Loans

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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.

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

  • Federal Direct Student Loan

    All Direct Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. With subsidized loans, interest does not accrue until after students graduate or leave school. To receive a subsidized Direct Loan, you must have financial need.

    With unsubsidized loans, interest begins to accrue after the first disbursement. We recommend that students make payments on the interest while they are in school to reduce the total loan balance at the point of graduation.

    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 Origination Fee

    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 Federal Student Aid Website for information about current and past rates. Interest rates are determined each spring for new loans being made for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

    The Department of Education charges an "Origination fee" on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. See the Federal Student Aid website for the current loan fee percentages.

    How to Apply

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

    1. Apply for Financial Aid
    2. Accept your Federal Direct Loan through My Aid Status
    3. Complete a Direct Loan Entrance Interview
    4. Complete a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note

    As long as your requirements are completed, Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans generally take 3-5 business days to disburse to your BARC (billing) account.

    Exit Requirements

    When you graduate or permanently leave UCSB, you must complete a Direct Loan Exit Interview.

    Repayment

    Repayment for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans begins six months after a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Information about your loans is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the database where you may view your entire federal loan history. Please visit www.nslds.ed.gov to view your borrowed loan amounts, disbursement dates, and who your federal loan servicer is as well as their contact information. The federal loan servicer is assigned by the Department of Education, and they handle matters related to billing and repayment of your loans. If you have questions about changing your repayment plan, loan consolidation, or if you qualify for loans forgiveness, please talk to your servicer.

    We suggest you utilize Federal Student Aid’s Repayment Estimator while you are in school to see approximately how much a month you will owe post-graduation.

  • Graduate PLUS Loan

    In addition to Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, graduate students may also borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan. The Graduate PLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow up to the full cost of education minus other Financial Aid received. The PLUS loan requires a credit check that is valid for 180 days, and the student is notified immediately after applying whether they are approved or denied. If the credit check leads to a denial, students have 2 options:

    1. Obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you cannot repay it.
    2. Document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

    With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete “PLUS Counseling” for PLUS loan borrowers on the www.StudentLoans.gov website.

    Interest Rate and Origination Fee

    The interest rate for Federal Direct PLUS Loans depends on when the loan was first disbursed. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for information about current and past rates. Interest rates are determined each spring for new loans being made for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

    The Department of Education charges an "Origination fee" on all Direct PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. See the Federal Student Aid Website for the current loan fee percentages.

    How to Apply

    To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, you must:

    1. Check your PLUS loan eligibility shown on your Financial Aid Award Letter, available through your My Aid Status
    2. Visit www.studentloans.gov and log in with your FSA ID and password
    3. Click “Apply for a PLUS Loan”. You will be asked for the amount you would like to borrow – please refer to your Financial Aid Award Letter as mentioned above
    4. Complete the Graduate PLUS Entrance Counseling if this is your first PLUS loan
    5. Complete a Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note on the same website as above
    6. If your credit was denied and you wish to appeal or endorse:
      1. Appeal: log into www.studentloans.gov, click “Document Extenuating Circumstances” and follow the instructions.
      2. Endorse: Have your endorser create an FSA ID, and then log into www.studentloans.gov and click “Endorse a PLUS Loan”
      3. If the loan was endorsed or you completed a successful credit appeal, complete the PLUS Counseling through www.studentloans.gov

    Our office receives daily electronic updates for completed loan applications. Please allow 5-7 business days for our office to process the loan.

    Repayment

    Repayment for Graduate PLUS Loans begins six months after a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Information about your loans is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the database where you may view your entire federal loan history. Please visit www.nslds.ed.gov to view your borrowed loan amounts, disbursement dates, and who your federal loan servicer is as well as their contact information. The federal loan servicer is assigned by the Department of Education, and they handle matters related to billing and repayment of your loans. If you have questions about changing your repayment plan, loan consolidation, if you qualify for loans forgiveness, please talk to your servicer.

    We suggest you utilize Federal Student Aid’s Repayment Estimator while you are in school to see approximately how much a month you will owe when you graduate or leave UCSB.

  • Private Loans

    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 may be eligible for these 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 private loan lender of their choice. We highly recommend that students exhaust their federal Direct Loan eligibility before pursuing funds through an private 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 private 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.