Apply and Accept Federal Loans

What is a Federal Direct Subsidized loan?

Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at GTCC.

What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.

Click on the tabs below to read

Steps to Accept your Federal Loans

You must reapply for financial aid each academic year by completing the FAFSA. When you apply for financial aid each year, you will be offered loans as part of your financial aid award if you are eligible.  A loan is a money you borrow and must pay back with interest.

After you have completed your FAFSA and submitted all required follow-up documentation, you will be notified at your Titan email account that your award letter is ready to be reviewed.  In order to receive the loan portion of your award,  you must accept them by completing the following steps:

Step 1: Complete Online Entrance Counseling – NEW BORROWERS

Click on the link above or go to www.studentloans.gov to log in to the site using your FAFSA information to complete the Online Entrance Counseling:

Step 2: Complete Your Electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) – NEW BORROWERS

There are two methods to complete your Master Promissory Note. Click on the link above or go to www.studentloans.gov and submit your MPN electronically, signing with your FSA ID number, or you may print a paper MPN and mail it to the address listed below for the federal government to process. The paper MPN may increase the length of time it takes to process your loans.

Department of Education
100 Capitol Commerce Blvd
Montgomery, AL 36117

Step 3: Stafford Loan Review – NEW and RETURNING BORROWERS

You may accept, modify, or decline your loan awards by clicking on the link to “Review and accept your Financial Aid Award Package”. You will not receive loan funds if you do not complete this important step.

Step 4: Starting in the 2017-18 Fall Semester, GTCC  will be participating in a new loan counseling experiment. Some students will be required to complete additional loan counseling step at studentloans.gov. This Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT Counseling) will positively influence students’ decision making about borrowing and promote successful student loan repayment. Students who are selected to participate will receive an email with further details.

Important information about your loan

  • You must be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours to receive each loan disbursement.
  • You must be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • There will be a 30-day delay for first-time, first year borrowers.
  • First year borrowers have earned 32 hours or less. Second year borrowers have earned 33 hours or more (excluding developmental credit hours).
  • “Summer Only” loan requests are a separate loan form which is available beginning March 1.
  • Your lender will deduct an origination fee from each disbursement.
  • Loans will be divided into three payments in the fall and spring semesters and two payments in the summer:

2016-2017
Loan Disbursement Chart

Fall

Spring

Summer

1st Disbursement for
first-time borrowers

9/26/16

2/22/17

6/26/17

1st Disbursement for
all other students

9/15/16

2/15/17

6/15/17

2nd Disbursement

10/19/16

3/15/17

6/26/17

3rd Disbursement

11/22/16

4/19/17

To decline your loans

If you would like to decline your Federal Stafford Loans, you can log into Student Self-Service, select “Financial Aid” then “Review and accept your Financial Aid Award Package”, and decline the pending loans.

Who is my Lender/Servicer?

To find out who services your student loans (your lender), and how to contact the servicer, call the Department of Education customer service line at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

To find out your Federal Stafford Loan balance and/or total debt go to www.nslds.ed.gov.

Single Semester Loans

Single semester loans are only permitted in certain circumstances.

  1. Transferring mid-year:  Submit a non-returnable copy of the letter from the school you’ll attend that clearly states your acceptance into that school for the following term; or
  2. Graduating mid-year:  Submit a non-returnable letter from your faculty advisor that confirms that you have completed the courses and have registered for the appropriate classes this semester to graduate at the end of the semester.

Loan Limitations

GTCC is working with the Department of Education to help prevent high student loan debt while attending college.

Annual Loan Limits

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have annual loan limits, based on the student’s dependency status and grade level.

Subsidized Loan Limit Time Limitation (150% rule)

First-time borrowers (those who have no principal or interest balance on any Direct or FFEL Loan on the date they receive a Direct Loan on or after July 1, 2013) may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for a period that exceeds 150% of the published length of the academic program in which they are currently enrolled (including all past subsidized loans the student has received).

New Loan Length Restrictions

What is the 150% Loan limit Rule regarding federal direct subsidized loans?

Beginning July 1, 2013, the length of time students will have access to subsidized loans is limited for new borrowers. Students cannot borrow more than 150% of a student’s program length.  For example, students who enroll in a two-year degree program can only borrow loans for three years total.  Once that limit has been reached, a student may borrow only unsubsidized loans, and will begin to accrue interest on outstanding subsidized loans. For more information, please visit: Direct Subsidized Loan Limit.

Graduating or Leaving GTCC?

All students who receive a student loan at GTCC must complete Exit Counseling when they drop below half time, graduate or leave the college due to withdrawal. Students who leave the College without completing exit counseling are at a higher risk of defaulting on their loans.  Be in the know about your loans and complete Exit Counseling!

Click on the link below to complete the requirement online.

Stafford Exit Counseling

Loan Repayment and What Can I Afford?

If you have received a student loan while in school, you will go into repayment on that loan at some point. Click on the link below to learn more about loan repayment.

Loan Repayment Plans

What Loan Payments Can I Afford?

How do I decide what the right loan amount might be?  Try CFNC Smart Calculator.

Loan Questions

If you have any questions about your current or previous loans (your responsibilities, regulations, payment options, complaints, etc.) you may contact us, your lender, or in case of a dispute, contact the Department of Education’s Loan Ombudsman as a last resort.

Via on-line assistance: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare
Via telephone: 877-557-2575
Via fax:  606-396-4821
Via mail:
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633

Applying for a Private Education Student Loan

What is a Private Loan?

Private student loans are nonfederal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.  To apply for a private loan to attend GTCC, please follow these steps:

  1. Review Federal Aid First at U.S. Department of Education Federal Aid.
    This explains the difference between Federal and Private loans.
  2. Complete Financial Aid File
    Complete your financial aid file, which includes the FAFSA and all required follow-up paperwork. Our school code is 004838.
  3. Apply
    Choose a lender or bank to apply for a Private Education Loan. GTCC does not offer a preferred lender list for private loans. Students may check with their bank or research private loans on the Web. We strongly encourage students to borrow Federal loans first as they offer better benefits and interest rates. Interest rates on private loans are usually significantly higher than on Federal loans.
  4. School Certification
    Our office will certify the loan once we receive a certification request from your lending institution and your financial aid file is complete. Private loan limits are set by Federal regulations and cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. We are not responsible for the timeliness of private loans and students should address all customer service issues with their chosen lender. Your school charges will not be deducted from your private education loan if the loan certification request is not received by the tuition due date.
  5. Eligibility Requirements
    For most private lenders, there is no minimum credit hour restriction nor do they require the student to be making satisfactory academic progress as determined by the school. Students should verify restrictions with their lender.
    Be aware that most private lenders require a good credit rating and may also require a co-signer.
  6. Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification
    Pursuant to Section 155 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (HEA) and to satisfy the requirements of Section 128(e)(3) of the Truth in Lending Act, a lender must obtain a self-certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private education loan.  The school is required on request to provide this form or the required information only for students admitted or enrolled at the school. Throughout this Applicant Self-Certification, “you” and “your” refer to the applicant who is applying for the loan. The applicant and the student may be the same person.

Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification

Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.