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.

  • UCSB Loan

    The UCSB Loan is awarded to undergraduate students who are California residents, considered on time FAFSA or CA Dream applications and who demonstrate sufficient financial need.

    How to Apply

    To apply for a UCSB Loan, you must:

    •     Apply for financial aid
    •     Be awarded the UCSB Loan on your Award Letter
    •     Accept your UCSB Loan through My Aid Status
    •     Complete the entrance counseling and promissory note.

    ECSI will send an email with information on how to complete the entrance counseling and promissory note. You can expect to receive an email from within 1-3 business days of accepting the loan.

    Interest Rate and Repayment

    The interest rate for the UCSB Loan is 5%. The interest does not accrue until repayment begins. Repayment begins nine months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops to less than half-time.

    Exit Requirements

    When you leave UCSB, you must complete the UCSB Loan Exit Counseling. You should expect to receive an email notification from ECSI with instructions on how to complete this requirement. 

  • CA Dream Loan

    The California Dream Loan Program provides eligible undocumented AB 540 undergraduates with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending UC.

    To be eligible for the CA Dream Loan students must have financial need and be enrolled at least half time at UCSB.

    Through the CA Dream Loan Program applicants may receive a maximum of $4,000 per academic year, however offered amounts will be determined from year-to-year based on funding. Additionally, applicants can receive a maximum of $20,000 in CA Dream Loans at UCSB throughout the duration of their academic career.

    Interest Rate and Repayment

    The CA Dream Loan's interest rate matches the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan interest rate for the given academic year. For 2016-2017 that rate is 3.76%. Interest will not accrue on the loan as long as the applicant maintains a half-time enrollment status (between 6-8.9 units). Once the applicant graduates, or ceases to be half-time, there is a 6-month "grace period" before repayment begins. For additional information regarding the CA Dream Loan Program, visit the University of California website.

    Loan Servicer Conversion

    ECSI Heartland is the new CA Dream Loan servicer for all UC campuses, effective August 1, 2017. UCSB plans to be fully converted on August 1, 2017 but students may experience intermittent access to ECSI Heartland's website until August 18, 2017. From this date forward, you will be contacted by ECSI regarding your CA Dream Loan; please carefully read messages that you receive from ECSI, including both letters and e-mails.

    How to Apply

    To apply for a CA Dream Loan, you must:

    • Apply for Financial Aid
    • Be awarded the CA Dream Loan on your Award Letter
    • Accept your loan through My Aid Status
    • Complete the Entrance Counseling and CA Dream Loan Promissory Note. 
      • ECSI will send you an e-mail with information on how to complete the Entrance Counseling and the Promissory Note. You should expect to receive the email within 5-7 business day of accepting the loan.

  • Parent PLUS Loan

    Unlike the federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans borrowed by students, the Parent PLUS loan requires a credit check that is valid for 180 days. The parent is notified immediately after applying whether they are approved or denied. If the credit check leads to a denial, parents have 3 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.
    3. Have your student apply for additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds instead of taking action on the PLUS. If you wish to go this route, please have your student submit to our office the Request for Additional Unsubsidized Loan form found in the Forms tab of our website.

    With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete “PLUS Counseling” for PLUS loan borrowers on the 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. Talk with your student about the amount of PLUS loan eligibility shown on their Financial Aid Award Letter, available through your student’s My Aid Status
    2. Visit and log in with the parent’s FSA ID and password. Please make sure you are not logging in with the student’s FSA ID
    3. Click “Apply for a PLUS Loan”. You will be asked for the amount you would like to borrow – please refer to the student’s Financial Aid Award Letter as mentioned above
    4. Complete a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note on the same website as above
    5. If your credit was denied and you wish to appeal or endorse:
      1. Appeal: log into, click “Document Extenuating Circumstances” and follow the instructions.
      2. Endorse: Have your endorser create an FSA ID, and then log into and click “Endorse a PLUS Loan”
      3. If the loan was endorsed or you completed a successful credit appeal, complete the PLUS Counseling through

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


    While applying for the loan, parents will be given two disbursement options:

    1. STUDENT: If you indicated on the application that (1) you want the money to go to the “student”, and (2) you authorize the funds to apply towards any educationally-related charges on BARC, then the PLUS funds will credit to the student’s BARC account in 5-7 business days as long as your student is enrolled in more than 6 units. Those funds first pay any university fees and the remaining amount is then "refunded” to the student. The earliest these funds will be released to the student is 7 days before the start of the quarter.
    2. BORROWER: If you chose the “borrower” method, or chose "student" but did NOT authorize the funds to apply to all charges on the student account, the proceeds of the loan are mailed as a check to the parent’s address during the first week of classes for that particular quarter. These checks are not mailed until after the fees on the student's BARC account are paid or deferred, so the check from the PLUS loan will not be available in time to pay for university fees.

    In order to receive your funds in a timely manner, we strongly encourage you to select the “student” disbursement option. If you chose “borrower” but would like to change the disbursement method to “student”, you can complete our Parent PLUS Loan Adjustment Form found on the Forms tab of our website.


    Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan. During the application process, a parent can also choose to defer repayment until 6 months after the student graduates or leaves school.

    Information about your loan 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 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 to see approximately how much a month you will owe.


  • Short Term Emergency Loan

    The Short Term Emergency Loan Program allows students to receive an advancement of their pending Financial Aid for the current quarter due to an emergency expense.


    To apply for a Short Term Emergency Loan, you must:

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

    How to Apply

    To apply for a Short Term Emergency Loan, you must visit our office.

    You can apply for a maximum of $1,000. Once processed, the loan will be issued as a paper check that you must pick up from the BARC Office between 3 PM - 4 PM on the following business day after you apply for the loan.

    How It Works

    The Emergency Loan charge will appear on your BARC account. Your pending Financial Aid will cover this charge when the aid credits to your BARC account.

  • 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: