All of the following programs allow for early prepayment of principal without penalty.
Federal Perkins Loan
This low-interest federal loan is offered through Wheaton to students with significant financial need. No interest is charged and no payments are required until nine months after the student leaves school. Once repayment begins, interest accrues at 5%. The minimum monthly payment is $40 with a maximum 10-year repayment. This loan may be deferred if the student attends graduate school full time. Wheaton determines the size of a student's Perkins Loan based on available funding; awards range from $500 to $4,000 per year. The student signs a master promissory note and completes entrance counseling prior to the first disbursement of the loan.
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Student Loan
This federally subsidized direct student loan is funded directly from the Federal Treasury. The 2016-2017 interest rate is 3.76%. Currently loan fees of 1.069% are subtracted from the borrowed amount prior to disbursement. The minimum monthly payment is $50 and the maximum repayment period is 10 years. Repayment of the principal and interest begins six months after the student leaves school, graduates, or drops below half-time attendance. Repayment may be deferred if the student goes on to full-time graduate school. Maximum eligibility for freshmen is $3,500, sophomores, $4,500, and juniors and seniors, $5,500.
All students are also eligible for an additional $2,000 in Unsubsidized Stafford loan funding annually. Students who wish to borrow their maximum Direct Stafford loan should contact our office. Students who apply for alternative financing and have not maximized their federal loan eligibility will be awarded the increased Stafford loan limits before certifying the students remaining federal eligibility with a higher cost private loan.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Students who are not eligible for the Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan program are still eligible to borrow a Stafford loan without the federal interest subsidy. Although repayment of principal is deferred during enrollment, interest does accrue and the student borrower has the option of making interest payments while in school, or having the accrued interest capitalized (added to the principal borrowed prior to the start of repayment). Freshmen may borrow up to $5,500 for the year, sophomores up to $6,500, and juniors and seniors up to $7,500 per year. The 2016-2017 interest rate is 3.76%. Currently loan fees of 1.069% are subtracted from the borrowed amount prior to disbursement. Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after the student leaves school, graduates, or drops below half-time attendance. Repayment requires a minimum payment of at least $50 and extends for up to 10 years. Students who wish to apply for the Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) enables parents to borrow for higher education expenses through the Federal Treasury. The 2016-2017 Direct PLUS loans interest rate is 6.31%. Currently loan fees of 4.276% are subtracted from the borrowed amount prior to disbursement. Repayment of principal and interest begins after disbursement and continues for a maximum of 10 years. Parents can prepay all or part of the amount borrowed at any time without penalty. Eligibility for the Direct PLUS loan is determined by the total cost of attendance less any other aid received. The Federal PLUS loan is the most flexible of these parent-financing options. The Department requires that a credit check be perform, for evidence of an adverse credit history. For information regarding the terms and conditions of the Federal Direct PLUS loan please visit the Department of Education's Federal PLUS Loan information page.
All families must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS loan. If you have not completed a FAFSA for your student and you wish to borrow a Federal PLUS loan, you can complete the FAFSA here. Please note: If you have more than one student in college, you will need to file an individual FAFSA for each student for which you will borrow a PLUS loan. Before the Direct PLUS loan proceeds can disburse to a student's account, Wheaton's Office of Student Financial Services must receive both a completed Federal Direct PLUS Loan Pre-Application, and confirmation from the Department of Education that the applicant has successfully completed a loan promissory note and passed a credit check. Please see the Federal PLUS Loan Application Instructions below.
NOTE: Families who are applying for financial aid and have yet to receive their financial aid notification are encouraged to complete the PLUS loan process after the financial aid notification is received.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application Process
1. Complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Pre-Application. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Pre-Application is a two page document that provides us with necessary information with which to process your loan. A PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note received without a Pre-Application will result in a delay in processing. Please remember to remit the Pre-Application (prior to completing the master promissory note) by email to email@example.com, or by fax to (508) 286-3787.
2. Complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Promissory Note. A legally binding agreement to repay a parent loan, the agreement is between the parent (not the student) and the Department of Education. A student cannot complete the Direct Parent PLUS Loan promissory note on the parent's behalf.
In the Case of a PLUS Loan Denial: Parents who are denied a PLUS loan based on credit have two options available to them. The first option is to appeal the denial decision with Direct Loan Borrower Services (1-800-848-0979) and/or borrow the loan with a co-signer called the endorser. The second option allows the student to borrow additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loan funds. Parents who wish to have the student borrow additional Stafford loan proceeds should complete the appropriate section on the PLUS Loan Pre-Application to avoid delays processing the additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan.
For information regarding the terms and conditions of the Federal Direct PLUS loan please visit the Department of Education's Federal PLUS Loan information page. If you have any questions regarding the Direct Loan programs at Wheaton College or the completion of your Direct PLUS Loan application, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at (508) 286-8232 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
Federal loan information is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the federal Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs. NSLDS borrower Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.