Due to limited grants and scholarships, many students must rely on loans to cover at least some portion of educational costs. Educational loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students as well as parents of undergraduate students. Many Catholic University aid recipients use some type of educational loan(s). Using student loans to finance a portion of your education is an investment in your future, provided that you understand and plan for these loans. When considering education loan options, it is very important that you obtain the best possible loans available to you in terms of interest rates and repayment options.
When considering financing options for a college education, two goals should be to make manageable monthly payments and to minimize the total cost of education. In order to meet both of these goals, we suggest the following:
- Reduce your need to borrow by paying as much as you can directly to Catholic University or through the Monthly Payment Plan offered by Tuition Management Systems (TMS) in coordination with the Office of Enrollment Services.
- Investigate the terms of available loan programs if you decide to borrow.
- Combine loans and payment plan options to meet the amount that needs to be financed.
A student loan is a serious obligation, which must be repaid with interest. Educational loans carry specified interest rates and repayment schedules. You will be informed of these at the time the loan is made, and you must adhere to the schedule to avoid defaulting on the loan. Some educational loans defer repayment until you graduate or are no longer enrolled. In most cases, federal student loans are the most favorable type of educational loans for students and parents. Before applying for any loan, you should review the general loan information for the various educational loan programs you are considering before applying for a loan.
Catholic University participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, in which students and parents obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Since Catholic University is a Federal Direct Lending institution, you may not use a private lender to apply for a federal loan.
Because the funding for these loans comes from the U.S. Department of Education, you do not have to find a lender to borrow from this program. Please disregard any offers you may receive about the Federal Stafford Loan program through private lenders. Federal Loan FAFSA Processing Deadline
In order for the Office of Student Financial Assistance to process you for your federal loan eligibility for the fall term, we must receive your completed, valid FAFSA results from the U.S. Department of Education by November 10 of that term. If you are applying for federal loans for the full academic year (fall and spring) or for the spring term only, we must receive your completed valid FAFSA results from the U.S. Department of Education by April 10 of the spring term.
In order for the Office of Student Financial Assistance to process you for your federal loan eligibility for the summer term, we must receive your completed valid FAFSA results from the U.S. Department of Education and you must complete a institutional summer financial aid application three weeks before the end of the last summer session for which you are registered.
In order to qualify to receive direct student loans, a student must be enrolled and attending class for a minimum number of credit defined as at least half-time:
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Disclosure
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid information. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs. The NSLDS Student Access system provides a secure, centralized, and integrated view of Title IV loan and grant aid for student aid recipients. In addition, approved federal loans will be submitted to NSLDS by the U. S. Department of Education and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system as determined by the U. S. Department of Education.