University of California, Santa Barbara

Students and parents are often apprehensive about borrowing loans. While it is important to be cautious of irresponsible borrowing, loans are considered an integral part of a student's Financial Aid package. Please carefully review the different types of loans available below and consider each one as a viable option for financing a college education.

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

We strongly encourage students to use the Financial Awareness Counseling available through the Department of Education. This tool can be a great help for students to manage their finances and student-related debt.

  • Federal Direct Student Loan

    UCSB participates in the Federal Direct Loan program. Funds for the Direct Loans are provided by the U.S. government directly to students. These loans have low interest rates and do not require credit checks or collateral. Direct loans also provide a variety of deferment options and extended repayment terms.

    All Direct Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. Under the subsidized loans, the government pays the interest while students are in school. To receive a subsidized Direct Loan, you must be able to demonstrate financial need.

    With unsubsidized loans, students pay all the interest, although they can have the interest payments deferred until after graduation by capitalizing the interest. This adds the interest payments to the loan balance, increasing the size and cost of the loan.

    Many students combine subsidized loans with unsubsidized loans to borrow the maximum amount permitted each year.

    View the Annual Federal Direct Loan Limits

    For more information, view your Direct Loan Borrower's Rights and Responsibilities (PDF).

    Interest Rate and Repayment

    View the "Direct Loan: Post-Graduation" presentation

    The interest rate for Federal Direct Student Loans depends on when the loan was first disbursed. Visit the Direct Loans website for more information. Repayment for these loans begins six months after a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

    When repaying your Federal Direct Student Loan, you may want to consider loan consolidation. Loan consolidation is one of the most important financial decisions that you will make in your lifetime. The UCSB Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships recommends that you research your options carefully. Visit Direct Consolidation Loans for more information.

    How to Apply

    To apply for either the subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, you must:

    Information about your loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Information in NSLDS is accessible to schools, lenders, and guarantors for specific purposes as authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Exit Requirements

    When you graduate from UCSB or fall below half-time enrollment, you must complete a Direct Loan Exit Interview.

  • Graduate PLUS Loan

    Federal legislation permits graduate students to borrow through the PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) Loan program. The Graduate PLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow up to the full cost of education minus other Financial Aid received.

    Interest Rate and Repayment

    The interest rate is fixed at 6.41%. Interest begins accruing as soon as the first disbursement is made. Payments on the Graduate PLUS Loan are deferred while Graduate students are in school as long as they are enrolled at least half-time.

    When repaying your Graduate PLUS Loan, you may want to consider loan consolidation. Loan consolidation is one of the most important financial decisions that you will make in your lifetime. The UCSB Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships recommends that you research your options carefully. Visit Direct Consolidation Loans for more information.

    How to Apply

    You will apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan at StudentLoans.gov. In order to log into the website, you will need your social security number, date of birth, federal student aid PIN, and your loan eligibility (see below). Our office receives daily electronic updates for completed loan applications. Please allow five business days for our office to process the loan.

    While applying for the loan, you will be asked for the amount you would like to borrow. Your PLUS loan eligibility is listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter, accessible through My Aid Status. You will also be asked to provide the estimated Cost of Attendance for UCSB; this amount is also located on the your Financial Aid Award Letter.

    Information about your loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Information in NSLDS is accessible to schools, lenders, and guarantors for specific purposes as authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Alternative Loans

    Alternative loans (also known as private loans) can help to fill the gap between the cost of education and the amount of other Financial Aid offered. These loans are provided by private lenders for those students who need to borrow funds in excess of the yearly maximums for the federal loan programs. Most lenders will take applicants' credit history into consideration when evaluating applicants’ eligibility. Students and/or parents may be eligible for these alternative loans which have varying criteria (interest rates, minimum monthly repayments, etc.). They are not federally guaranteed student loans.

    Students have the right and the ability to select the alternative loan lender of their choice. We highly recommend that students exhaust their federal Direct Loan eligibility before pursuing funds through an alternative loan. Also, be aware that parents of dependent students are able to borrow up to the complete cost of education through the federal Direct PLUS Loan program.

    Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

    To start your search, the UC Office of the President has put together a list of recommended lenders. You are not required to use any of the lenders on the list. They are simply provided for your convenience. Per HEOA guidelines, our office adheres to the UC Student Loan Code of Conduct. If you have specific questions related to your credit history, you should contact the alternative loan lenders at the numbers provided on the web site listed below:

    Self-Certification Form

    In order to receive loan proceeds, you must apply to the lender directly.

    In addition to completing a lender-specific loan application, you must also complete and submit a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form to your lender.

    For the cost of attendance amount required in Section 2A of the form, use the amount listed in the upper-right portion of your Financial Aid Award Letter (available through My Aid Status).

    For the estimated financial assistance amount required in Section 2B of the form, total the amounts from Sections A, B, and C in your Financial Aid Award Letter.

    Submit the form to your lender; do not submit it to our office. You will not receive any loan disbursements until your lender receives the form.

  • Deferment and Forbearance

    If you are unable to make your loan payments, you may want to consider deferment or forbearance. Visit the following websites for deferment or forbearance information related to specific types of loans:

  • Short Term Emergency Loan

    Emergency Loans allow students to receive an advance on their pending Financial Aid for the current quarter due to an emergency expense.

    How It Works

    An emergency loan will appear as a charge on your BARC account. Your pending Financial Aid will cover this charge when the aid credits to your BARC account.

    Eligibility

    To apply for an Emergency Loan, you must:

    • Have paid or deferred all past due and current BARC changes
    • Have pending Financial Aid, excluding PLUS loans, for the current quarter that will eventually credit to your BARC account

    How to Apply

    To apply for an Emergency Loan, visit our office.

    You can apply for a maximum of $1000 and the loan will be issued as a check that you must pick up from the BARC office after 3PM on the following business day after you apply for the loan.

  • Teaching Assistant (TA) Loans

    Teaching Assistant (TA) Loans are available from our office to alleviate financial hardships experienced by Teaching Assistants during their initial period of employment.

    How It Works

    TAs starting their first quarter of teaching can borrow up to the amount of their first month's salary and repay that amount with their subsequent paychecks. One-third (1/3) of each paycheck over the next three months will be deducted to repay the loan.

    Eligibility

    To apply for a TA Loan, you must:

    • Be a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant
    • Be within your first quarter of employment as a TA. TAs that were employed by the University in a prior academic year are not eligible for the TA loan

    How to Apply

    TAs must provide our office with a letter of employment from their department that includes:

    • Initial quarter of their TAship
    • Their monthly salary
    • A statement that they are not eligible for an advance from their department

    TA Loans may be requested up to 30 days before the first day of instruction of the quarter in which the TAship begins. The last day to apply for a loan is the last day of the month in which the TA begins their initial period of employment.