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Tips for borrowing a Federal Direct Loan

1. Complete the FAFSA early. The FAFSA is the application for the Federal Direct Loan. To complete the loan process the loan counselor needs to know the amount of the loan the student wants to borrow, a copy of the custodial parent’s federal taxes for the previous year, a copy of the student’s federal taxes for the previous year, and the Verification Worksheet if the FAFSA results were selected for verification.

2. You may borrow the full annual amount of the Federal Direct Loan even if your financial aid award does not include the loan or the full amount for which you qualify. First year students may borrow up to $2625 for the year; second year students may borrow up to $3500; third, fourth, and fifth year students may borrow up to $5500 each year up to a total aggregate of $23,000.

3. If you receive an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan you will be charged interest while you are in school. We recommend that you pay the interest that is charged while you are enrolled. This will save you money in the long run by not having the accumulated interest be added onto your loan principal and then having interest be charged on the interest.

4. Complete the one time loan counseling requirement and the Master Promissory Note before arriving on campus. This will save you the hassle of doing this during a busy semester at school.

5. If you have any questions about the Federal Direct Loan program, please do not hesitate to contact our loan counselor. Our loan counselor is very knowledgeable about the Direct Loan program and is a great resource for our families.

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