow more than the cost of attendance (less all other financial aid)

Interest Rates: Federal Student Loan

Direct Loans have low interest rates which are fixed for the life of the loan. The following rates are for loans first disbursed between 07/01/2015 and 06/30/2016:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans—Undergraduate: 4.29%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans—Undergraduate: 4.29%
  • Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) Loan—Undergraduate: 6.84%
  • Direct Graduate Unsubsidized Loan—Graduate and Professional: 5.84%
  • Direct Graduate (PLUS) Loan—Graduate and Professional: 6.84%

Federal Perkins Loan

This Federal Perkins Loan Program offers low interest federal student loans to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.  The amount you can borrow depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you receive, and the availability of funds at UTRGV. The interest rate for this loan is 5%. If you are attending school at least half-time, you have nine months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status before you must begin repayment.

Eligibility

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Show exceptional financial need
  • Enroll at least half time
  • Undergraduate and Graduate students: 6 credit hours
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Do not borrow more than the annual or lifetime student loan limits
  • First disbursement must be made prior to October 1, 2015